MSM 280:  I’d argue that, Ugly Fruit, SPLAT!

Presented in collaboration with the Association for Middle Level Education.


Jokes You Can Use:

A chicken walks into a ice cream store.

The clerk says, “We don’t serve poultry!”

The chicken says, “That’s OK, I just want a cone.”

Eileen Award:

  • Twitter: Jason Hovey



Many Kids Who Are Obese Or Overweight Don’t Know It

Kids can be cruel, especially about weight. So you might think overweight or obese children know all too well that they’re heavy — thanks to playground politics. But that’s not necessarily so, according to government data covering about 6,100 kids and teens ages 8-15.

About 30 percent “misperceived” their weight status (underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese), according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

Among children and teens who were actually designated by the CDC as overweight — or between the 85th and 95th percentiles on the CDC’s growth chart — 76 percent thought they were “about right”; about 23 percent said they were overweight.

The report notes that research has linked knowing your weight status to trying to change behaviors.


The End of ‘Genius’

WHERE does creativity come from? For centuries, we’ve had a clear answer: the lone genius. The idea of the solitary creator is such a common feature of our cultural landscape (as with Newton and the falling apple) that we easily forget it’s an idea in the first place.

But the lone genius is a myth that has outlived its usefulness. Fortunately, a more truthful model is emerging: the creative network, as with the crowd-sourced Wikipedia or the writer’s room at “The Daily Show” or — the real heart of creativity — the intimate exchange of the creative pair, such as John Lennon and Paul McCartney and myriad other examples with which we’ve yet to fully reckon.


Mishapen Fruit

300 million tons thrown away each year.

Happy in Your State


Middle School Science Minute

byDave Bydlowski (k12science or



I was recently reading the Summer, 2014 issue of “Science Scope,” a magazine written for middle school science teachers, published by the National Science Teachers Association.


In this issue, I read an article entitled “Scientific Explanations and Arguments: Building New Science Content Knowledge Through Argumentation” written by Lauren Brodsky and Andrew Falk.  In the article, they describe a process by which to develop science lessons that support students in engaging in and learning through argumentation.  They also provide a few suggestions for smaller things you can do to incorporate elements of argumentation, if you don’t have time for the entire process.


From the Twitterverse:

Monte Tatom ‏@drmmtatom Jul 23

U.S. schools rank low in innovation ~#tn_teta#ISTEAPLN#fhuedu642#fhucid =>@MSMatters

Tim Lauer ‏@timlauer 19m

Chronicle, a tool for graphing the usage of words and phrases in New York Times reporting.

Monte Tatom@drmmtatom Jul 25

ClassDojo School-Wide ~#tn_teta#edwebchat#fhuedu642#fhuedu320 =>@MSMatters

Rich Kiker ‏@rkiker 21m

Imoji For iPhone Lets You Turn Any Image Into A Custom Emoji@TechCrunch

Meemic ‏@Meemic

Grants for Educators & Staff in MI, IL, WI | Funding Opportunities | The Meemic Foundation | Follow Us!

Erin Klein ‏@KleinErin 2m

Check out the NEW site: ClassroomCribs AND see How-To Set Up Brain-Friendly, Beautiful Learni…

Lisa Dabbs ‏@teachingwthsoul 37m

In Defense of Boredom via@pernilleripp

Erin Klein ‏@KleinErin 2h

9 Roles For The Teacher That Leads via@TeachThought

Alice Keeler ‏@alicekeeler 3h

Bing in the Classroom free lesson plans: …@TeacherCast#miechat

Jason Eifling ‏@jeifling 4h

US History Resources for Common Core#ccss#sschat#history

Will Richardson@willrich45 1h

“Tsundoku,” the Japanese Word for the New Books That Pile Up on Our Shelves, Should Enter the English Language

Monte Tatom@drmmtatom · 17h

How to run a Google+ Hangouts series  ~#edwebchat#tn_teta#ISTEAPLN#fhuedu642#fhucid =>@MSMatters

Monte Tatom@drmmtatom · 16h

20 Can’t Miss Edu Conferences ~#ISTEAPLN#tn_teta#fhuedu642

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



5 Essential Ingredients For Learning (SPLAT)

Kelly created the acronym, SPLAT, to define the five most ingredients in helping others learn.

  • S = Safety–creating an environment that allows for learning
  • P = Problem solving–helping others find solutions
  • L = Lectures–avoiding them and focusing on teaching instead
  • A = All–all audiences are visual learners
  • T = Talking–teaching others is one of the best ways to learn


Metacognition is, put simply, thinking about one’s thinking.  More precisely, it refers to the processes used to plan, monitor, and assess one’s understanding and performance. Metacognition includes a critical awareness of a) one’s thinking and learning and b) oneself as a thinker and learner.



Principals in U.S. Are More Likely to Consider Their Students Poor

A new international study, set to be released Tuesday, argues that the United States has an expectation problem.

Based on the views of principals, a larger share of children in the United States are “socioeconomically disadvantaged” compared with those in Brazil, Malaysia, Mexico, Romania and various other countries.

One possibility is that principals in the United States indeed have lower expectations of lower-income students than principals in other countries – and that these expectations, in turn, affect student learning. Mr. Schleicher leans toward that view.

This much is clear: American students from low-income backgrounds are more likely to struggle in school than low-income students in many other countries (as Table II.A in this report makes clear).

Class Timers

Use multiple timers. Set timers to music. Pause all timers at once.

Open Curriculum

Teacher-curated and Common Core standards-aligned sets of high-quality lessons, activities and assessments.

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