MSM 284: Note(Take) this: Trading Cards, Mentally Strong, Failure in 3D.

Jokes You Can Use:

Q: How do trees access the internet?

A: They log in.


Chuck Norris will never have a heart attack. His heart isn’t so foolish to attack him.


– Who is there?

– Police?

– What do you want?

– We want to talk.

– How many of you are there?

– Two.

– So talk with each other.


I hate it when you offer someone a sincere compliment about their mustache, and suddenly she is not your friend anymore…



A: Why are you late?

B: There was a man who lost a hundred dollar bill.

A: That’s nice. Were you helping him look for it?

B: No, I was standing on it.



On a beach a man shouts at another man:

– Tell your son not to imitate me.

A man to his son:

– Son, stop playing the fool.


The best way to make somebody remember you is to borrow money from them.



Eileen Award:

  • Twitter: Daniel Edwards, Peter Rattien, Kim Allen
  • Facebook: Coco Gibson Burks




18 Things Mentally Strong People Do



15 People Who Failed on Their Way to Success

Before their success, some of the world’s most successful people experienced epic failure. We celebrate their success but often overlook the path that got them there. A path that is often marked with failure.


Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or




I was recently reading the September, 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 the Editor’s Roundtable, entitled “Align Your Assessments With Three Dimensional Learning.”  It was written by the editor of “Science Scope,” Inez Liftig.  The purpose of the column was to emphasize that effective assessment is integral to the three-dimensional learning and teaching needed to realize the vision of the NGSS and the Framework for K-12 Science Education.



Have a great vacation!


From the Twitterverse:

Think with Google ‏@ThinkwithGoogle  Sep 173 steps to turn your data into actionable insights
Exam Elf ‏@ExamElf  17m#ExamElf is listed as a top new app for teachers to try in the new school year! Check it out:  #edapps
MichaelSmithSupt@principalspage  1hChange Your Words…. Change Your Mindset….


Change Your Words- Change Your Mindset

Change Your Words- Change Your Mindset

Sue Gorman ‏@sjgorman  1hGoogle for Education Blog: Pope Francis launches Scholas to connect students online … via @googleforedu
MiddleWeb ‏@middleweb  1hRT @SchwartzGMS: Ideas for growth within co-teaching relationship – qualities of effective partnerships  @amle @naesp
Amanda Dykes ‏@amandacdykes  1hTop 15 Things Your Middle School Kid Wishes You Knew  via @HuffPostParents
Karen Miller ‏@Kdmiller4  1hiPad Educators’ Guide to Apps for Film Making!film-making/c224x … #doink #ipaded
Sue Waters ‏@suewaters  1hRT @tasteach: I am looking for 18 more mentors for age 12/13 year old students blogging … #14stubc
Beth Still ‏@BethStill  2h25 Signs You’re Teaching In 2015  via @TeachThought
Cara Whitehead ‏@WhiteheadsClass  33mJoin the Attendance Awareness Campaign today and end chronic absence in our schools:  #SchoolEveryDay
Monte Tatom @drmmtatom · Sep 16The Hattie Effect: What’s Essential for Effective PBL?  ~ #fhuedu642 #fhuedu613 #tn_teta #edwebchat => @MSMatters
Monte Tatom @drmmtatom · Sep 16Deeper Learning Student Profile: Portfolio Defense  via @All4Ed ~ #fhuedu613 #tn_teta #ISTEAPLN => @MSMatters
Tweechme@TweechmeApp  2h10 Reasons Why Teachers Use Twitter as a PD Tool  #nt2t #satchat #edtechchat
#mschat every Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.  And as Troy says, “The Twitter never stops!”



Trading Cards

Nice find by Richard Byrne. He has also provided a screencast exemplifying how to use it.

You can create trading cards for a wide variety of topics. Real people, fictional people, places, objects, vocabulary words and more.

ReadWriteThink includes some nice lesson plans lower on the page as well.


Note Taking Skills

Note taking skills aren’t just automatic. We tell students “take notes” but they have no idea what that means. What makes “good notes.” What do they write down? What should notes look like?

If they don’t have basic notetaking skills down in an analog way adding a new technology AND teaching how to take notes at the same time is too much.

So, now, I’m taking the approach of helping students master analog notetaking. This is for several reasons the first is just to teach the analog notetaking skills they need but secondly, I’m full out an IN-FLIP classroom. When I’m teaching concepts on the computer or anything point and click, I always do it with videos embedded in our LMS.

We want them DRAWING. Why? So they can use all parts of their brain. Using symbols and notes and such can help connect ideas in powerful ways. So, at this point, I take my students on a visual notetaking journey.


Socratic Smackdown

A versatile discussion-based humanities game to practice argumentation around any text or topic for grades 6 through 12.

The game is designed for 4-40 students. Includes a video tutorial, and a PDF of the instructions. Students earn points. All instructions, support material and score cards are included. Links to Common Core standards are also available.

The beauty of Socratic Smackdown is its flexibility. Here are some ways Rebecca Grodner has used the game:

“Playing it in small groups, it can encourage shy students. In large groups, it can help you focus on specific learning needs.”

“Using it as a form of assessment, or as a practice space for finding supporting evidence for one’s ideas.“

“Framing it as a game to help students learn to negotiate conflict. As a facilitator, some days I found myself helping students mediate arguments in their small groups.”



Web Spotlight:

Is character education the answer?

Laurence Steinberg, Ph.D.

September 17, 2014

Over the last few years, there has been a growing awareness of the need to incorporate character development into school curricula, and various efforts to do so have received wide attention. Perhaps the best-known effort is the Knowledge Is Power Program, or KIPP, which has been implemented in close to 150 charter schools across the country.

KIPP has a long record of impressive accomplishments that have garnered much media attention, including Paul Tough’s bestseller, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character. Students attending KIPP schools have higher rates of high-school graduation, college enrollment, and college completion than students from similarly disadvantaged backgrounds who attend other types of schools. Numerous evaluations of KIPP schools have found that students show larger-than-expected gains on various measures of achievement.

With this parental predisposition in mind, a recent evaluation of KIPP middle schools by an independent evaluator is particularly intriguing. This evaluation drew its comparison group from a sample of children whose families had entered, but didn’t win, a lottery to gain admission to the local KIPP school.

Consistent with the prior studies, in this objective evaluation, KIPP students outperformed the comparison children on numerous measures of achievement, across a range of subject areas. KIPP students also spent more time on homework. The differences were not only statistically significant, but substantial. This is the stuff of headlines, and rightly so.

However, some of this study’s findings were not so widely broadcast. The KIPP children showed no advantage on any of the measures of character strengths. They weren’t more effortful or persistent. They didn’t have more favorable academic self-conceptions or stronger school engagement. They didn’t score higher than the comparison group in self-control. In fact, they were more likely to engage in “undesirable behavior,” including losing their temper, lying to and arguing with their parents, and giving teachers a hard time. They were more likely to get into trouble at school. Despite the program’s emphasis on character development, the KIPP students were no less likely to smoke, drink, get high, or break the law. Nor were their hopes for their educational futures any higher or their plans any more ambitious. A different study found that rates of college graduation among KIPP graduates, while three times as high as those of students from comparable disadvantaged backgrounds, were still disappointing: Nearly 90 percent of the KIPP students enrolled in college, but only a third graduated—less than half the proportion the program’s developers have hoped for. College-graduation rates have since improved a bit in several KIPP schools, according to KIPP’s founders, but they are still far behind KIPP’s expectations.


Random Thoughts . . .


Personal Web SiteMoodle & Google Classroom