MSM 314:  And you get Pi…Visuals for audio

Jokes You Can Use:












The Breathtaking, Life-Altering Power of Being a Dork



Middle School Science Minute  

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or




I was recently reading the March, 2015 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, “Understanding the Art in Science and the Science in Art Through Crosscutting Concepts.”  It was written by Irene Plonczak and Susan Goetz Zwiirn.  The article describes STEAM lessons that mirror real-world processes that have contributed to breakthrough discoveries, incremental improvements or new thinking.  These STEAM lessons are organized using crosscutting concepts from the K-12 Framework and NGSS. In this third podcast in a three-part series the STEAM lesson incorporates measuring tree-growth circles and understanding the concept of pi.


From the Twitterverse:  

Rik Rowe ‏@RoweRikW

“As leaders in education, our job is not to control those whom we serve but to unleash their talent.” by @gcouros #InnovatorsMindset

Thera Lashley ‏@TheraLash

6th grade students are writing their top 5 strengths in hieroglyphics. #ancientcivilizations @M2McW @PinkstonMiddle

David Britten ‏@colonelb

Be a School Leader: The 16 Best Resources for School Administrators  #edchat #MichEd


The U.S. stands with #Paris after #ParisAttacks, says Steve Benson @azcentral,

Dr. Lodge McCammon ‏@pocketlodge

Social studies songs about NC History, Communism & more can be found in @DiscoveryEd Streaming … #DENapalooza

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




Annotating PDF’s is a Bad Lesson Plan


I am constantly asked how to annotate PDF’s. This is flat out a question I refuse to answer. Annotating PDF’s is not an engaging lesson plan. Trying to fill out a PDF on a computer is WORSE than just filling it out on paper. We should not be using tech for the sake of using tech.


If the computer can grade it, it should.

“The purpose of being 1:1 is not to be paperless, it is to change the task.”

-Terri Stice (@tstice)


Blended and online is not a substitute for the traditional classroom. It is an opportunity to better engage students, differentiate, have collaboration, provide better and faster feedback and to have students connect in ways that were nearly impossible before.


Self-Paced Learning: How One Teacher Does It

Natalie McCutchen showed us how she has converted her pre-algebra class to a completely self-paced system, where students work on different skills at their own pace, and how she’s gradually introducing self-paced learning in her other math classes as well.

Here’s a quick snapshot of how she does it: For each chapter in their math textbook, students take a pre-test to determine which skills they have already mastered and which ones they still need to learn. For the skills they still need to master, they work independently on lessons (either reading them in the textbook or watching them on videos) and do practice problems until they feel they’ve got the skill down. This is the true self-paced part: Students decide how many lessons they need. They decide how much practice to give themselves.




Google Sites – Creating a Customized Template

One useful feature that many people do not know about is the ability to create your own custom template pages to use on your site.  This can be nice for several reasons:

  • You are going to be creating multiple pages with a similar layout
  • You are going to be creating multiple pages with similar content
  • You want multiple pages to have the same settings

Or any combination of the above!


Web Spotlight:

Podcast 314 - Today - Google Docs 2015-11-14 13-42-54

Random Thoughts . . .  


I made it through a book on my reading list . . . “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon” by Yong Zhao.  


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