MSM 261: Tynkar, “Waver”, Heartbreaker, Spy (Where’s Waldo?)

Presented in collaboration with the Association for Middle Level Education.

Jokes You Can Use:

Q: What did the ground say to the earthquake?

A: You crack me up!


Q: Why did the music teacher need a ladder?

A: To reach the high notes.


Q: What’s the worst thing you’re likely to find in the school cafeteria?

A: The Food!


Q: What kind of plates do they use on Venus?

A: Flying saucers!


Q: Why did nose not want to go to school?

A: He was tired of getting picked on!


Q: How do you get straight A’s?

A: By using a ruler!


Q: What did the pen say to the pencil?

A: So, what’s your point!


Q: Why did the kid study in the airplane?

A: Because he wanted a higher education!


Eileen Award:



Heartbreak Mapping in Action

Where’s Waldo

When attempting to find Waldo you can scan the page completely from top to bottom, or you can focus your search around certain landmarks where Waldo seems likely to be hiding (in a castle’s moat, riding a blimp). Neither approach is particularly efficient. Which got me to wondering: What if there’s a better way?

Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or


Wave Warnings


I was recently reading the October, 2013 issue of Science Scope, a magazine written for Middle School Science Teachers, published by the National Science Teachers Association.  In this issue, I came upon an article entitled, “Wave Warnings,” written by Ken Roy, director of environmental health and safety for Glastonbury Public Schools in Glastonbury, CT.  Within the article, he shares ideas on safety when doing hands-on activities in the study of energy and waves.  He recommends providing safety awareness when students use:

  • Slinkys

  • Lenses

  • Mirrors

  • Light Sources (laser, lightbulb, etc)

  • Tuning Forks

  • Drinking Glasses

  • Wave Tank

  • Sink

  • Student Designed Sound Generators/Musical Instruments

From the Twitterverse:

Illinois school blocks student access to Google  ‘Cause blocking’s better #savekidsfromgoogle #edtech #plaea

* Carol A. Josel ‏@schoolwise

A Third Of Schools Saw Scores Fall After Getting Federal Grants  via @HuffPostPol

* ‏@AppAdvice 9h

PowerPoint Alternative Haiku Deck Now Features Web Syncing For Presentations

George Takei ‏@GeorgeTakei 13h

Nerd humor.

Retweeted by Rick Wormeli

* Jeff Crews ‏@crewsertech

5 Fantastic iPad Apps to Learn Phrasal Verbs: Anytime I reminisce about my English language learning journey, …

* Monte Tatom ‏@drmmtatom

Azendoo – Organize Group Projects Through Documents and Skype Chats  ~ #fhuedu642 #fhuedu320 #fhucid #edwebchat

#mschat every Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.



Response: ‘There Is No Such Thing as an Unmotivated Student’

It’s the last staff meeting of teacher work-week.  In two days students will fill the building and the first bell will ring signaling the beginning of the school year. Before this happens, teachers will have the chance to hear from selected members of the student body.  They have been asked to share what motivates and engages them.

Javier starts, “Know our names.  When teachers know who I am, I act better.”

“Yeah,” says David.  “I try harder when you try to help me.  Help us when we get stuck.”

Marisol quietly follows, “I try hardest for teachers who ask me how I am. Sometimes you could ask us how we are doing.”

Smiling, with eyes down, Humberto shyly says, “Try not to be boring.  Teach us stuff we need to know.  Make class interesting.”

All down the line similar responses emerge: Know us.  Care about us.  Engage us.  It is clear kids want to like school.  They want to be motivated.





What it is: Tynker is about the coolest way for kids to learn how to computer program- absolutely NO prior programming experience is needed!  Tynker leads kids through design thinking through interactive courses where kids can learn how to program at their own pace.


Web Spotlight:

How Benoit Mandelbrot Discovered Fractals: A Short Film by Errol Morris

Even if you know little of mathematics, you probably have some awareness of fractals. You’ve almost certainly heard them invoked, correctly or otherwise, to describe things that look or act the same at the large scale as they do at the small.

AMLE 2013 Annual Conference

NAPOMLE (National Association of Professors of Middle Level Education):   Best Practice Presentation Session

Table 5:  CE-MIST  Center for Excellence interdisciplinary

   Ruth Patrick Science Education Center

   Three prongs:  Student, Teacher, . . . ?

   RPSEC modeled the interdisciplinary lesson plans for the schools.

   This was a course requirement, not a field experience piece.

Table 3:  Middle School Student Teachers and Special Education Student Teachers Working Together.  Radford University

   Co teaching situations with special education and regular education teachers doing their student teaching together.

   Cooperating teacher fills out a notebook with talking points and the co-teachers then also fill out a notebook that the supervisor from the university then also looks at when they visit.

   By exchanging the teaching responsibilities, the students viewed the intern as a co-teacher.

   Co-teaching is one content and one special education student teacher in the same room together teaching.

   Prof. Question:  What was the role of the cooperating teacher while the co-student teachers were teaching?

Ans.:  Same as if it was the normal arrangement.

   There was a month of planning before entering the classroom.

   Each student teacher had their own supervisor.

   Student teacher does lesson, other student teacher does the Activity.

   Marilyn Friend has a book on co-teaching.

Table  3:  Middle School Resident Teacher Program

   Reflect on your first year of teaching

   A significant percentage of teachers quit in the first three years.

   20% of the teacher population is retiring in the next 5 years.

   Purpose is to provide strong mentoring program

   There’s a teacher who mentors the four teachers brought in

   She is there to co-teach, bring in literature, shoulder to cry on, etc.

   She is their mentor

   There’s a university contact that is a university supervisor.

   These are master’s candidates.

One of the purposes is to increase confidence compentency.

   They take on leadership roles in the schools.

   How do you fund the on-site person?  The district hires one person to do this with the university.  She mentors the four residents.

   There are 4 resident teachers per year.

   55 out of 56 are in the teaching profession.

   The mentorship and support makes this happen and the fact that they get to mentor others along the way puts them in a leadership role that lends itself to not leaving the profession because they feel empowered.

   30 of 32 of their master’s credits is waived if they go through this program.

Our Thanks . . .

  • Dave Bydlowski
  • Ron King
  • Dr. Monte Tatom
  • Our listeners