MSM 101: NMSA09 Wrap Up 6 – The start of a new century! (Ya know … 101 … )


The teacher says to her new class, “For our first lesson, each of you will stand up, tell us your name, what your father does, spell what your father does, and then explain it to us. All right, Billy. You go first.”

Billy stands up and says, “My name’s Billy. My father’s a lawyer, l-a-w-y-e-r, and he defends people in court.”

The teacher says, “Very good. All right, Benjamin.”

Ben stands up and says, “My name’s Ben. My father’s a pharmacist, f-a-m … f-a-r-n … f-n…”

The teacher says, “Benjamin, you go home tonight and learn how to spell pharmacist. All right, Jennifer.”

Jennifer stands up and says, “My name’s Jennifer. My old man’s a bookie, b-o-o-k-i-e, and if he was here, he’d give you nine-to-five odds Benjamin ain’t spellin’ pharmacist by tomorrow.”

A teacher asked one of the boys in her class,
“Can people predict the future with cards?”
His response is, “My mother can.”
The teacher replies in disbelief, “Really?”
The young boy is quick to explain,
“Yes, she takes one look at my report card and tells me what will happen when my father gets home.”

Who designed Noah’s ark?
An ark-itect! (from Arkansas) …

What did they wear at the Boston Tea Party?

When crossing the Delaware River why did George Washington stand up in the boat?
He was afraid that if he sat down that someone would give him an oar to row!

If Atlas supported the world on his shoulders, who supported Atlas?
His wife!

What’s the moral of the story about Jonah and the whale?

On Our Mind:

Interim Executive Director Named:  Dr. Pino
From the NMSA Press Release:

“While National Middle School Association conducts a search for the next leader of the association, the NMSA Board of Trustees has appointed Dr. Santo Pino as interim executive director. Dr. Pino will work with the board and staff to continue to advance the work of the organization until a new leader is in place.

Dr. Pino is currently a consultant for schools and districts primarily in the state of Florida and serves as an advisor to the Florida League of Middle Schools. During his career, Dr. Pino has been a principal, a district director of middle level education in Florida and Ohio, and served as president of National Middle School Association (2000-2001). Additionally, Dr. Pino is a core member of the faculty for NMSA’s summer leadership institutes.

The NMSA board and staff are pleased to welcome Dr. Santo Pino.”

Get your tax deduction on school supplies.  (IRS website)

Grown Up Digital by Don Tapscott

From the Twitterverse:


Advisory Coat of Arms:
russeltarr Latin motto generator: My younger students had great fun with this when designing Medieval Shields –



“Interactives” provides educators and students with strategies, content, and activities that can enhance and improve students’ skills in a variety of curricular areas.

Money Soap

It pays to get ’em to shower after PE …


What’s the best way to share documents like in DropBox?  Is there a better program than DropBox?

DropBox Screencast

DropBox Wiki

Easier Said Than Done: Leasons Learned From A Born Again Teacher

Now that I’m back in the classroom teaching, I can honestly say there’s plenty of things that have surprised, saddened and delighted me. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned in only 4 months:

  • It’s Not The Administrators; It’s The Parents.
  • They All Have Computers But They Have Even More Excuses.
  • There’s No More Shame in Admitting We’re Preparing Our Students For The Test
  • It’s Not The Little Stuff That Counts
  • Giftedness is Everything
  • “B” is the new “D”
  • Being Flexible Requires a Willingness to Admit You’re Wrong
  • You Don’t Need to Spend Hours At The Copy Machine
  • Yeah, We Still Need Textbooks
  • The Light Still Shines Bright


Todd Williamson:  8 Internet Tools
(My notes incomplete due to session scheduling.  Complete notes (and a Prezi!) can be found at Todd Williamson’s blog.)
Private Chats.
Private micro-blogging service
xtra normal
If you can type, you can make movies.
Doesn’t require a sign-in.
Has a place to write the script.
Choose a camera angles.
Alice is a simple programming language between characters.
Similar to xtra, but xtra is simpler.
Make Beliefs Comix
Easy way to make a comic strip.
Leave it blank and have the kids draw in the background.
RSS feeds.
Public RSS feed page. (Note:  This sample link is no longer available.)
Twilliamson15 on twitter.

Eight (or more) Tech Tools to Blend into your Classroom

Todd Williamson (See also Shawn’s Notes)

Session Description: This session will focus on web-based tools that allow your students to collaborate, communicate, and create. Join us for a fast-paced (possibly lightening fast) look at eight (or more) tech tools that you can use to enhance your teaching and student learning. Oh, and they’re free too!

Create multiple tabs on one web site. This means that the teacher need only send the students to one URL to see all of the sites. Great tool to solve the problem of students writing down multiple web sites.

No registration needed. Stickies on a wall. Useful as graphic organizer. Students can move the notes around.


Temporary Chat Room – Free Private Chat

Used to create an engaging environment

Password from the Teacher

Used with a video to keep the kids engaged.

Easy to track what the kids do.


Kids posting in the chat room.

Kids are turning in assignments

Private Microblogging Service – (Think Twitter for a selected group of students).

Code from the teacher.

Kids can only send to everyone or the teacher.


Free slide show creation with sound.

Used to create videos from still pictures. Can be used to demonstrate understanding.

Look for educational account which lengthens the videos.


If you can type, you can make movies.

Free account allows you to create 1-2 character movies.

Make Beliefs Comix

Comic strips on line

Free and easy to use.

Can have them put the background in after they print.

Can be printed or emailed.

No email or account required.

Multiple characters and multiple expressions are available.

See also:


virtual stickies.


Allows you to set up Public RSS feeds. You can control the information sources.

Sunfish Learning on netvibes.



Events & Happenings:

Calendar of Events:

NMSA News:

Other News:

  • 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.
  • The Ohio Middle Level Association will hold their annual conference February 18 & 19, 2010. Jack Berckemeyer will be keynoting.
  • Second Life:
  • Google Teacher Academy for Administrators: “We’re very excited to announce our first ever Google Teacher Academy for Administrators.  Since many of you have been asking for a GTA for Admins for a while, we’ve decided to host the first one immediately preceding the ASCD conference, on Friday, March 5th in San Antonio, Texas.  As you might know, the Google Teacher Academy for Administrators is a FREE professional development experience designed to help K-12 educational leaders get the most from innovative technologies. Each Academy is an intensive, one-day event where participants get hands-on experience with Google’s free products and other technologies, learn about innovative instructional strategies, receive resources to share with colleagues, and learn how to apply examples from our innovative corporate environment.  Potential applicants include educational leaders or decision makers including (but not limited to) school principals, assistant principals, state, county or district superintendents, technology directors or coordinators, and CTOs who actively serve K-12 teachers and students.  For more information, please check out:
    Apply before midnight, January 25th here: “