MSM 324:  A Day in the Life of The Mind of a Middle Schooler


Jokes You Can Use:


How do you find Will Smith in a snow storm? Follow the Fresh Prints.

It’s difficult to say what my wife does, She sells seashell by the sea shore.

How did the hipster burn his mouth? He ate pizza before it was cool.

A neutron walks into a coffee shop and orders a coffee. The barista says “No charge”.

Two goldfish are in a tank. One looks at the other and says “Do you know how to drive this thing?”

How does the NASA organize a party? They planet.



A Day in the Life

Use the pictures for the students to  create stories of the times. Have students replicate the project in their neighborhood.


Middle School Science Minute  

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

NGSS: Where Do You Start?

I was recently reading the February, 2016 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, “Planning NGSS Instruction – Where Do You Start?”  It was written by Mary Colson and Russ Colson.  If you are planning to implement NGSS, you should consider:

  1.  Authentic Questions
  2.  Engagement in Scientific Practices
  3.  Big Explanatory Ideas


From the Twitterverse:  

Glenn Robbins ‏@Glennr1809

A4: Too often schools buy 3D printers because they are “bright/shining” items. We need designer first- DON’T BUY TO BUY! #satchat ‏@achievethecore

Achieve the Core has done some early spring cleaning: check out our newly streamlined site


Dr. Justin Tarte ‏@justintarte

The best homework assignments EVER … make the world a better place: via @peterlynch11 #edchat #education

Year Seven Assignment

TeacherPolicy ‏@teacherpolicy

Southern Lawmakers Reconsidering Role of Test Scores in Teacher Evaluations …


Sarah Allred ‏@RockStarTchr Archdale, NC

Explains a lot!

How the Mind of a Middle Schooler Works

Bill Powers ‏@MrPowersCMS

As adults sometimes we are our worst enemy in allowing students to tinker. We must give up control #satchat
10 Things That Happen

Daisy Dyer Duerr ‏@DaisyDyerDuerr 3m3 minutes ago

16 Apps and Websites Kids Are Heading to After Facebook | Common Sense Media … via @commonsense


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



Media Center

“You can’t have things that are in one spot,” Kitchen says. “If you put things in fours, they’re going to stay in fours. So everything we have there is movable, whether it’s the chairs, the interactive boards, or the flat panels.”



Periodic Table Puns – Teachers Pay Teachers:  FREE    

A set of puns science teachers can use to help students learn about the periodic table of elements.

The Science Of Getting Kids Organized

To help Lilli get stuff done, her parents hired Melissa Power-Greene, a former tutor and special-education teacher, to work with Lilli on something called executive function.

“I think having the routine of meeting once a week is helpful to know that I have a point where I stop what I’m doing and kind of figure out if I’m on the right track,” she says.

That’s something many educators and psychologists say can come from less expensive forms of help — or, in an ideal world, for free in the public schools.  


Experts Say Measuring Non-Cognitive Skills Won’t Work, But Districts Still Try

Federal education law now requires one non-academic measure of school progress, which has led some districts to consider including students’ social and emotional growth as a performance measure.


10+ Tips for Using Brain-Based Methods to Redesign Your Classroom

Creating a Brain-Friendly Enriched Classroom Environment

  1. Layout and Use of Space:
  2. Furniture Choices:
  3. Color Selections:
  4. Lighting:
  5. Nature:
  6. Environmental Print and Design:
  7. Organization of Materials:


However, many indirect benefits also followed. We created a space that made it more natural to take our time, relax, and be reflective as we worked towards mastery and understanding. The physical landscape of our room took on a different emotional feel upon entering. Our space was inspiring. It was warm. And most of all, it was an invitation for learning where all felt welcomed and valued. After all, students knew their voice mattered—they helped created their space.


Web Spotlight:

The Changing Role Of The Teacher

This does not mean that the teacher is to stand off and look on; the alternative to furnishing ready-made subject matter and listening to the accuracy with which it is reproduced is not quiescence, but participation, sharing, in an activity. In such shared activity, the teacher is a learner, and the learner is, without knowing it, a teacher—and upon the whole, the less consciousness there is, on either side, of either giving or receiving instruction, the better.


Comparing Textbooks to Wikipedia – A Student & Teacher Lesson

Last week during NCTIES I shared an activity that I have done with students and teachers to help them identify the similarities and differences between information presenting in their textbooks and information presented in Wikipedia articles on the same topics. An outline of the activity is available here.


20 Strategies for Motivating Reluctant Learners

Perez says when students are engaged, predicting answers, talking with one another and sharing with the class in ways that follow safe routines and practices, they not only achieve more but they also act out less. And everyone, including the teacher, has more fun.




  1. Don’t Be Boring
  2. Vote
  3. Set Goals
  4. Form Groups
  5. Quick Writes
  6. Focus on the ABCs: Acceptance, Belonging and Community
  7. Continually change the “state” of the classroom
  8. Empathize
  9.  Do a BRAIN checklist
  10. Simplify
  11. Chunk Information
  12. Props
  13. Breaks
  14. Post-Its
  15. Make Snowballs
  16. Guessing Games
  17. Balanced Inquiry
  18. Mind-streaming
  19. Be Interactive
  20. HOPE

Random Thoughts . . .  

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