MSM 329:  Ratholes, Rants and Misconceptions.


Jokes You Can Use:


Two truck drivers came to a low bridge. The clearance sign said 10 feet 8 inches. When they got out and measured their truck, they discovered their vehicle was eleven feet. The first man looked at the other and said, “I can’t see any cops around. Let’s go for it!”


Have you seen the Russell Crowe movie about the cannibal and his mother in law? Gladiator (glad – he – ate – her)


It’s time for all bad spellers to untie.

I yell because I care.

Is it true that cannibals won’t eat a clown because they’re afraid they will taste funny?

Pets welcome: children must be on leash.

He who laughs last, has the best lawyer.

I’ve been dieting for 31 days and all i lost was 31 days.

Warning: I have an attitude and i know how to use it.

Don’t do what I say do what I mean.

At the feast of ego, everyone leaves hungry.

I’m looking for the upper taker not the undertaker.

General Custer wore arrow shirts.

The word verb is actually a noun.

It’s not whether you win or lose, what counts is if I win or lose


Q: What do you call a snobbish criminal going down stairs?

A: A condescending con descending.


“My mom and dad had a baby. It wasn’t my brother. It wasn’t my sister. Who was it?”



Finishing the School Year Strong

Students can reflect on these two questions, turning their answers into posters that can be hung around the classroom as reminders and shared with each other:

  • What are three things you can do to help finish the school year strong academically?
  • What is one thing you can do to help your classmates finish the year strong academically?



Version 16 is now available.

Middle School Science Minute  

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or



I was recently reading the March, 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, “What We Call Misconceptions May Be Necessary Stepping-Stones Toward Making Sense Of The Work.” It was written by Todd Campbell, Christina Schwarz, and Mark Windschitl. This article highlights a view of science learning uncommon in schools today–one in which teachers and students view misconceptions as useful for making sense of the world.


From the Twitterverse:  

TED Talks@TEDTalks  

8 TED Talks to help you practice patience:


Savas Savides@SSavides  

Dear Teacher on the Tired Days,


Marlena Gross-Taylor@mgrosstaylor  

A3: Great examples of the power of failure! #leadupchat

Famous Failures


The Power of Teachers as…  #TeacherInfographics #CollaborativeCurriculumDesignersinfographic

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





Sketchnoting for Beginners - Google Slides 2016-04-30 12-34-16



Examples of SketchNotes turned into Animations.


The Secret of Effective Feedback

Feedback is only successful if students use it to improve their performance.

…many studies have shown, students often learn less when teachers provide feedback than they do when the teacher writes nothing (Kluger & DeNisi, 1996)

In general, however (and this is what makes feedback so challenging), the main purpose of feedback is to improve the student’s ability to perform tasks he or she has not yet attempted.

In the longer term, the most productive strategy is to develop our students’ ability to give themselves feedback.


Six Brain Thoughts


Web Spotlight:


Get Rid of Grade Levels


Essentially, our personalized learning program will be move from teacher-centered to learner-centered classrooms by supporting the following:

  1. More active learning, so that learners are not merely more active through creating, deciding, and so on, but are also more actively learning through the positive review of their experience and the meaning-making this involves.
  2. More collaborative learning, so that learners come to see themselves and others as resources in meaning-making, rather than the teacher being the sole fount of knowledge
  3. More learner-driven learning, so that learners come to drive the agenda as they generate questions, organize inquiry and evaluate their products and progress.

And here’s the big kicker: we have decided to eliminate grades for our learners.


Instead of being confined to grade-level classes, students will move in “studios.” Studios will be aligned to grade level standards determined by four teachers (identified as “studio coaches”), but the students won’t know if they are moving up or down. In fact, there are no numbers involved; each studio will be a letter of our program, called EPIC (Empowering, Personalizing, Innovating, Creating).


Random Thoughts . . .  

Moodle FlashCards

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