MSM 269: For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face . . .

Presented in collaboration with the Association for Middle Level Education.

Jokes You Can Use:

When I had my surgery, the doctor gave me a local anesthetic. I could not afford the imported kind.


A monastery decided to start a fish and chips store. When the store opened, a client comes in, and asks one of the clerics: are you the fish fryer? Oh, no, the cleric answers, I’m the chip monk!


Q: Why did the farmer get a Nobel Prize?

A: He was outstanding in his field!


Name?,” was the first thing the manager asked. “John,” the new guy replied. The manager scowled. “Look, I don’t know what kind of a namby-pamby place you worked at before, but I don’t call anyone by their first name! It breeds familiarity and that leads to a breakdown in authority,” he said. “I refer to my employees by their last name only – Smith, Jones, Baker – that’s all. Now that we got that straight, what is your last name?” The new guy sighed and said, “Darling. My name is John Darling.” The manager said, “Okay, John, the next thing I want to tell you…”


Eileen Award:

  • Twitter:  William Gould, Val Jones, Mark Maudlin, Jessica Herring, Bren Martin



Skeptic 101

THE SKEPTICAL STUDIES CURRICULUM RESOURCE CENTER is a comprehensive, free repository of resources for teaching students how to think skeptically. This Center contains an ever-growing selection of books, reading lists, course syllabi, in-class exercises, PowerPoint presentations, student projects, papers, and videos that you may download and use in your own classes. Lessons in these resources include:

  • what science is, how it differs from pseudoscience, and why it matters

  • the scientific method and how to use it to investigate and conduct skeptical analyses of extraordinary claims

  • how to construct effective arguments and rhetorical strategies

  • how to effectively use presentations and papers to present an argument

  • reason, logic, and skeptical analysis

  • the psychology of belief

  • how ideas are presented within academia

  • how peer review works

  • and much more…

Hand gestures

Source: Pimsleur Approach Language Learning


Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or



I was recently reading the January, 2014 issue of Science Scope, a magazine written for Middle School Science Teachers, published by the National Science Teachers Association.  In this issue, I was reading the article, “The Leonardo Strategy” written by Renee Clary and James Wandersee.

In this article, they look at scientific discourse and argumentation in an online environment.


From the Twitterverse:

* Audrey Watters ‏@audreywatters 11h

Hack Education Weekly News: Facebook’s MOOC plans, startup funding, ed-tech “privacy” guidelines and more …

* Wendy Darga ‏@wdarga 41m

40+ iPad Apps for Reading Disabilities #rcshms

* Wendy Darga ‏@wdarga 43m

Other Data: 20 Signs You’re Actually Making A Difference As A Teacher #rcshms

* SC Middle School Asn ‏@The_SCMSA 1h

What are your ” little bits of joy ” activities? @deesme #scmsa14

* Richard Byrne ‏@rmbyrne 1h

Teaching With Primary Sources on iPads

* Joy Kirr ‏@JoyKirr 2h

And THIS is why you shld to #20time / #geniushour in your classroom, too: … (An oldie, but goodie.) cc @thenerdyteacher

* NCMLE-formerly NCMSA ‏@NCMiddle 2h

The NC 2014 summer Read 5 Give 5 program just announced! Promoting summer reading….

* Bruce Baker ‏@SchlFinance101 2h

The Opportunity Costs of Teacher Evaluation: A Labor and Equity Analysis of the TEACHNJ Legis…  via @wordpressdotcom

* NCMLE-formerly NCMSA ‏@NCMiddle 3h

Not a part of our mailing list? It is FREE!!!!!!

#mschat every Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.  And as Troy says, “The Twitter never stops!”



Professional Development

Be glad this isn’t you.


Cultivate a Learning Mindset: Passion


What can be seen in an organization with a learning mindset characterized by passion?


Characteristics of Good Leadership



Create comics online.

Web Spotlight:

25 Literary Opening Lines Diagrammed on One Giant Poster


25 maps and charts that explain America today

Real Discipline in School

The new regulations came just three weeks after Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. warned school districts that a continuation of the large disparities in suspension and expulsion rates constituted a possible civil rights violation and could trigger a federal investigation.

But too many schools still use severe and ineffective practices to address student misbehavior. Large numbers of students are kicked out, typically for nonviolent offenses, and suspensions have become the go-to response for even minor misbehavior, like carrying a plastic water gun to elementary school or sometimes simply for talking back.

Nine-hour school day is the norm – and a national model – at Oakland middle school

Every student at Elmhurst, in the Oakland Unified school district, attends the expanded learning program, making it part of their normal school day. Classes begin at 8 a.m. and end at 5 p.m., at least two hours after most other Oakland students are done for the day.

What makes the expanded school day economically possible is the school’s reliance on AmeriCorps teaching fellows like Bratt.

“Direct instruction didn’t work with them,” Aames said, requiring her to develop more hands-on approaches to teach the concept.

Random Thoughts . . .

Special shout out to Ron King for his contributions.