MSM 287:  If Siri can answer, don’t take the bet or the bribe!

Jokes You Can Use:


Everybody should pay their taxes with a smile, said Bob. “I tried it but they wanted cash.”


Wife: “There’s trouble with the car. It has water in the carburetor.”

Husband: “Water in the carburetor? That’s ridiculous.”

Wife: “I tell you the car has water in the carburetor.”

Husband: “You don’t even know what a carburetor is. Where’s the car?”

Wife: “In the swimming pool.”


A girl walks into a supermarket and asks the clerk,” Can I have a turkey for my grandma?” the clerk responds,” Sorry. We don’t do exchanges.”


CHICAGO CUBS VIRUS: Your PC makes frequent mistakes and comes in last in the reviews, but you still love it.

AT&T VIRUS: Every three minutes it tells you what great service you are getting.

MCI VIRUS: Every three minutes it reminds you that you’re paying too much for the AT&T virus.

PBS VIRUS: Your programs stop every few minutes to ask for money.

ELVIS VIRUS: Your computer gets fat, slow and lazy, then self destructs; only to resurface at shopping malls and service stations across rural America.

PAUL REVERE VIRUS: This revolutionary virus does not horse around. It warns you of impending hard disk attack—once if by LAN, twice if by C:>


A butcher saw a Lawyer passing by his shop one day, and asked him: Atty., what would you do if a dog came in and stole your meat? Lawyer replied: why? of course, I’ll make the owner pay for it! The butcher said: If that is so, now you owe me $15 because it is your dog. The Lawyer replied: very well, just deduct the $15 from the $25 you owe me for the advice, I’ll collect the remaining $10 the next time I pass by here.



Eileen Award:

  • Twitter: Jenny Lee, Amy Rugg




10 Amazing Bets



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 an article entitled “Scope on Safety,” written by Ken Roy, Director of Environmental Health and Safety for the Glastonbury Public Schools in Glastonbury, CT. Within this article is the “Question of the Month.”  This month’s question is, “Do custodians need safety training prior to cleaning the floors in a science lab?”



From the Twitterverse:

Lucy Gray ‏@elemenous  12m12 minutes ago

American Schools Are Training Kids for a World That Doesn’t Exist | WIRED …

juandoming ‏@juandoming  26m26 minutes ago

List of 20+ #Apps and Extensions for Chromebookers – #EdTechReview™ (ETR) via @jtoufi

HP Storage@HPStorage  Oct 15

Add highly available shared storage to virtualized #Intel servers. Get your free 1TB of HP #storage to get going.

Ms. Diem ‏@GetTeaching  33m33 minutes ago

Homework conversation in full swing! #edcampou (Hint: if Siri can answer all your HW questions, it’s not good HW!)

Todd Bloch ‏@blocht574  46m46 minutes ago

Want to know more about #michED … This might help! #edcampAMI #edcampNoMI  #edcampou

Scott McLeod ‏@mcleod  1h1 hour ago

The State of Educational Blogging 2014 | @edublogs  #edtech

Jennifer L. Scheffer ‏@jlscheffer  42m42 minutes ago

5 key elements of effective PD via @MaineSchoolTech #edscape

Erin Klein ‏@KleinErin  10m10 minutes ago

Why It Is So Important to Visit Other Schools (and how to do it right)  via @ajjuliani

Monte Tatom @drmmtatom · 20h20 hours ago

Here’s the link for the #K12online14 Conference:  / #fhuedu642 Advanced Technology

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





A veteran teacher turned coach shadows 2 students for 2 days – a sobering lesson learned




Schools told: cash bribes ‘fail to improve GCSE grades’


Schools are wasting thousands of pounds each year attempting to bribe pupils to try harder in exams, according to government-funded research.

In the biggest study of its kind, it was claimed that promising children cash rewards in exchange for higher levels of attendance, behaviour and homework led to increased effort in the classroom.

But the use of incentives had little “direct impact” on pupils’ ability to learn and failed to actually improve their GCSE scores in core academic subjects, it emerged.

The conclusions raise serious questions over tactics employed by schools across Britain that spend tens of thousands of pounds each year on elaborate reward schemes.

One popular scheme – Vivo Miles – allows pupils to accumulate points for good work and behaviour before cashing them in for rewards such as iPods, iTunes vouchers, digital watches, bike equipment and clothes.

It is used by around 500 secondary schools in the UK, with more than nine-in-10 saying it has aided academic performance and improved student motivation and behaviour.

Many parents also make similar promises, with a survey this summer suggesting that 38 per cent of pupils were offered cash incentives by mothers and fathers. This includes those promised laptops, holidays and even cars.

“The study suggests that while incentives can increase effort in the classroom, their direct impact on learning is low. “


Web Spotlight:


Online Conference

The Pre-Conference Keynote is up today, Monday, 10/13/2014.

This online conference is a little different in that the sessions have already been taped and will be opened on the day of the presentation.

Here is the link to today’s Keynote and introductions to upcoming sessions:

Here is the link to the various topics being presented over the two week period:

Dr. Tatom’s Presentation:

My presentation is scheduled for Friday, 10/24/2014.  It will be available at 8:00 AM, EDT.


Why I now Friend Student via Social Media

I tell my students that if they choose to friend me, I will friend them back but they need to know that I’m relating to them as a teacher. Anything they communicate to me is as if I am at school.

They can unfriend me at any time and refriend me — just as they wish, no questions asked. If they communicate anything to me, I keep screenshots (with time and date stamps.)


8th-grader Writes Hilariously Epic Algebra Problem. JJ Abrams Would Be Proud…

When Cody Swanek was told by his math teacher to take a certain algebra problem and convert it into a story, the 8th-grader dug deep into his knowledge of the Star Wars universe and wrote the most epic possible math question.


A surprising new argument against using kids’ test scores to grade their teachers

When a teacher whose students do well on tests moves to a school where test scores were improving the previous year, and average scores continue improving after that teacher arrives, it is hard to know how much of that continued improvement is due to the new teacher and how much to other factors.

This dispute is just one example of the mathematical acrobatics required to isolate the effect of one teacher on their students’ test scores, when so many other factors inside and outside the school’s walls affect how students perform.


Random Thoughts . . . 

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