Podcast 78: The Importance of Being Earnest: Getting the Girl, Doing the Math, and Graduating on Time!

It had been snowing for hours when an announcement came over the intercom: “Will the students who are parked on University Drive please move their cars so that we may begin plowing.” Twenty minutes later there was another announcement: “Will the nine hundred students who went to move fourteen cars return to class.”

A teacher was giving a lesson on the circulation of the blood. Trying to make the matter clearer, he said: “Now, students, if I stood on my head the blood, as you know, would run into it, and I should turn red in the face.”

“Yes, sir,” the boys said.

“Then why is it that while I am standing upright in the ordinary position the blood doesn’t run into my feet?”

A little fellow shouted, “‘It’s because yer feet ain’t empty.”

Advisory! Advisory! Advisory!
Spread the Word to Stop the Word: Special Olympics is campaigning to get the r-word out of student’s vocabulary. They can take the pledge to not use the word on their website.

From the Twitterverse:

* russeltarr Convert text to a mindmap: http://tinyurl.com/n8nsax
* barbs1 Just found. My story maker. Looks like fun http://tinyurl.com/plhpbp
* russeltarr EdHeads: Great animations/activities for biology lessons (RT @pwhyte): http://tinyurl.com/qdep4a
* russeltarr Fantastic Contraption Game – any use in physics lessons?: http://tinyurl.com/rabl8f (Warning: Can be memory intensive. And addictive . . . 🙂 )
* kchichester Charter schools hires 8 teachers at $125,000 a year http://bit.ly/97jnl My question is how can they afford to expand? Also, little/no tech?
* Griffbuddy RT @shareski: If you ever need an article to send to someone to explain/justify twitter, this might be the one. http://tinyurl.com/pr9qg5
* SimpleK12 Web 2.0 for low-income @ minority students: http://tinyurl.com/aljhy8
* funnelbrain Student generated video flashcards for Environmental Science on FunnelBrain – http://bit.ly/KBxG1 – A cool way to collaborate.
* cindybrock I HATE when I cry over Accelerated Reader. Really hoping Tech Support can help me copy classes from last year & not have to do it all by hand
* AngelaMaiers 11 yr old difference maker – http://twentyfivedays.wordp…

Shout Outs:

Griffbuddy Recommended @MSMatters to @MrTweet ‘ They produce a great weekly podcast for middle school educators.’ http://cli.gs/uQSDgP


Girls worse at math? No way, new analysis shows

Girls can do just as well at math as boys — even at the genius level — if they are given the same opportunities and encouragement, researchers reported on Monday. Their study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, contradicts studies showing girls can do as well as boys on average in math — but cannot excel in the way males can. “We conclude that gender inequality, not lack of innate ability or ‘intrinsic aptitude’ But at the top levels, disparities persist and some experts have said this is do to the “greater male variability” theory — the idea that males in general are more likely to score both extremely high and extremely poorly on tests than girls are.

Putting Middle Grades Students on the Graduation Path

A Policy and Practice Brief

Robert Balfanz
Everyone Graduates Center and Talent Development Middle Grades Program


Events & Happenings:

Calendar of Events:

  1. The National Middle School Association is looking for an editor for their Research in Middle Level Education Journal (RMLE).
  2. NMSA’s Annual Conference:  NMSA ‘08 Technology Focus VideoNMSA ‘09 Invitation Video:  Indianapolis, IN Conference  November 5-7, 2009.  Individual Registration is now open.
  3. ATTENTION Michigan Association of Middle School Educators & Friends: MAMSE is putting together a bus for the trip to the National Middle School Association’s Annual Conference in Indianapolis, IN this fall.  Ride down to the conference in a luxury bus.  With all the conversations with middle school teachers on the bus, I wonder if we could call this a mini-MAMSE conference?  There’s nothing like getting together with people who love the people we love:  our students.  Getting together with folks like that is energizing and priceless.  Email Teresa Sutherland for information and details.  Don’t forget to mention you heard about it on Middle School Matters.
  4. NMSA 09 Conference Connection:  Stay connected before, during, and after the conference!  Start your packing lists for the conference using packwhiz.com!
  5. Keynote speakers for NMSA ’09 have been announced:  Daniel Pink (political connections) opens and Rick Wormeli closes.
  6. NMSA has a new publication on the role of middle grades in drop-out prevention.  You can download it as a pdf file.
  7. Schools to Watch Conference June 25-27, Washington D.C.  Conference registration info.
  8. Educational Technology Leadership Conference, June 24th at Holt High School, Holt, MI. Register for the event.
  9. ISTE Eduverse Talks are the recorded sessions held on ISTE Island every week.  Join ISTE in their Second Life conference location for their weekly talks on education.
  10. The Michigan Association of Middle School Educators Annual Conference is coming up March 4-5, 2010 in Dexter, MI.  MAMSE will be celebrating its 40th Anniversary!
  11. Classroom 2.0’s Live Calendar.
  12. Classroom 2.0’s Ning Blog:  This week’s discussion is on “Google Search Tips” for Teachers.  Archived content is available.
  13. Second Life:
    • No Events specified.  Regular Tuesday meetings are scheduled.  See the board on the ISTE Island for up to the minute details.
    • Video:  Educational Uses of Second Life