MSM 439: Do you recommend…?

Weekly Review:

  • Social Media Threat
  • Greta Thunberg



by Mary Oliver
Amanda Palmer reads “When I Am Among the Trees” by Mary Oliver – licensed under a Creative Commons License.

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

The United Nations has declared October 16th to be World Food Day.

Fish Bullies

Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or
Celebrate Urban Birds with Citizen Science
I was recently reading the August, 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 the “Citizen Science” section, written by Jill Nugent. The title of the article was “Celebrate Urban Birds with Citizen Science.” In this article, we learn about the citizen science project – Budburst. To learn more about this project, visit:

From the Twitterverse:  

Typical EduCelebrity  @EduCelebrity

Before every lesson, students should record the learning targets, pertinent state and common core standards, their goals in life, preferred learning style, hopes and dreams for the world, Myers-Briggs type indicator, and current blood pressure. Otherwise, no learning will happen.

Ian Jukes@ijukes

If kids are way ahead of teachers in developing the skills needed to succeed…

Jordan Shapiro@jordosh

More and More Children Are Feeling Anxious. This Graphic Novelist Is Trying to Help.

Joy Kirr  @JoyKirr

Huge shout out to those educators who keep the conversations going – when they disagree politely, welcome more conversation about an issue, and dive deeper with questions – instead of simply judging based on the little they know about the situation (280 characters or so).

Also from Joy Kirr:

Alice Keeler@alicekeeler

“Reading actual books alongside other people reading actual books.”

Scott Merrick@scottmerrick

Greta Thunberg’s famous speech turned into Swedish death metal is pure magic via


Trevor Muir@TrevorMuir

I spoke at a school today and just realized I accidentally stole this marker from a teacher‘s classroom. Is this an act of war?

Daniel Pink@DanielPink

Frequent short breaks beat the occasional elongated vacation, says @TimHarford. Why? The benefits of long vacations wear off depressingly fast. Meanwhile, regular exposure to new places, situations, and activities can spark creativity.

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.


A Simple Practice Yields Big Results in Middle School for Less Than $2

A new study shows how a low-cost writing exercise improves the sense of belonging for incoming middle school students

While other social and emotional interventions cost more than $500 per student, according to researchers, the writing intervention costs a tiny fraction of that—an eye-popping $1.35 per student—and the results outperform the more expensive interventions, Lunscombe writes.  

The proposed solution is simple: New middle school students in the study completed two 15-minute writing exercises at the beginning of the year that asked them to reflect on statements like these from prior students: “Almost all 7th graders said they had worried a lot about taking middle school tests at the beginning of 6th grade, but almost all 7th graders say that they now worry much less about taking tests,” and “Almost all 7th graders said they had worried at first that they did not ‘fit in’ or ‘belong’ at the beginning of 6th grade, but almost all 7th graders say that they now know that they ‘fit in’ and ‘belong.’”

4 myths about great teaching debunked

MYTH #1: Traditional teaching methods should be replaced with more innovative, student-centered approaches.

MYTH #2: Lessons should be as creative and fun as possible to increase engagement.

MYTH #3: Including elements of students’ cultures in your lessons is the best way to teach a diverse group of students.

MYTH #4: Planning great lessons always takes a lot of time and preparation.

(See first Twitterverse entry . . . .)  

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