MSM 330:  Let’s talk Moodle, Get Rich, and Color.


Jokes You Can Use:


I am finally going to be rich someday… I’ve invested in toilet paper and funeral homes.

‘Cause at some point, everyone has to go!


Three animals were having a drink in a cafe, when the owner asked for the money. “I’m not paying,” said the duck. “I’ve only got one bill and I’m not breaking it.”

“I’ve spent my last buck,” said the deer.

“Then the duck’ll have to pay,” said the skunk. “Getting here cost me my last scent.”





Have students quickly draw a picture of a Viking.


Crayon Initiative


How Breakfast Became a Thing


Book Title Game

Middle School Science Minute  

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or


Life Science Trade Books


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, “Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12.” This podcast features four life science books that are on this year’s list of Outstanding Trade Books.  The titles include:

  1. Fire Birds: Valuing Natural Wildfires and Burned Forests
  2. Birdology
  3. The Call of the Osprey
  4. The Great Monkey Rescue: Saving the Golden Lion Tamarins


From the Twitterverse:  

Dave Schmittou

⚓️ ‏@daveschmittou May 10

“One day I will…” Making graffiti meaningful

Dave Schmittou ⚓️ (@daveschmittou) | Twitter 2016-05-14 13-25-02

Ron Houtman ‏@ronhoutman May 13

Only 3 days left to apply for $1,500 #MACUL technology grants – … #MichED #mlc16


Katie Osgood ‏@KatieOsgood

And the BIG TEST (NWEA) starts next week. All Ts supposed to do “goal setting” convos w/each kids about their “target score.” Huh?  Katie Osgood ‏@KatieOsgood

My school is doing WEEKLY gradebook audits on us with specific #s of grades in specific categories mandated. It’s killing my spirit.  Katie Osgood ‏@KatieOsgood_

Truth be told, I am more suited to the completely informal, formative, exploratory, engaging & fun type assessments. I hate-HATE-grading.  Katie Osgood ‏@KatieOsgood_  I’m always tweaking my assessments, as in moments before handing out the assignment, how can anyone create one size fits all?  Katie Osgood ‏@KatieOsgood_

Imagine if all these “consultants” and “testing experts” had to actually do the messy work of interacting w/kids? Can’t standardize that.  


Alice Keeler ‏@alicekeeler

The gradebook should not dictate your pedagogy.  


John R. Sowash ‏@jrsowash

Sad news for #Chromebook users: @TechSmithEDU is Ending Support for Snagit for Chrome.  (via @rmbyrne)


MiddleWeb ‏@middleweb

A dozen memorable ideas for the last weeks of #middleschool. @ElyseSScott @amle #satchat #mschat #elachat  


edutopia ‏@edutopia

Grab some tissues & watch veteran teachers write letters to their first-year selves:


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




Sketch Note Taking vs Mind Mapping

Really enjoyed the conversation about Sketch Noting/Taking.  The first thing I thought of was Mind Mapping, which was so popular years ago.  I looked up the difference and found:


For more targeted uses of drawing-to-learn, Kathy Schrock, an educator, writer and speaker, recommends the video at the top of this post as a good introduction to the overall concept of visual notetaking, and goes on to describe Mike Rohde’s related and popular idea of sketchnoting as, in its purest form, “creating a personal visual story as one is listening to a speaker or reading a text.”

A related concept, mind mapping, goes beyond note-taking and can be used for organizing, problem-solving and brainstorming.


Deadlines Are For Kids

I hear endless discussions about deadlines and due dates. About how we need to teach kids responsibility. And how they need to have “consequences” when they don’t turn in their assignment on time. (Never mind that both the assignment and the deadline are often pretty arbitrary, but I digress.)


ITLL Blog Post

I guess part of what I am struggling with is my own indecisive reaction to our PD.  At times I feel that what I do and the practices I use really align with the Innovators Mindset.  Inquiry based learning, AFL, student centred practices, collaborative teaching, reflection (for myself and students), technologically infused instruction and more permeate my planning and teaching.  Does all of it happen all day every day?  Well no.  But my decisions as an educator are planned and based with all of the above in mind.

One thing that I have heard and learned and felt reaffirmed about is the need to constantly be striving to do more and do better as a teacher.  My personal philosophy values trying new things and challenging myself and my students in a variety of ways.  I have a hard time when I meet a colleague that teaches the same content the same way every year.


A Better Way to Read

In the era of attention deficits, the new text will not be black and white.

The most important feature is that each line begins with a different color than the line above or below. As Matthew Schneps, director of the Laboratory for Visual Learning at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, explained it to me, the color gradients also pull our eyes long from one character to the next—and then from the end of one line to the beginning of the next, minimizing any chance of skipping lines or making anything less than an optimally efficient word-to-word or line-to-line transition.


Civil War Facts



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