MSM 445: But I was the Valedictorian, how can I fail Pinterest?


I just started a new job at a factory making chess pieces.

  • This week I’m on knights!



I entered my first marathon and finished first!

  • Two steps into it I stubbed my toe and finished, first.


A Washington reporter was awakened by her husband in the middle of the night. “I think there’s a thief in the house,” he said.

  • “No doubt,” she said sleepily. “And there are a handful in the Senate, too.”


What do you call someone who can’t stick with a diet?

  • A desserter.


I had a crazy dream that I weighed less than a thousandth of a gram…

  • I was like 0mg!


Pinterest Fails

Pinterest provides the model. Sometimes, they even give you the recipe. What happens if you don’t follow the recipe? What happens if you are missing out on some background or details.

Middle School Science Minute  

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

I was recently reading the November/December, 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 “From the Editor’s Desk” section, written by Patti McGinnis, the editor of Science Scope.  The title of the article was “Moving Up the SAMR Model.” In this article, we learn about the SAMR Model for the use of technology.  SAMR is an acronym for:

Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition.

From the Twitterverse:  

Marvin Olasky @MarvinOlasky

At holiday gatherings, go ahead and tell those funny, wild or inspiring family stories. Their lessons can be beneficial over time for children. “If I had to leave the children with one or two stories, what are the ones I would want them to know?” via  @WSJ

Nick LaFave @NFLaFave

40 teacher recommended math apps #EdTech #mathchat


Tony Vlachakis @tvlachak

Using Dystopian Novels to Teach Bill of Rights One teacher offers a guide to help students compare the freedoms lost in dystopian novels with the freedoms secured by the Bill of Rights. by


Gen (Ret) Rob Spalding @robert_spalding

The beginning of the end of freedom is the banning of speech.

Fixing Education@FixingEducation

I am tired of people telling teachers: “You knew what you were getting into” (I didn’t know my salary would be stagnant for the last 8 years) “If you really love being a teacher, your pay shouldn’t matter”

“Must be nice to leave your job at 3 and have summers off” (I do?!)

The Modest Teacher@ModestTeacher

The Black Friday deals teachers really want: A substitute teacher when they’re gone A pass to go pee whenever needed A copy machine that doesn’t jam at the most inopportune times A 1000 pack of dry erase markers A renewable Jean day ticket Happy shopping!


NEW: Design Your Tests with English Learners in Mind.

@TanELLclassroom#ell #ellchat #scichat #mathchat #sschat #engchat #educoach@Larryferlazzo @Seidlitz_Ed

Expert Tan Huynh on how to support ELs on summative tests AND accurately assess content knowledge

Charles Mok 莫乃光@charlesmok

Almost 9:1 ratio of victory for “opposition” vs pro-Beijing. Stunning! Hong Kong Democracy Backers Win Big as Voters Flock to Polls A surge in voting, especially by young people, allowed democracy advocates to win many more seats on local councils.

Hong Kong Free Press @HongKongFP

In Sai Kung’s Sheung Tak constituency, a particularly long queue of voters outside the polling station zigzagged multiple times on Sunday morning. Photo: Apple Daily. #hongkong


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.


7 Things People Think or Say that Reinforce Mediocrity


How to Recognize a Toxic School Culture Before You Get the Job

Cook Something Up In Social Studies

Chefs cook up Ancient Babylonian recipes.  You could too, or rather, your students could?

Web Spotlight:

 Congratulations Nick Peruski Miliken Award Winner!

SANTA MONICA, Calif., (Dec. 6, 2019) – When it comes to the world of work, business and technology teacher Nick Peruski is really working it for his students at Lakeland High School in White Lake, Michigan. 

Science Says the Most Successful Kids Have Parents Who Do These 5 Things

A handful of recent studies indicate the important things which parents should focus on.

Wondering What Happened to Your Class Valedictorian? Not Much, Research Shows

…followed 81 high school valedictorians and salutatorians from graduation onward to see what becomes of those who lead the academic pack. Of the 95 percent who went on to graduate college, their average GPA was 3.6, and by 1994, 60 percent had received a graduate degree.

Nearly 90 percent are now in professional careers with 40 percent in the highest tier jobs. They are reliable, consistent, and well-adjusted, and by all measures, the majority have good lives.

But how many of these number-one high school performers go on to change the world, run the world, or impress the world? The answer seems to be clear: zero.

Research shows that what makes students likely to be impressive in the classroom is the same thing that makes them less likely to be home-run hitters outside the classroom.

Many of the valedictorians admitted to not being the smartest kid in class, just the hardest worker. Others said that it was more an issue of giving teachers what they wanted than actually knowing the material better.

…schools reward being a generalist. There is little recognition of student passion or expertise. The real world, however, does the reverse.

Random Thoughts . . .  

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