MSM 281:  We’re Rusty. Shut off the Internet to test.

Presented in collaboration with the Association for Middle Level Education.


Jokes You Can Use:


During a dinner party, the hosts’ two little children entered the dining room totally nude and walked slowly around the table. The parents were so embarrassed that they pretended nothing was happening and kept the conversation going. The guests cooperated and also continued as if nothing extraordinary was happening.

After going all the way around the room, the children left, and there was a moment of silence at the table, during which one child was heard to say, “You see, it is vanishing cream!”


Two explorers, camped in the heart of the African jungle, were discussing their expedition. “I came here,” said one, “because the urge to travel was in my blood. City life bored me, and the smell of exhaust fumes on the highways made me sick. I wanted to see the sunrise over new horizons and hear the flutter of birds that never had been seen by man. I wanted to leave my footprints on sand unmarked before I came. In short, I wanted to see nature in the raw. What about you?” “I came,” the second man replied, “because my son was taking saxophone lessons.”


A dentist and a doctor fell in love with the same girl. The dentist had to go out of town for a week. He gave the girl 7 apples and asked her to eat one a day. Why?


Two gold fish are in a tank one says to the other “Do you know how to drive this thing?”


Eileen Award:

  • iTunes:
  • Twitter:  Holly Berchet-Hall, Brian Marks, Andre Spang, Torsten Larbig, MEEMIC, Kyle Stalzer, @sarahdateechur, Kit Hard, Yong Park, Dr. Phil Metzger, Secondary Principals (MASSP),
  • Google+: Ryan Easton, Sandra Wozniak
  • Facebook:
  • Email:



Too Obvious to share

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 “Letters! We Get Letters” written by Joanna Shubin.  In the article, Joanna describes how she has her students write letters to scientists.  It is a great way to integrate science and English Language Arts and to generate enthusiasm in all of the students.  She suggests that you try having your own students write to scientists, because you will get letters!

From the Twitterverse:

Cheryl Murphy Savage ‏@CherylMSavage 57s

“I strongly believe that you can read without writing, but you cannot write without reading.”@LindaMRief#HeinemannTour

Arne Duncan ‏@arneduncan 7m

Imagine yourself going back to school abroad next fall!@PeaceCorps is looking for educators #ApplyPC#teaching

Karen McMillan@McTeach 10m

Sending Students on Learning Missions

Dan McCabe ‏@danieldmccabe 21m

This is what education should be for students and teachers.
Jobs Quote

Jessica Johnson ‏@PrincipalJ 17m

“6 Basketball Tips For School Leadership” great post by@williamdp#cpchat#educoach#principalpln

ClassThink ‏@ClassThink 40m

Google Classroom release date announced — and it’s sooner than we were expecting! #gafe#edchat#edtech#googleapps

Suzanne Perlis ‏@SuzannePerlis 53m

The 6 Levels Of Bloom’s Taxonomy, Explained With Active Verbs … via@edudemic

The Atlantic ‏@TheAtlantic Aug 5

To stop cheating in a national standardized test, Uzbekistan shut down the entire country’s Internet

Kyle Calderwood ‏@kcalderw 1h

You can start off with analog Twitter wall to teach students appropriate ways to tweet and#digicit practices #nt2t

Charles Fishman ‏@cfishman 1h

In 2013, in US, we spent:
• $25 billion buying bottled water
• $29 billion maintaining the entire water system

Todd Bloch@blocht574 2h

#MSchat and@AMLE Twitter event 8-14-14 8 pm ET Join the discussion on Ss motivation!#satchat#edchat

juandoming@juandoming 3h

Inventing Infographics: Visual Literacy Meets Written Content

Sue Gorman @sjgorman 3h

Use Class Dojo and Remind to communicate with parents. #edtech#edchat#wiedu#wischat

Holly Berchet-Hall@msmathcms Aug 6

Shout out to@MSMatters for introducing me to Edmodo and to@mthman for introducing me to MSMatters. Just finished#EdmodoCon so psyched!

Monte Tatom@drmmtatom Jul 30

4 Ideas To Have A Successful First Year as Principal ~#ISTEAPLN#fhuedu610#tn_teta#edchat =>@MSMatters

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


Stick Pick Twitter Giveaway:  So recently I won a copy of Stick Pick.  I already have a copy of Stick Pick from back when I reviewed it for the Podcast.  If you’d like my copy of Stick Pick, send us an email at with a short statement on how you use differentiation in your classroom and we’ll throw your name in a random name selector (called Stick Pick) and announce a winner two weeks from the recording of this show.  Stick Pick will be making an important product announcement soon and we’ll bring you the news when it happens.


Random Name Generators

Need a way to select students to “volunteer”?


* Note that these can also be used for vocabulary words, important terms, etc.


Classroom Games

What works in teaching Math


Fluency Tutor

Fluency Tutor™ for Google is designed to increase the fluency and comprehension skills of emerging readers. It can be used with individual students or whole classrooms. It helps to identify students needing additional support, and is often used with students in older grade levels who have specific reading difficulties.

The teacher dashboard and student interaction area are all free.

Premium features such as useful analytics and progress tracking are also available for $99 per teacher, per year.


Web Spotlight:

Making Connections with Advisory

Relationships are among the most important elements of student success.

By: Ellen D’Amore


…research has shown that the more teachers foster relationships with their students and focus on their social and emotional needs, the more academic performance, motivation, and attendance improve.

Our advisory program includes activities that take approximately one to two hours a week for the first semester, gradually moving the focus from social/emotional awareness to academics. The advisory program involves a series of seamless steps.

The results of our advisory program include higher overall GPAs, increased attendance rates, and fewer behavior referrals.

In the two years since we implemented the program, my students have commented that they feel like our advisory class is a little family, and they wish we could do more activities together. I feel the same way.

Random Thoughts . . .


Personal Web Site