MSM 97 – NMSA09 Wrap Up 2, New “Pair-a-dimes” For Schools


I’m a 7th grade life science teacher, so we often use microscopes.  My room is a retro-fitted science classroom, so I don’t have big lab benches for microscopes – instead I bring in my power cords from Christmas lights. The first time any class uses microscopes, we spend a good ten minutes of class going over the procedure for plugging in and turning on the microscopes.  One particular fifth period I had just instructed the students to plug in the microscope and turn them on – and after sufficient wait time announced “At this point, everybody should be turned on.”  This is when I got some very strange looks from a group of boys in the corner, and all I could do was laugh.

Earlier this year, I was reviewing Celsius/Fahrenheit conversions.  I was explaining to the kids that there was a messy mathematical formula we could use to do these conversions, but for our purposes I helped them out and gave them a side-by-side picture of the two thermometers that they could draw lines across to make the conversions. “This way you all can avoid the getting your hands dirt with all the math for now.”  To which one of my smartalic boys blurted out “But what if we want to do it the dirty way?”  As the rest of the class burst into laughter, I chuckled inwardly and then explained that we’ll have plenty of chances to get our hands dirty in science this year, but this won’t be one of those times.

Kate K.

From the Twitterverse:


MOYA:  Artwork due March 12, 2010

On Our Mind:

MAMSE:  Contact your local MAMSE board member and volunteer to be a Regional Coordinator!

iTunes Comments

iTunes App:  Coverup


Students live in a Digital World. Are schools ready to join them?

Seale and educators across the country are employing an array of digital tools—blogs, wikis, videos, and social media—to tap into their passion for collaborating, creating, and sharing.
“It’s about initiating higher levels of engagement,” says Seale, “and making the learning more self-directed and self-motivated.” “Let’s face it,” she adds, “being literate today means more than reading words on a printed page and writing an essay.”
“I don’t think we yet have a handle on what it really means to be literate in the 21st century,” Fisch acknowledges.
So don’t throw away your copies of To Kill a Mockingbird; even the most fervent Web evangelists believe there is still space for the Great Books. But the bottom line remains: We can’t stop there. Our students are living in a different world.


Taking the Challenge Out of Challenging Students – Unlocking the Mystery of Hard-to-Manage Kids

Diana Day
Session Description: You will be prepared to work with disruptive, aggressive, disrespectful, attention-demanding, and unmotivated youngsters. Rather than hearing descriptors of misbehavior, you will leave knowing what to do about it! Learn where to seat them, motivate and set limits for each of these types of students who challenge your authority daily. Knowledge is power. Empower yourself, going home happy and fulfilled. There are ways to deal with difficult students.

adversity reveals character.

Comprehending Massive Psychological Drives

  • Needs massive attention
  • Grow up to be on your faculty
  • No attention – they will act out.
  • Touches, annoys
  • No malice
  • They like their teachers.
  • Need complete attention though.

Typical Adult Reaction:

  • Annoyance
  • Stops but only temporarily.
  • You are their fix for attention.


  • Always place these students near the area where you teach
  • Praise them in front of the group.
    • Praise a specific, desired behavior.
    • Give praise immediately after the desired response.
  • Never reprimand in front of the group.
    • Explain in advance what you will do when he acts out and then swiftly carry it out.
    • Is helpful if a signal can be given. Give no extra attention during the correction so it doesn’t become reinforcement
  • Time with you is important and should be planned.
    • Earn a privilege for the group
    • As to tell a story about himself or a joke to the entire group.
    • Give awards, commendations, certificates in front of a group.
  • Don’t put multiple of them right next to each other.
  • Less Large Group or Lecture Format Lessons
    • Large group creates opportunities for spotlight.
  • Rotate Leadership
    • Attention Demanders may take over the small group. Change leadership frequently. Assign each person an assigned number 1-4. Change leadership by choosing different numbers to lead the group.
  • You are _______, I want_______ Use this as a redirect.
  • Have a refocus area. Not a time out.

Prime Time activity (Bellwork).
The less you talk when doing discipline, the better. The more you can signal, the better.

Limit Seeking Behavior

  • Have anger or resentment towards authority with malice because of:
  1. Abuse-
  2. Being over-managed at home
  3. Living in home where there are no limits.

