MSM 405: Forum or Against ‘Em?

Jokes You Can Use:  


Did you hear about the new diary free Mexican restaurant?

  • It’s called no WHEY, Jose.


Why did the scientist cross a chicken with a banjo?

  • They wanted a chicken that could pluck itself.

Why do Koi always travel in a group of four?

  • The A Koi, B Koi, and C Koi always get away because the predator goes after the D Koi.

Hey, my friend attempted to exercise the other morning.

  • Didn’t work out.


I friend of mine got a new motorcycle. He took his girlfriend out for a ride. She fell off. He rode on, ruthlessly. It’s happened a couple of times. I guess it’s a vicious cycle.


What sound does a nut make when sneezing?

  • Cashew




Floating Silver Man


Oddly Satisfying Videos


Middle School Science Minute  

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or


I was recently reading the September, 2018 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 “Citizen Science” column, written by Jill Nugent. She wrote an article entitled, “Cloudy with a Chance of “Cirrus” Science: NASA GLOBE Observer Clouds.” You can participate in this citizen science project, sponsored by NASA and the GLOBE Program, by visiting your favorite app store and downloading the GLOBE Observer app.


From the Twitterverse:  


NJAMLE Spring Conference – Call for Presenters … via @njamle. Save the Date: March 15, 2019. Come share your wisdom with #passionate Middle Level educators and help to make this year’s conference epic.


MMSA‏ @InTheMiddleMMSA

Playing ladder stack and Eagle’s Nest. Team work mandatory! @somnschools #Unified #Inclusion

MiddleWeb‏ @middleweb

REVIEW: How to Lead Change in Your School’s Culture. @ToddWhitaker #leadupchat #edleadership @amle @naesp #LeadLAP #cpchat #satchat #principals #cpchat @docvs1 @RoutledgeEOE …

Dave Burgess‏ @burgessdave

#GoogleSlides Templates for @Snapchat Games in Class from #DitchBook author & #DitchHW co-author, @jmattmiller … #tlap #edtech #gsuiteedu #GSuite #GoogleEDU @DitchThatTxtbk @dbc_inc

∂αηιєℓ αℓѕтση‏ @dalstonEDU

Q4: @E_Sheninger & @trishrubin have written the book BrandED to help educators to tell their story, build relationships & empower learning. How does telling your story about your classroom/school/district & impact Ss, families & your community? #satchat #schoolPR #brandEDU

Think with Google‏Verified account @ThinkwithGoogle

Our free insights library has hundreds of learnings to power your thinking. Search the library to find the data you need. #ThinkWithGoogle,0&sort_field=date&limit=12&locale=en-us&current_source=data_points&utm_medium=P&utm_source=twitter&utm_team=twg-us&utm_campaign=Q3_SFE_T_6S

Pair this with Spurious Correlations:


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




The Collected Writings (So Far) of Rick Wormeli

Spring Cleaning Our Teaching

  • Pacing Guides are not a Death March  
  • Don’t do Homework that doesn’t advance the cause.  
  • Don’t create “endurance” projects!  
  • Don’t beat a good story into the ground.  
  • Stop testing without review supports  
  • Visual AND Verbal  
  • Consider testing one standard at a time.  


Shawn’s Forum Experience


4 teaching mistakes that drained my energy (and the solutions that changed everything)


1) I. Talked. Nonstop.

I couldn’t just give a direction and let students follow it; I had to praise the students who were on task, redirect the ones who were off, and fill every moment of a transition with my voice so that students wouldn’t fill it with their own talking.

I’m amazed that my kids internalized anything I taught, considering how much filtering out they had to do while listening, and how few opportunities they had to ever discuss or process their learning.

Solution: Sit with the discomfort of the silence and give kids the opportunity to talk more.


2) I didn’t make time to really enjoy my students.

As an introvert and serious person by nature, my definition of “having fun” just isn’t the same as many other people’s.

Solution: Be present and actively look for small moments to enjoy the kids more.


3) I gave too much homework and was a tyrant about collecting it.

Homework was a painful process, a huge headache, and a massive source of stress for me and my students, and their parents, I’m sure.

Solution: Give less homework, collect it weekly, and stop acting like it’s the end of the world when students don’t turn it in.

Interestingly, I found that the reduced homework load didn’t make a huge difference in my stress level nor did it increase the completion level for kids.


4) I spent hours looking for lesson ideas and tried to cram too many things into our day.

A lot of my lesson planning process was focused on activities: what would the kids DO today?

Solution: Focus on outcomes, not activities, and do fewer things better.


Over time, I developed a repertoire of go-to teaching activities that were versatile, open-ended, and could be plugged into just about any unit I taught. I no longer had to spend hours hunting online for just the right activity to teach a topic because I already had a few dozen learning strategies that the kids knew and loved. I could just look at my list of activities, pick one that would work, and pencil it into my lesson plans.


MCSEL Language Strategy Overviews


National History Day

Main site:  

World War I Centennial Focus:  

Channel One is Dead, Now What?

PBS NewsHour Extra:  

CNN 10:  


Canadian Broadcasting Corporation:  

World Magazine – Teen:  


This Florida Teacher’s Favorite Textbooks Were Taken From Her Classroom. Her Principal Did It.


Web Spotlight:


The Hate U Give

Starr Carter is constantly switching between two worlds: the poor, mostly black, neighborhood where she lives and the rich, mostly white, prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer.  Now, facing pressures from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right. THE HATE U GIVE is based on the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller by Angie Thomas and stars Amandla Stenberg as Starr, with Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, Issa Rae, KJ Apa, Algee Smith, Sabrina Carpenter, Common and Anthony Mackie.


21st Century Fox and AMC Theatres are joining forces to provide free screenings of “The Hate U Give” in communities across the country. Schools, community groups, and non-profit organizations may apply to be considered for a screening by filling out the form below.

Application deadline is October 22, 2018 at 11:59PM ET. Winners will be notified by October 31.

Singapore Drops Student School Exam Rankings

“Whether a child finishes first or last will no longer be indicated in primary and secondary school report books from next year in Singapore, – a move which Education Minister Ong Ye Kung hopes will show students that ‘learning is not a competition’”.

Random Thoughts . . .  


World Magazine’s 25 History Good Reads  

After summer fiction comes fall friction: Many textbooks are boring, so hurrah for authors who have not forgotten the story in history


Common Core

Who is in charge to the Common Core Standards?


Personal Web Site

Creating Workflows with Open Source Software  


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