MSM 294:  Another Rathole! Formative Sideburns and Pexels.

Jokes You Can Use:

Why can’t you hear a pterodactyl use the bathroom?

Because the “P” is silent


What do you call a group of musical pigs?

An oinkestra!


Why did the belt get locked up?

He held up a pair of pants!



Thoughts for the day:

  • Seniors graduating in the class of 2015 have never been alive while The Simpsons was not on TV.
  • New York City is further south than Rome, Italy.
  • There were still people making their way across the United States via the Oregon Trail the year the fax machine was invented.


Eileen Award:


  • Twitter: Kevin McGoldrick,
  • Google+: Whitney Hickman



He Was Tormented By Bullies But What He Did In Response Taught Everyone An Important Lesson

“Being nice should be the norm,” Josh explains. “It’s not something I expected to stand out.”


Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or



I was recently reading the November, 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 “Exploring the Science Framework and NGSS: Computational Thinking in the Science Classroom, written by Cary Sneider, Chris Stephenson, Bruce Schafer and Larry Flick.  Computational thinking is a fundamental skill for everyone, not just computer scientists.  To reading, writing and arithmetic, we should add computational thinking to every child’s analytical ability.



From the Twitterverse:

Ron Houtman ‏@ronhoutmanParaphrasing @tebotweets -it’s time for educators that are circling the airport to leave our airspace. #miflip15
Maria Popova ‏@brainpickerAmbiverts, problem-finders, and the surprising psychology of making your ideas happen
Kristine Quallich ‏@KQuall@justintarte: Great steps to have in a school: #edchat #mathchat @KarenMcGinty @ClaggettWay2BEE #mathpractice

Scott McLeod ‏@mcleodAll You Need to Know About the ‘Learning Styles’ Myth, in Two Minutes  #edchat #plaea
Adam Savage ‏@donttrythis@HistoricalPics: Advertisement for the TRS-80 Pocket Computer with Isaac Asimov from 1982. ” EPIC SIDEBURNS!!


Patti Kinney ‏@pckinney5 Strategic Tips for First-Year Administrators | @scoopit
pammoran ‏@pammoranguess it’s better 2b able 2 print a wrench in space than come back to earth 4 one  #satchat

Wrench printed in space.

Monte Tatom @drmmtatom  ·  I liked a @YouTube video … Using Technology to Connect Students & the Environment
#mschat every Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.  And as Troy says, “The Twitter never stops!”



13 Ways to Use Socrative as a Formative Assessment

  1. True or False Questions
  2. Multiple Choice Questions
  3. Short Response
  4. Visual Data (Bar graphs and visual short responses)
  5. Exit Ticket
  6. Pre-Assessment
  7. Post-Assessment
  8. Create Short Quizzes
  9. Upload Premade Quizzes
  10. Reflection
  11. Collect Background Knowledge
  12. Quick Check for Understanding
  13. Voting on best responses


Moodle eCommunity






Free High Quality Images that are free to use.


DuoLingo for Schools

Bring the world’s most popular language-learning platform to your classroom. No ads, 100% free.


Oregon Trail – Online


Web Spotlight:

Minnesota schools hit glitches with online testing

Minnesota’s $38 million contract with Pearson for online proficiency testing is just a few months old, but it already has technology staff in many schools scrambling to ensure their systems are compatible.

…shocked when Pearson suggested schools run computers online in what they consider an “unsecure” mode.

Pearson’s vice president of state services, acknowledges that her company should have been more specific about its system requirements.

Unfortunately, Apple’s popular Safari Web browser and Pearson’s TestNav testing portal don’t play well together.

 Pearson’s system relies on versions of Java and Flash software that are no longer supported by Apple’s browser and will work only if security is disabled on students’ computers.

“I was very surprised they rolled out a memo that said just turn your security off,” said Dave Heistad, director of assessment, evaluation and research for Bloomington schools. “That blew me away. I couldn’t believe a multimillion-dollar company would roll something out that wasn’t secure.”

…both Java and Flash are notorious for their vulnerabilities and need for their code to be updated.

Despite problems, district across Minnesota have successfully used Pearson’s TestNav system to administer practice tests.

Tomhave said the challenges his district faced ranged from problems with Pearson’s test portal to issues with their Internet services provider and the district’s internal system.

“We are looking forward to a future online testing experience that is device agnostic with fewer software interventions,” he said.

Schaeffer says a national Gallup poll of teachers from last summer shows a majority don’t feel their students or schools are ready for online tests. Just 17 percent of educators polled said their schools were “very well prepared” for online testing, with 46 percent answering their schools were “not well prepared” for Web-based tests.



Grading Thaime! The Originals.

Last year, I swept the nation with an album I posted on reddit where I explained my “Little Red Writing Pen” rule.  Unfortunately the nation didn’t know it was being swept.  So now I will attempt to re-sweep (and possibly mop, wax, and finally get that weird brown-yellow stain out of) the nation by releasing the same exact images!  But this time with some descriptions and the names blacked out.  Also I am going to release the rest of the collection.

To explain, I was an 8th-9th grade science teacher at an all girls Thai school in Bangkok, and I established a rule with my students:  If you draw something, I will add to it.

They drew, I added, and this is the original album of drawings I posted.  I continued to draw on their papers, but I did not continue to post them.  This is what is referred to as “foreshadowing.”  I have many more images to come!



Higher Level Thinkers

Random Thoughts . . .

Conference Thoughts

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