MSM 368: Wait, Wait, Wait, Time for Classroom Management at 4 O’Clock   

Jokes You Can Use:  


Dear Optimist, Pessimist and Realist:

While you guys were arguing about whether the glass of water was half full or half empty, I drank it.


The Opportunist


An MIT linguistics professor was lecturing his class the other day. “In English,” he said, “a double negative forms a positive. However, in some languages, such as Russian, a double negative remains a negative. But there isn’t a single language, not one, in which a double positive can express a negative.”

A voice from the back of the room piped up, “Yeah, right.”


Is it just me, or are there fewer minimalists every year?


2 Wise Guys (mobsters) decide to go hunting. When these two are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn’t seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy takes out his phone and calls the emergency services.

He gasps: “My friend is dead! What can I do?” The operator says: “Calm down, I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.” There is a silence, then a gunshot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says: “OK, now what?”


Two friends are playing golf one day at their local golf course. One of the guys is about to chip onto the green when he sees a long funeral procession on the road next to the course. He stops in mid-swing, takes off his golf cap, closes his eyes, and bows down in prayer.

His friend says: “Wow, that is the most thoughtful and touching thing I have ever seen. You truly are a kind man.” The man then replies: “Yeah, well we were married for 35 years.”


Two planets meet.

The first one asks: “How are you?”

“Not so well”, the second answered “I’ve got the Homo Sapiens.”

“Don’t worry,” the other replied, “I had the same. That won’t last long.”


A helicopter was flying around above Seattle yesterday when an electrical malfunction disabled all of the aircraft’s electronic navigation and communications equipment.

Due to the clouds and haze, the pilot could not determine the helicopter’s position and course to steer to the airport.

The pilot saw a tall building, flew toward it, circled, drew a handwritten sign, and held it in the helicopter’s window. The pilot’s sign said “WHERE AM I?” in large letters.

People in the tall building quickly responded to the aircraft, drew a large sign, and held it in a building window. Their sign said “YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER.”

The pilot smiled, waved, looked at his map, determined the course to steer to SEATAC airport, and landed safely.

After they were on the ground, the co-pilot asked the pilot how the “YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER” sign helped determine their position in Seattle.

The pilot responded “I knew that had to be the MICROSOFT building because, similar to their help-lines, they gave me a technically correct but completely useless answer.”


Middle School Science Minute  

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or


STEM Integration

I was recently reading the September, 2017 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 the Editor’s Desk article, “STEM Integration: A Tall Order.”  The article describes the challenges of integrating STEM into the middle school curriculum.


From the Twitterverse:  

Russel Tarr‏ @russeltarr

*NEW on Tarr’s Toolbox: ““Quote them out of context”: a ‘Fake News’ exercise for evaluating sources” … #historyteacher


Tanmay Vora ✍‏ @tnvora

“Learning anything new is not a daunting challenge, but a journey where each step counts.” … #book #sketchnote

Tanmay Vora ✍‏ @tnvora Sep 21

“I have a rule: If I keep complaining about something, I either do something about it or let it go.” – @swissmiss …

Tim Eagan🏳️‍🌈‏ @tjeag 

Love this! @cultofpedagogy !

Tony Vincent‏ @tonyvincent Sep 21

With iOS 11 we can finally record an iPad or iPhone’s screen without using a computer! Great for how-tos and think-alouds…

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




The Fisheye Syndrome: Is Every Student Really Participating?


Greta just had an amazing discussion with her fifth period history class. They’ve been studying the Holocaust, and in today’s class, they just nailed it. She had originally planned for about ten minutes of discussion, but things were going so well, she let it go for the whole period. Days like this rock.


Except for the stuff she didn’t notice. Like Haley.


And Becky and Kyle? The super shy ones? Naturally, they also stayed quiet. Oh, and three other students secretly texted the whole time. In fact, in Greta’s class of 28 students, only nine of them actually contributed to that discussion: Four of those were really into it, five commented once. The other nineteen just sat there. The whole time. Really.


Greta doesn’t realize that she is suffering from the Fisheye Syndrome. It’s a condition that impacts our perception, as if we’re looking through a fisheye lens – the kind they use in peepholes. To those afflicted with fisheye, some students appear “larger” than others. They take up more energy and grab more of our attention, making the others fade into the periphery. We have a vague sense that the others are there, and we nag ourselves to include them, but those magnified students are just too hard to resist.


Here are some ways to balance things out:

  • Make your intentions transparent.
  • Increase wait time.
  • Pre-load discussions.
  • Vary discussion formats.
  • Use icons.


I Banned Fun in my School… by @BST_Principal

I have a confession to make. A few years ago I banned fun in my school.

Let me give you a little context. I was speaking to all of our teachers, teaching assistants and support staff at the very start of the first INSET session of the new school year. My reasoning was straightforward:

I wanted fun to be superseded by joy.



The Four O’Clock Faculty by Rich Czyz  

If you aren’t getting the professional development you need, go get it yourself or make your own opportunities.  The book includes ideas for creating your own PD clubs at school and orchestrating your own learning through events you can organize yourself.  The “Angry Administrator Update” section gives some insight into potential administrative responses.


Science Lesson Plans

Here you’ll find short, lively activities to focus your class trip, or full-period lessons to integrate into your yearly curriculum. Dive in!   


Responding to Disruptive Students

Negative attention communicates that an educator doesn’t know any other language to access the relationship with a student. Negative attention’s function is self-protective and unconsciously anti-inclusive. Negative attention’s pattern sounds loud and looks clumsy.


“The only behavior teachers can control is their own,” Rappaport and Minahan advise. What follows is an idea that can help teachers change their responses to challenging, disruptive behavior.


Web Spotlight:

For Crown or Colony by PBS

Mission US is a multimedia project featuring free interactive adventure games set in different eras of U.S. history. The first game, “For Crown or Colony?,” puts the player in the shoes of Nat Wheeler, a 14-year-old printer’s apprentice in 1770 Boston. As Nat navigates the city and completes tasks, he encounters a spectrum of people living and working there when tensions mount before the Boston Massacre. Ultimately, the player determines Nat’s fate by deciding where his loyalties lie.  


Cathy O’Neill


How to Achieve Classroom Engagement With the 4 Minutes That Matter


The NTN Student Learning Outcomes and Rubrics

A key pillar in the New Tech Network model is the use of outcomes that matter to guide our schools’ support of students and their long-term success.The NTN Student Learning Outcomes are a set of research-based outcomes aimed at preparing students for postsecondary college and career success.

Random Thoughts . . .  


Personal Web Site


Moodle Spelling


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