MSM 290: The Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen Show.


Jokes You Can Use:

An optometrist was instructing a new employee on how to charge a customer. “As you are fitting her glasses, if she asks how much they cost, you say ‘$150.’ “If her eyes don’t flutter, say, ‘For the frames. The lenses will be $100.’ “If her eyes still don’t flutter, you add, ‘Each.’”


An out-of-towner drove his car into a ditch in a desolated area. Luckily, a local farmer came to help with his big strong horse named Buddy.

He hitched Buddy up to the car and yelled, “Pull, Nellie, pull!” Buddy didn’t move.

Then the farmer hollered, “Pull, Buster, pull!” Buddy didn’t respond.

Once more the farmer commanded, “Pull, Coco, pull!” Nothing.

Then the farmer nonchalantly said, “Pull, Buddy, pull!” And the horse easily dragged the car out of the ditch.

The motorist was most appreciative and very curious. He asked the farmer why he called his horse by the wrong name three times.

The farmer said, “Oh, Buddy is blind and if he thought he was the only one pulling, he wouldn’t even try!”


A motorist was unknowingly caught in an automated speed trap that measured his speed using radar and photographed his car. He later received in the mail a ticket for $40 and a photo of his car. Instead of payment, he sent the police department a photograph of $40. Several days later, he received a letter from the police that contained another picture, this time of handcuffs. He immediately mailed in his $40.



Eileen Award:


  • Twitter: Mike Reading, Jason Katcher, Jenna Dixon, Brandon Ouellette, Chris Wherley
  • Email: Sierra Bishop





Is the American obsession with individual freedom really such a great idea? What other cultures know about how to make good choices.


36 Life Changing Poems


How to fold the world record paper airplane

How to fold the world record paper airplane. John Collins design, Suzanne, broke the Guinness World Record for distance in 2012. The New World Champion Paper Airplane Book contains the world record paper airplane design and instructions.


5 Steps to Internet Safety

5 Steps to Internet Safety



Mr. Farrer – you inspire us.

Bruce would be the first person to tell you he’s just your regular, average teacher. More than 20 years after taking his class, his students will wholeheartedly tell you otherwise. We can all learn something from Mr. Farrer. His ability to leave such a profound and long-lasting impression is truly something to be admired. We hope his story is as inspiring to you as it is to us. Thank you, Bruce.


How juries are fooled

Oxford mathematician Peter Donnelly reveals the common mistakes humans make in interpreting statistics — and the devastating impact these errors can have on the outcome of criminal trials.

Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or


Model Synergy


I was recently reading the October, 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 article, “Model Synergy,” written by David Kujawski. In the article, he combines classic modeling practices and digital simulations to augment deeper conceptual understanding.



From the Twitterverse:

Richard Byrne ‏@rmbyrnePresent and Share Your Prezi Presentations Remotely via Free Technology for Teachers – Earlier …
Sue Gorman ‏@sjgormanLesson plan for a flipped classroom with Book Creator – Book Creator app @BookCreatorApp … #edtech #iosedapp #edchat
Smhearty ‏@SmheartyThe evolve-D(earborn) theme keeps getting better! Great work Chris. You can check it out for FREE #moodle
Smhearty @Smhearty  ·  Dec 8Richard Byrne posts great stuff. iPad Apps to create visual representations.  #teach
Luann ChristensenLee ‏@stardiverrUsing student test scores to evaluate teacher prep programs; a lesson in tort law for Arne. …
Lindsay Nowak ‏@LindsNowak Dec 10#engagemath approaching problem solving from a different angle creates a deeper understanding! @BergsEyeView, enjoy!

Ian Jukes ‏@ijukes  Durban8 TED Talks That Promote Creativity … …
Christopher Weiss ‏@ChrisWeissCTLove it!“@ipadqueen2012: @bradmcurrie Support group for the amount of ed acronyms thrown down the pipeline #satchat

Karen Bosch ‏@karlybComic Book app free today only! Great app to use with students for digital storytelling!  #iosedapp #ADEdu
Karen Bosch ‏@karlybFun Free Creative Christmas apps! … #iosedapp #ipaded
#mschat every Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.  And as Troy says, “The Twitter never stops!”



