MSM 315:  The Darwin Letter Writing of Verbal Cursive


Jokes You Can Use:  


Why does a chicken coops have 2 doors?

  • If it had 4 doors it would be a sedan


How do you make a Kleenex dance?

  • Put a little boogie in it.


Did you hear about the cheese factory that exploded in France?

  • All that was left was de Brie.


What did one fish say to the other fish in the tank?

  • Do you know how to drive this thing?


Did you hear about Sam? He got fired from his job in the calendar factory.

  • He took a few days off


Did you hear about the inventor of LifeSavr’s?

  • He made a mint.


Who is Irish and sits on the lawn?

  • Paddy O’Furniture


What’s the difference between a poorly dressed man on a tricycle and well dressed man on a bicycle?

  • Attire




Why do people talk weird in old time movies?

It’s not quite British, and it’s not quite American – so what gives? Why do all those actors of yesteryear have such a distinct and strange accent?


Trick your brain into seeing color in a black and white photo

Perception is a fickle thing. As good as our senses are at keeping us alive, they can often mislead and deceive us. Here’s a great example of that which you can try at home, featured in the new BBC Four series, Colour: The Spectrum of Science.

Middle School Science Minute  

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

Lab Safety — Backpacks


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 column, “Scope on Safety” written by Ken Roy.  Within the column is the popular “Question of the Month.”  This month’s question is:

“Besides potential trip-and-fall hazards, what other things should I be concerned about if students are allowed to bring backpacks into the lab?”


From the Twitterverse:  

Maria Popova ‏@brainpicker

Jane Austen’s advice on writing, in letters to her teenage niece

Diane Ravitch ‏@DianeRavitch

John Thompson: The Gates Foundation Never Listens to Teachers, Unless They Endorse the Gates’ Experiments …

Larry Ferlazzo ‏@Larryferlazzo

My co-author & I r spending week editing galley proofs of our next book,Navigating Common Core w/ ELLs.Out in March

Podcast 315 - Today - Google Docs 2015-11-21 12-26-55

Gary G. Abud, Jr. ‏@MR_ABUD

Hacking Feedback: The Bookends … via @TeachingChannel @mr_mccomb #miched #edchat #sblchat

MindShift ‏@MindShiftKQED

Exploring the Idea of ‘Happiness’ As Part of School Work  #edchat #noncog #teaching

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





Game based learning in the classroom should not be worksheets with points. It should be engaging and exciting. Here are eight ways to level up game based learning. Because, face it, many educational “games” fall short. Chocolate on broccoli. That is what many educators call these games that fall short of what great gaming can be.

  1. Make Your Whole Class a Game Experience
  2. Engage with Minecraft: Let Kids Build in the Sandbox
  3. Build a Game Experience into Learning: Live It and Learn It
  4. Play Games for Social Good: Have a Point, Don’t Just Earn Them
  5. Game Based Platforms for Learning
  6. Experience Learning: Immerse Yourself in the Experience
  7. Go Offline or Outside: You Don’t Need Tech to Teach
  8. Create Solutions as You Learn: Gifts from the Hour of Code


Word Nerd:  Make the Connection

Create a Keynote (or PowerPoint) that provides three to five pictures about a vocab word you want to introduce.  Kids brainstorm the connections between the pictures to derive the vocabulary word, and display the word with the pictures at the end of the run.  Next slide . . .




Google Expeditions

Virtual field trips.

Do it on your own:


Web Spotlight:



(  Compassionate Crowdsourcing, 0% overhead.  


Voices of History

The Bill of Rights Institute consistently provides quality, primary-source based resources to civics educators across the country. Voices of History gives you the opportunity to access six of our best curricula, online, anytime, free of charge. Looking for a lesson on the Constitutional Convention? Simply type your terms in the search bar and a plethora of options will appear for you. Need to narrow it down to Thomas Jefferson’s role? You can filter your search by a number of options providing the simplest, most effective way to find exactly what you need with the click of a button.

Random Thoughts . . .  


Personal Web Site