Urgent – they want what they want when they want it Talks back – dismisses correction as silly or not about them. Lies- becomes verbally abusive – will talk a lot about simple questions. Fights- power struggles, threatens, cusses, throws things.
Limit Seeking Behavior:
you’ve got to fight all of the battles, you just choose when you fight them.
They want to make you mad. They win by engagement.
Send the kid to the “Buddy Room” – have a card with another room number written on it. Send the kid to another room. Tell the kid that it’s not working with us. Talk later.
This is a specific program.
Kid 3 Motivation lacking student.
Good teacher with lots of information. Not sure how much is actually useable by all of us.

Dr. Debbie Silver:  Helping Teachers Find the “Beat of Their Different Marchers”

The Greatest Teacher Activitiy
Objectives:  To help participants focus on the importance of having the “courage of one’s convictions.”
Time:  13-20 mins.
Materials:  Pre-assigned note cards (for participants to select and list 5 great teachers)
Of those five identify their characteristics and share in a group.
“Who’s got that vision?”  Monte Selby
A young boy carves on the walls of the cave, (check lyrics online)
Pictures shown during the “show”
Mother Theresa.
Mr. Rogers
One of the things we’ve lost is telling our stories about our teaching, growth and experience.  Retell the stories, retell the fundamentals.
Personal Teaching Vision
Objective:  To challenge teachers to fullfill their personal . . .
My Vision for Myself
Why I became a Teacher . . .
My most noble vision of myself as a teacher ….
What am I going to do over the next few months to reconcile my vision of myself at my greatest with my present circumstances?
Not a group activity.
Have them write this letter to themselves and seal it in an envelope.  Pass it back in three months or so.
Hearing a Different Drummer/Marcher
1.  On signal close your eyes and keep them closed until instructed to open them.
2.  Follow the directions carefully, but ask no questions and make no comments.
3.  If you find it hard to complete a task, just do the best you can.
Hand on paper
Fold in half and make a crease.
Fold it in half again.
Fold it in half again.
Tear off the right corner.  (unfold if you need to to find the right corner and then refold to tear it folded.)
Flip paper over and tear the right hand corner.
Unfold the paper completely.
Hold it up and look around.
None of the papers should be uniform to the teacher’s “paper”.
What do we need to know about our students in order to give them a REASONABLE chance for success?
Notecard activity.
Handout:  I can do something! (Debbie Silver, 2006).
Student Profiles
What do we need to know?
Reading level
English language proficiency.
Level of adult supervision and involvement at home.
Personal interests
Preferred learning styles
Least favorite things
Strength areas (Multiple Intelligences)
“Great teachers never lose their Marvels!”
Recognizing differences
Objectives:  to introduce the concept of differentiation
Materials:  Many lemons, one per participant.
Give each teacher a lemon as they come into the meeting and then have them hold it for a while.  Tell them to bond with the lemon and examine the lemon.  Collect part way through the meeting and then at the end dump them out on a table and have them find their lemon.
Even though they are similar, they will find differences and find their lemon.
What does the following run-on sentence say?
i a m n o w h e r e
I am now here
I am no where
Practicing Safe Stress
Two Wolves Inside story
an elder Cherokee Natie American was teaching his grandchildren about life . . .
IALAC  Activity
100 ways to enhance self concept in the classroom.
Killer Statements
I Am Loved And Capable
Tell a story of people having a bad day . . .
Tear away the paper with IALAC on it as you tell all the terrible events of the story or day.
Don’t take stuff away that you don’t give back emotionally to the teacher.
CEU Code LZ9
Website:  password:  iamateacher  NMSA 2009 zip file.

Events & Happenings:

Calendar of Events:
NMSA News:

  1. NMSA Annual Conference:  Baltimore 2010.
  2. Month of the Young Adolescent (MOYA) Artwork due March 12, 2010.

Other News:

  1. 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.
  2. The Ohio Middle Level Association will hold their annual conference February 18 & 19, 2010.  Jack Berckemeyer will be keynoting.
  3. 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!
  4. Theater Education Opportunity:  Eastern Michigan University’s Quirk-Sponberg Theater has announced their Fall 2009 Season.

    “The Prince, the Wolf and the Firebird”
    By Jackson Lacey
    Directed by Pam Cardell
    December 4, 5, 10, 11 at 7PM
    December 5, 6, 12 at 3PM
    School Matinees: December 9 and 10 at 10:00 am.  Tickets $4.00 for students and every 15 students gets a chaparone in for free.

  5. Classroom 2.0’s Live Calendar.
  6. Classroom 2.0’s Ning BlogArchived content is available. 
  7. 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