The Real Revolution in Online Education Isn’t MOOCs

Data is confirming what we already know: recruiting is an imprecise activity, and degrees don’t communicate much about a candidate’s potential and fit. Employers need to know what a student knows and can do.


Even the latest hoopla around massive open online courses (MOOCs) amounts to more of the same: academics designing courses that correspond with their own interests rather than the needs of the workforce, but now doing it online.

It’s called online competency-based education, and it’s going to revolutionize the workforce.

Online competency-based education is the key to filling in the skills gaps in the workforce.

They include measurable learning objectives that empower students: this person can apply financial principles to solve business problems;

Competencies themselves are nothing new. There are schools that have been delivering competency-based education offline for decades, but without a technological enabler, offline programs haven’t been able to take full advantage of what competencies have to offer.

The key distinction is the modularization of learning.

Here’s why business leaders should care: the resulting stackable credential reveals identifiable skillsets and dispositions that mean something to an employer. As opposed to the black box of the diploma, competencies lead to a more transparent system that highlights student-learning outcomes.

College transcripts reveal very little about what a student knows and can do. An employer never fully knows what it means if a student got a B+ in Social Anthropology or a C- in Geology.

Most colleges measure learning in credit hours, meaning that they’re very good at telling you how long a student sat in a particular class — not what the student actually learned.

Competency-based learning flips this on its head and centers on mastery of a subject regardless of the time it takes to get there. A student cannot move on until demonstrating fluency in each competency.

Major companies like The Gap, Partners Healthcare, McDonald’s, FedEx, ConAgra Foods, Delta Dental, Kawasaki, Oakley, American Hyundai, and Blizzard are just a few of the growing number of companies diving into competencies by partnering with institutions such as Brandman, CfA, and Patten.





from: Richard Byrne

Clarisketch allows you to add your voice and drawings to pictures or to a blank canvas. While you are talking about your picture you can draw on it to highlight sections of it. Completed projects are shared as links to the video file hosted on Clarisketch. You can share the link to your Clarisketch video and have it play on nearly any device that has a web browser.

Available for Android and as a Chrome App.


200 Free Kids Educational Resources: Video Lessons, Apps, Books, Websites & More

This collection provides a list of free educational resources for K-12 students (kindergarten through high school students) and their parents and teachers. It features free video lessons/tutorials; free mobile apps; free audiobooks, ebooks and textbooks; quality YouTube channels; free foreign language lessons; test prep materials; and free web resources in academic subjects like literature, history, science and computing. This newly-released list is a work in progress.



Flubaroo is a free tool that helps you quickly grade multiple-choice or fill-in-blank assignments.

I designed it for my own classroom, and want to share it with other teachers… for free!

More than just a grading tool, Flubaroo also:

  • Computes average assignment score.
  • Computes average score per question, and flags low-scoring questions.
  • Shows you a grade distribution graph.
  • Gives you the option to email each student their grade, and an answer key.
  • Lets you send individualized feedback to each student.


Google Drawings – Templates

Below are Google Drawings to be used as fill-in templates or pre-made activities for graphic organizers.  These Drawings are view only so you will need to make your own copy of each (open the Drawing, click File, then click Make a copy). You will then have your own copy of the Drawing that you can edit.


Introduce Word Problems to Students Sooner, Studies Say

Earlier exposure found to boost learning

By Sarah D. Sparks

If Ms. Smith’s 8th grade algebra class works through 10 word problems in an hour, and Ms. Jones’ class works through 10 equation problems during the same time, which class is likely to learn more math concepts by the end of class?


Web Spotlight:


Free, totally free, royalty free, copyright free images.


Random Thoughts . . . 

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