MSM 435: We’re back, but first…

Jokes You Can Use:  

An onion just told me a joke. 

  • I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

What did the teutonic plate say when it bumped into another one?

  • Sorry, my fault.

I saw a guy walking along carrying a Scrabble Board. He tripped and the box went flying everywhere. 

  • I asked him, “What’s the word on the street”

What kind of dinosaur writes romance novels?

  • A Brontësaurus.

I’m trying to convince my wife that I want a Segway for my birthday.

  • But every time I bring it up, she changes the topic.

Where can you buy chicken broth in bulk?

  • The Stock Market

When one pizza guy falls over, several others tend to also fall over. What’s this called?

  •  The Domino’s Effect

Which weighs more, one gallon of water or 10 gallons of butane?

  • Water, no matter how much you have, butane will always be a lighter fluid.


History of Population 

US Population of Each State 1790-2018

US City Populations 1790-2018

This Old Town

Middle School Science Minute  

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

Computational Thinking

I was recently reading the July, 2019 issue of “Science Scope,” a magazine written for middle school science teachers, published by the National Science Teachers Association. 

In this issue, I read an article entitled, “Computational Thinking,” written by Susan German. The author shares her thoughts on the difference between computational thinking and mathematical thinking and how to implement computational thinking into instruction.

From the Twitterverse:  

Phyllis Fagell, LCPC @Pfagell

Parents of middle schoolers have more sway over their kids’ decisions than they think–about 50%, to be exact. Popular kids aren’t the strongest influencers—kids’ attitudes fall between those of their parents & peers.”


Chad Livengood  @ChadLivengood

17. Winner, Winner, Frankenmuth chicken dinner!

Alice Keeler@alicekeeler

Do math on paper but then take a picture into #googleSlides Allows the students to EXPLAIN their reasoning and for feedback conversations to happen! WIN! 

Stephanie Auditore@steph_auditore

Had a fun time with the @AMLE team promoting the #AMLE19 Innovation Challenge. Submit your pitch video by September 5th! (link: #middlechat #middleschool #BackToSchool2019


The August issue of AMLE Magazine focuses on Exceptional Classroom Management. See this cover story by @VictoriaLentfer (link:

DoInk Tweets  @DoInkTweets

Looking for inexpensive Green Screens for the classroom? We love using painted pizza boxes. Fun for green screen storytelling. Added bonus is that you can store your green screen “props” in them! #doink #greenscreen #everyonecancreate

June Cheng 程君@JuneCheng_World

“Well-educated Hong Kong youths are learning lessons not taught in school: how to extinguish tear gas canisters, which helmets can best protect against projectiles, and how to administer first aid for tear gas exposure.” How did HK get here?

Jeff Crews@crewsertech

16 iPad Apps Ideal for Social Studies Classes (link:

Jordan Shapiro@jordosh

How Parents Can Help Middle Schoolers Build Confidence and Character

Don’t forget #mschat every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST.  Look for your host Todd Bloch to have a middle school topic all ready to go!  Make it a strategic part of your personal professional development.


Making Number Talks Matter Even More

Number Talks are 15 minute (suggested – length can vary) mental math exercises that help students verbalize their personal math strategies and allow them to hear and discuss math strategies from other students.

Used effectively, Number Talks can produce many desirable results: students build self-confidence, expand their appreciation for math studies, and gain working expertise with flexible strategies rather than just fixed rules.

Let Students Read! Why Quantity Really Counts

We have to freely give them time for the kind of reading that is guided by curiosity, joy, and desire to fall deep into story. Pleasure reading. Real reading.

“We serve a wonderful community that includes an increasing number of students who live in poverty. Despite that fact, we consistently are marked as “Exceeding Expectations” on the state report card and have literacy scores that place us in the top 5% of schools in the state.”

My school is successful in large part because our students read. They read a lot. But that tends to drop off as kids enter middle and high school.

Should We Give Attendance Awards?  

Edutopia Article


Build Empathy and Understanding by Pairing Comics With Novels

The Illusion of Life | Principle of Animation | 12 Basic Principle of Animation

Web Spotlight:

Treat Your Teacher

Nominate your favorite teacher to win Sun Basket meals for an entire school year! We wanted to honor the real heroes of back-to-school season: the teachers who make it all possible.

So with your help, we’re going to treat 10 exceptional teachers to free Sun Basket dinners for the whole school year! Know a phenomenal teacher? Nominate them now!

Easing Fears About Shift to Middle School Can Pay Off in Behavior, Grades

OER Commons

Random Thoughts . . .  

Books that we are reading

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