MSM 375: “It’s Just The Next Button Up . . .”

Jokes You Can Use:  

How much room is needed for fungi to grow?

  • As mushroom room as possible.


Did you hear about the circus fire?

  • It was in tents.


What do you call a cow with two legs?

  • How about a cow with no legs?


How many tickles does it take to make an octopus laugh?

  • Ten tickles

Did you see they made round bales of hay illegal in Wisconsin?

  • They are concerned about the animals getting square meals.


You know what the loudest pet you can get is?

  • A trumpet.


I was interrogated over the theft of cheese.

  • You can say I was really “grilled”.


What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?

  • Frost bite


Where did the college-aged vampire like to shop?

  • Forever 21


You heard of that new band 1023MB?

  • Really good, but not a Gig yet.


I’m only familiar with 25 letters in the English language. I don’t know why.


Eileen Award:  

  • Ron King






Middle School Science Minute  

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

Conservation Actions


I was recently reading the November, 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 article, “Inquiry Into Action: Ecosystems and Animals.” It was written by Megan Ennes, Dennis Kubasko, and M. Gail Jones.  It is important that students are presented with opportunities to have a positive impact on our planet and its organisms.  As human populations continue to expand, we will continue to see adverse human impacts on ecosystems and their inhabitants.  By connecting curriculum to current issues in conservation, students find greater relevance in the topics and are encouraged and empowered to help preserve our planet.  


From the Twitterverse:  

John Spencer‏ @spencerideas

Interesting read: Yes, Learning Targets Can Make Our Lives Easier  via @RossCoops31

Dave Burgess‏ @burgessdave

The Reese’s Effect: Learning & fun not only can go together…they go BETTER together. … The ideas in #PlayLAP by @jedikermit are perfect examples. #tlap

U.S. Marines‏Verified account @USMC

Semper Fi, Gomer Pyle. Rest in peace Jim Nabors, one of the few to ever be named an Honorary Marine.

MiddleWeb‏ @middleweb

REVIEW: Powerful Partnerships Grow from Family Engagement. #mschat @naesp @amle #ellchat #educoach @ScholasticTeach #edchat @Larryferlazzo …

Walled Lake Schools‏ @WalledLkSchools

@DHCHS @principaltucker congratulations Jean Buller for being named Michigan middle school science teacher of the year by the MSTA!!

Craig Kemp‏ @mrkempnz

Love this 12 days of twitter challenge from @edTechEvans at our Sister school in Hong Kong! Will you take the challenge? #SAISrocks

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




7 Ways to Calm Young Brain Trauma  


How can we help elementary students who have been scarred by tragedy become more receptive to learning?


I’ve Got Research. Yes, I Do. I’ve Got Research. How About You?  

In 1847, Hungarian doctor, Ignaz Semmelweis made a remarkable discovery. When doctors washed their hands in a solution of chlorine and water, childbirth fever rates at Vienna General Hospital dropped from 18% to near zero. Offended that Semmelweis implied doctors were killing their own patients, the medical community rejected hand washing as an infection prevention measure, and drove Semmelweis out of medicine and into an insane asylum.


The National Reading Panel Report caused as much damage to reading instruction practices as the standardized testing movement and set independent reading initiatives in schools back decades.


The Power of Being Seen

When the bell rang for early dismissal on a recent afternoon at Cold Springs Middle School in Nevada, students sprinted toward the buses while teachers filed into the library, where posters filled with the names of every child in the 980-student school covered the walls.

Taking seats where they could, the teachers turned their attention to Principal Roberta Duvall, who asked her staff to go through the rosters with colored markers and make check marks under columns labeled “Name/Face,” “Something Personal,” “Personal/Family Story,” and “Academic Standing,” to note whether they knew the child just by name or something more—their grades, their family’s story, their hobbies.


What Teachers Must Consider When Moving to Flexible Seating

Flexible seating in classrooms has become popular over the past few years as educators try to make school feel like a welcoming place with different kinds of spaces for different types of learning.

When thinking about moving to a flexible classroom design, the most important person to consult with may be the custodian. Getting buy-in from administrators is important, but the janitorial staff will be directly impacted by these physical changes, so making sure they are on board is both respectful and crucial to the project’s success. They also might know about unused furniture in storage that could be repurposed inexpensively.




Teenage brains can’t tell what’s important and what isn’t

Teenagers may know full well how important final exams are – but that won’t stop some putting in minimal effort. This may be because their brains aren’t developed enough to properly assess how high the stakes are, and adapt their behaviour accordingly.

A region called the corticostriatal network seemed to be particularly important. This is known to connect areas involved in reward to those that control behaviour, and continues to develop until we are at least 25 years old.


Gourmet Learning – They’re Shutting Down The Kitchen . . .  

Dear Friends of Gourmet Learning,

Parting is such sweet sorrow. . . and after 24 years of giving birth to Gourmet Curriculum Press, Inc., DBA Gourmet Learning, nurturing it through its infancy and formative

years, and watching it grow into a truly Gourmet meal, the time has come close the company doors and bid farewell to the thousands of inspiring educators that I have had the honor of working with through Gourmet Learning. Teachers, educators and administrators, you are the backbone and inspiration of every child who has passed through your classrooms and hallways. You have positively impacted more lives than you will ever know. And through Gourmet Learning I have had the privilege of watching you pour out your hearts and souls for the children you teach.

The teaching profession is a calling and a mission and as educators you have given 200% to your students, and significantly impacted the future of our world. As I close the doors on Gourmet Learning I want to thank you all for your dedication to the teaching profession and for trusting Gourmet Appetizers, Main Dishes, Desserts and Doggie Bags to help you with your monumental task of educating children. As Mahatma Ghandi said, “Be the change that you

wish to see in the world.”

Blessings to all of you as you continue onward, and thank you for your 24 years of continued support, trust and friendship.

Jan Garber

President, Gourmet Learning


Music Resources

Whether you’re into Afrobeat, experimental music, or spoken language, these three resources let you peruse a seemingly limitless collection of audio treasures from around the world.


Web Spotlight:



Who Is Distracted by a Girl Wearing Skintight Leggings?

Last week, two 5th-grade girls addressed the Atlanta school board, asking that the board change the dress code so that girls might be allowed to wear skintight leggings, which are currently prohibited unless girls are wearing a skirt or shorts over the leggings. The board will announce its decision in January.

We actually have quite a bit of research now on what happens when a girl or woman wears skintight leggings or a swimsuit. Often what happens is “self-objectification”: the girl, or woman, assesses herself as an object on display for others. And the more public the setting, the more likely self-objectification is to occur.

Self-objectification is distracting. It’s hard to concentrate on Spanish grammar when you’re wondering whether this outfit makes your thighs look fat. Girls who self-objectify are also more likely to become depressed. They are less likely to be satisfied with their body. They are more likely to engage in self-harm.


Laptops Are Great. But Not During a Lecture or a Meeting.

In a series of experiments at Princeton University and the University of California, Los Angeles, students were randomly assigned either laptops or pen and paper for note-taking at a lecture. Those who had used laptops had substantially worse understanding of the lecture, as measured by a standardized test, than those who did not.


Random Thoughts . . .  


Personal Web Site


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