Jokes You Can Use:  


What is tall when it is young and short when it is old?

  • A candle


I decided to make my password “incorrect” because if I type it in wrong, my computer will remind me, “Your password is incorrect.”


Why didn’t the witch fly on her broom when she was angry?

  • She didn’t want to “fly off the handle”


What do you call a man attacked by a cat?

  • Claude


Did you hear about the hungry clock?

  • It went back for seconds



Class trip to the Coca-Cola factory today.

  • Sure hope there isn’t a “pop” quiz


I have a stepladder. I never knew my real ladder.


Who cares if you pee in the shower?

  • Apparently, the bride and guests.


Middle School Science Minute  

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or


Journey North


In this issue, I read the the Citizen Science article, “Navigate Classroom Citizen Science Throughout the School Year with Journey North,” written by Jill Nugent. The article describes the free online citizen science platform that actively engages students in the study of seasonal change.  For more information, please visit:


From the Twitterverse:  

Regretfully, we can’t all become teachers…


Planet Classroom‏ @PlanetClassroom

What’s new in #learning?  has ideas.

Joyce Yattoni NBCT‏ @MrsYattoniELA

Be a reading role model. Ts & Ps what are you reading today? Great #IF from @jenniferlagarde and @TechNinjaTodd. #yearofya #nerdybookclub

TeachThought‏ @TeachThought

The Padagogy Wheel – It’s Not About The Apps, It’s About The Pedagogy – TeachThought PD  #edtech #education

Matt Miller‏ @jmattmiller

11 class activities w/sensors you didn’t know your phone had … #DitchBook #googleedu #gtaatx

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




Retrieval Practice: The Most Powerful Learning Strategy You’re Not Using


Retrieval practice is the act of trying to recall information without having it in front of you. Suppose you’re studying the systems of the human body—skeletal, muscular, circulatory, and so on.

What’s new is the research: In recent years, cognitive psychologists have been comparing retrieval practice with other methods of studying—strategies like review lectures, study guides, and re-reading texts. And what they’re finding is that nothing cements long-term learning as powerfully as retrieval practice.

Over the course of a year and a half, while the teacher continued teaching as normal, students were regularly quizzed on the material with no-stakes quizzes, meaning they wouldn’t count against their grades. These quizzes only covered about one-third of what was being taught. The teacher left the room for every quiz, so she had no knowledge of what was included in the quizzes.

The very act of being quizzed actually helped students learn better.

In other words, if we do more asking students to pull concepts out of their brains, rather than continually trying to put concepts in, students will actually learn those concepts better.


10 Things I Wish I Knew My First Year Of Teaching

  1. Prioritize—and then prioritize again.
  2. It’s not your classroom.
  3. Students won’t always remember the content, but many will never forget how you made them feel.
  4. Get cozy with the school custodians, secretary, librarian.
  5. Longer hours isn’t sustainable.
  6. Student behavior is a product.
  7. Don’t get sucked into doing too much outside of your class.
  8. Help other teachers.
  9. Reaching students emotionally matters. A lot.
  10. Literacy is everything for academic performance.




QR Code Monkey


37 Insanely Smart School Teacher Hacks


Reading Strategies That Work, According To Science


Web Spotlight:

Michigan Historical Society Resource

Teaching with primary sources.  “We invite you to check out the Teaching with Primary Sources Inquiry Kits. This resource allows students to select a research topic of interest and evaluate themed primary sources from the Library of Congress. A partnership between Maryland Humanities, Maryland Public Television, the Maryland State Department of Education, and the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources program made this possible. We appreciate them sharing their work with History Day students across the country. View the Inquiry Kits at”


NBC Learn

Video Resources.


This is Your Brain on Art


If you think about it, having a great time at the theater defies logic in many ways. We’re surrounded by strangers, bombarded with unusual images and often faced with a wordless language of symbols. Yet, on a good night, we generally laugh more, cry more and enjoy ourselves more at a live performance than when we’re watching TV at home. We may even lose ourselves and feel connected to something larger. How does this happen?


Random Thoughts . . .  


Personal Web Site


Click the Play button below to listen to the show!