MSM 333: Flip the Kid and Give Great Homework.


Jokes You Can Use:  


Always remember, talk is cheap, unless of course a lawyer is doing the talking.


A businesswoman is sitting at a coffee shop. A man approaches her. “Hi, honey,” he says. “Want a little company?”

“Why?” asks the woman? “Do you have one to sell?


A science teacher was walking downtown and saw a man on top of the building ready to jump.

He quickly shouted out “Don’t do it!! You have so much potential!!”


A woman burst out of the examining room screaming after her young physician tells her she is pregnant. The director of the clinic stopped her and asked what the problem was. After she tells him what happened, the doctors had her sit down and relax in another room and he marched down the hallway where the woman’s physician was and demanded, “What is wrong with you? Mrs. Miller is 60 years old, has six grown children and nine grandchildren, and you told her she was pregnant?” The young physician continued to write his notes and without looking up at his superior, asked, “Does she still have the hiccups?”


Eileen Award:  


  • Twitter: David Knox, Nick Jaworski, Torsten Larbig, Andre Sprang, Deborah Stevens




Bullet Journals

The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.


6th-grader who called vegetarians ‘idiots’ punished


These 10 Truth Bombs for Middle Schoolers Will Be Total Lifesavers for Your Kiddo

Middle School Science Minute  

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

Chemical Waste


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, “Scope on Safety.”  It was written by Ken Roy, director of environmental health and safety for Glastonbury Public Schools in Glastonbury, CT.  The article focused in on the safety question of the month, which was: “How should students get rid of hazardous chemical waste produced in the lab?”


From the Twitterverse:  

Shelley Burgess ‏@burgess_shelley

A1: This is a great guide from @gcouros #satchatwc

Peter Cameron  ADE ‏@cherandpete

REVISED:WHAT IF Homework Looked Like This? … Updated! #edchat #adedu #tlap #whatisschool

Connie Hamilton Ed.S, Starr Sackstein, Mark Barnes and 7 others

Vicki Davis ‏@coolcatteacher

10 Ways to Flip a Kid and Turn Their Day Around

Meredith Johnson ‏@mjjohnson1216

Meredith Johnson Retweeted Allison Hogan

Use LiveBinders for our School Handbook. It houses everything & easily refreshed each year for new staff #satchat


Alfie Kohn ‏@alfiekohn

RT @jasonmray “The definition of insanity is repeating that infernal Einstein quote without ever verifying the attribution” -Socrates


EdTechFam ‏@EdTechFam

Teacher Shortage? Or Teacher Pipeline Problem?

Nicholas Provenzano ‏@thenerdyteacher

8 Books That Will Challenge You As a Teacher (and Learner) This Summer  via @ajjuliani

Miguel Guhlin ‏@mguhlin

MT Just this preview of the story is enough  via …

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



Should learning be hard?


16 Modern Realities Schools (and Parents) Need to Accept. Now.

What’s happened to get people thinking and talking about “different” instead of “better?”

  • The Web and the technologies that drive it are fundamentally changing the way we think about how we can learn and become educated in a globally networked and connected world. It has absolutely exploded our ability to learn on our own in ways that schools weren’t built for.
  • In that respect, current systems of schooling are an increasingly significant barrier to progress when it comes to learning.
  • The middleman is vanishing as peer to peer interactions flourish. Teachers no longer stand between the content and the student. This will change the nature of the profession.
  • Technology is no longer an option when it comes to learning at mastery levels.
  • Curriculum is just a guess, and now that we have access to so much information and knowledge, the current school curriculum bucket represents (as Seymour Papert suggests) “one-billionth of one percent” of all there is to know. Our odds of choosing the “right” mix for all of our kids’ futures are infinitesimal.
  • In fact, instead of being delivered by an institution, curriculum is now constructed and negotiated in real time by learner and the contributions of those engaged in the learning process, whether in the classroom our out.
  • The skills, literacies, and dispositions required to navigate this increasingly complex and change filled world are much different from those stressed in the current school curriculum.
  • “High stakes” learning is now about doing real work for real audiences, not taking a standardized subject matter test.
  • While important, the 4Cs of creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication are no longer enough. Being able to connect to other learners worldwide and to use computing applications to solve problems are the two additional “Cs” required in the modern world.
  • Our children will live and work in a much more transparent world as tools to publish pictures, video, and texts become more accessible and more ubiquitous. Their online reputations must be built and managed.
  • Workers in the future will not “find employment;” Employment will find them. Or they will create their own.
  • Embracing and adapting to change must be in the modern skill set.




Podcasts for Teachers

Middle School Matters is recognized by Edutopia.


SMMRY (pronounced SUMMARY) was created in 2009 to summarize articles and text.

SMMRY Example

SMMRY’s mission is to provide an efficient manner of understanding text, which is done primarily by reducing the text to only the most important sentences. SMMRY accomplishes its mission by:


  • Ranking sentences by importance using the core algorithm.
  • Reorganizing the summary to focus on a topic; by selection of a keyword.
  • Removing transition phrases.
  • Removing unnecessary clauses.
  • Removing excessive examples.


The core algorithm works by these simplified steps:


1) Associate words with their grammatical counterparts. (e.g. “city” and “cities”)

2) Calculate the occurrence of each word in the text.

3) Assign each word with points depending on their popularity.

4) Detect which periods represent the end of a sentence. (e.g “Mr.” does not).

5) Split up the text into individual sentences.

6) Rank sentences by the sum of their words’ points.

7) Return X of the most highly ranked sentences in chronological order.


Bloom’s Taxonomy According To…

Big Bang Theory

Web Spotlight:



We know from experience the hard work teachers face every day as they strive to help their students meet the challenges set by higher standards.


We are dedicated to empowering teachers by providing free, high-quality standards-aligned resources for the classroom, the opportunity for immersive training through our Institute, and the option of support through our website offerings.


Our online curriculum resources for grades PreK-12 have been reviewed and sequenced by our math and ELA experts. With our professional learning experiences and resources, educators can integrate standards-based knowledge and content into their daily practice.


Misunderstanding Medicated Kids

Children in poor families are significantly more likely to be diagnosed with emotional and behavioral problems and to be prescribed medication.


Norms vs Standards


With standards reference, we can set a solid immovable line between different levels of achievement, and we can do it before the test is even given. This week I’m giving a spelling test consisting of twenty words. Before I even give the test, I can tell my class that if they get eighteen or more correct, they get an A, if they get sixteen correct, they did okay, and if the get thirteen or less correct, they fail.

With a standards-referenced test, it should be possible for every test taker to get top marks.

A standards-referenced test compares every student to the standard set by the test giver. A norm-referenced test compares every student to every other student. The lines between different levels of achievement will be set after the test has been taken and corrected. Then the results are laid out, and the lines between levels (cut scores) are set.

When I give my twenty word spelling test, I can’t set the grade levels until I correct it. Depending on the results, I may “discover” that an A is anything over a fifteen, twelve is Doing Okay, and anything under nine is failing. Or I may find that twenty is an A, nineteen is okay, and eighteen or less is failing. If you have ever been in a class where grades are curved, you were in a class that used norm referencing.

There are several important implications and limitations for norm-referencing. One is that they are lousy for showing growth, or lack thereof.


Random Thoughts . . .  


Moodle 3.1

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