MSM 446: Syrupticiously Deep Learning


Shop assistant: How about this one?

Psychic: That shirt is too small.

Shop assistant: You didn’t even try it on?

Psychic: I’m a medium.


Teacher: “How much is half of 8?”

Little Johnny: “Up and down or across?”

Teacher: “What do you mean?”

Little Johnny: “Well, up and down makes a 3 or across the middle leaves a 0!”


Me: “I just burned 2000 calories in 20 minutes.”

Friend: “How?”

Me: “I forgot to take my brownies out of the oven.”


Two guys went to a local pancake house that served real Vermont maple syrup but charged extra for it.

So the guys went to a supermarket, bought their own Vermont maple syrup, and brought it to the pancake house.

They didn’t want to get caught, so they were forced to pass the bottle between them… syrupticiously.


A guy gets shipwrecked and washes up on a beach.

The sand is dark red. He can’t believe it. The sky is dark red. He walks around a bit and sees there is dark red grass, dark red birds and dark red fruit on the dark red trees. He’s shocked when he finds that his skin is starting to turn dark red, too.

“Oh no!” he says. “I’ve been marooned!”


Fact or Fiction?

Use some of the useful tips to share with the students. Have the students create alternative, fictional purposes for those items. Then have them present to the class and let the class vote. 

For example:

Soda Can tabs:

  • They’re designed to swing around so you can keep your straw in place. 
  • They’re are designed to replace the tabs on a zipper. 
  • They’re designed to be pulled off and used as a fishing hook.–17180?s=4

9-Year-Old Kid Who Kept Getting In Trouble For Doodling In Class Gets A Job Decorating A Restaurant With His Drawings

Middle School Science Minute  

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

Middle School Science Minute: Making Science Come Alive with Clouds – Part 1

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 “Integrating Technology” section. The title of the article, within the section was “Making Science Come Alive with Clouds,” written by Marile’ Colo’n Robles, Jeffrey Bouwman, and Caryn Smith-Long.  This is the first podcast in a two-part series. Part 1 focuses on the GLOBE Observer app and the second part will focus on Investigations with the GLOBE Observer app taking place at Shumate Middle School in Gibraltar, Michigan.

The new GLOBE Observer app allows the general public to make observations of clouds, map out habitats of disease-causing mosquitoes, measuring tree height, and identify land cover from any mobile device.

From the Twitterverse:  

Richard Byrne@rmbyrne

Proof that nothing good comes from comments on YouTube videos.


Typical EduCelebrity@EduCelebrity

Explicit instruction is simply bad teaching. It stifles the student’s imagination and encourages the pompous teacher to show off what they know. Explicit instruction is ineffective. No one learns from explicit instruction. I am not sure how I can make myself any clearer.

Dennis Dill@DennisDill

Want to check your teacher-student relationship … stand in the hall during class change and say nothing. Will the kids initiate the “Hi” … do kids that are not in your class say anything to you? How many kids are late to your class? Reflect often. #CrazyPLN

Apple Education@AppleEDU

If it rains, open your umbrella . If it’s sunny, put on sunglasses. To plan for the unexpected in code, use an if statement.⁰⁰ Get your students coding with our free #HourOfCode Facilitator Guide! #EveryoneCanCode⁰⁰ #CSedWeek

Typical EduCelebrity@EduCelebrity

While we are at it, what [in the world] does it mean when teachers are told to “take a risk”? Unless there is a chance of doing something that leads to a bad evaluation, you’re not exactly taking a risk.  

Typical EduCelebrity@EduCelebrity

Good morning class! Let’s recite our daily class self-affirmations: I have grit. I have a growth mindset. I am 6’8”. I am an NBA All-Star. I am going to Harvard on a full scholarship. I am immune to the limitations of the laws of physics. I am like Chuck Norris. Only better.

Dave Burgess@burgessdave

Have you allowed “groupthink” to limit your ability to create transformational change? Are you sure that door of opportunity is locked? Maybe you just need to Try the Door: #tlap #LeadLAP  

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.


Google Earth Creation Tools

How to Find Historical Comics and Create Lessons With Them


Understanding Comics

This is a wonderful comic on understanding comics.

How Learning Happens

Ton of resources about, well, how learning happens.

Web Spotlight:

Texting really is ruining personal relationships

Our increasing preference for texting over email and phone calls creates a higher quantity of interactions, but it decreases their quality, harming our relationships.

…missing the human contact and learning that comes from true dialogue.

…encourages passive — or more often passive-aggressive — behavior, what I call “hit and runs.” Typing on a screen invites impulsive responses. 

…Written words can hide a great deal of emotion,

…texting enables more frequent contact, it also can be used to curtail conversation. The best example of this is the egregious way texts are used as preemptive apologies, as in the reflexive “sorrys” that accompany notes one is running late

Deep Learning and the Curriculum Disconnect

I see school learning in 3 buckets. 

  • Introductory Learning directed and chosen by the adult…Taking advantage of the skills and interests of teachers
  • Mandated Learning (basic reading, math which could be embedded into other learning) ….the curriculum
  • Deep Learning and deep learning tasks chosen by students.

Click the Play button below to listen to the show!