MSM 476: Record-setting: You might want to grab a beverage, we’re going to talk for a while, even though I’m not entirely sure how this is supposed to work…


Did you hear about the person who asked to sign up for the 401K?

The Lego store is reopening

  • People are lined up for blocks

I wanted to name my son Lance.

My wife objected. 

I told her that in Medieval days, people were named Lance a lot.

Does swimming in debt count as cardio?

Did you hear about the doughboy with a dough dog? 

  • He’s pure bread

A pirate went to the doctor and says, “I have moles on me back, aaarrrghh”

The Doctor says, “It’s OK, they’re benign”. 

The pirate says, “Count again. I think there be ten”

If a knight in Prague dons his armor, does that mean the Czech is in the mail?

Middle School Science Minute  

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

Middle School Science Minute: Straight from the Headlines

I was recently reading the September/October, 2020 issue of “Science Scope,” a publication of the National Science Teaching Association. 

In this issue, I read the Editor’s Note column “Straight from the Headlines”  written by Patty McGinnis.

There are many ways that current events can be incorporated into the classroom.  Current events can be used as an introductory phenomenon to a problem, can support a claim, or can be utilized to provide students with an engineering task.  The use of websites can provide teachers with vetted articles about recent events and current events, most of which are identified by Lexile score.  Resources include:

Readworks —

Reports from the Front Lines


The Big Picture

The Twitterverse

Typical EduCelebrity @EduCelebrity

I am a strong advocate for state testing in virtual schooling if parents are made to proctor. One year’s worth of those training videos and there-is-nothing-more-important-in-life-than-test-security and that’ll be end of that.

𝐁𝐫𝐚𝐝 𝐉𝐨𝐡𝐧𝐬𝐨𝐧 @DrBradJohnson

It’s not just students who need Maslow. Teachers need: 1) feel safe / supported 2) emotional connection/ relationships 3) feel respected 4) attention/ appreciation 5) value within the team 6) Volition/ autonomy 7) innovation/ creativity 8) self care

Typical EduCelebrity @EduCelebrity

This year is already challenging for many students. Some are thinking about taking a gap year before starting middle school.

CBLibraries @CBLibraries

Coming soon… Our @CBLibraries will be offering #curbsidepickup! Librarians will be sharing how students can continue to check out library books during distance learning! Stay tuned for more details…  

SanjayaMishra @SanjayaMishra

Happy Teachers’ Day to all teachers in India.  

Don’t forget #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.


Does This Text Make Me Look Angry?  From Axis Team’s “The Culture Translator” Newsletter

What it is: For teens, “full stops” (i.e. sentences that end with a period) are seen as “intimidating,” and are assumed to convey a tone of anger or frustration.

Why it’s wrecking your text threads with your teen: “Pistaphobia,” or fear of the period punctuation mark, is definitely a thing amongst teens. Since teens see each individual text as a full thought, adding a period can seem unnecessary and even passive-aggressive. Of course, for those of us who aren’t digital natives, skipping the period at the end of a text isn’t exactly second nature. But when your teen pings you with team practice times or a quick message to say they’ll be a little late, be aware that your quick response of “Okay.” could be interpreted as terse or foreboding.  

Challenge Unacceptable – From  

What it is: The #newteacherchallenge drew headlines this week as parents used the hashtag to prank their kids. The hashtag has 43 million views.

Why it’s pretty sad, actually: Participants pretend to be on a video chat with their child’s new teacher. They then call their child over to “meet their new teacher,” using a photo of a random celebrity, cartoon villain, or visually unusual person, and film their child’s reaction. Several parents who participated in this challenge thought it would be funny to see their child’s reaction if the new “teacher” was a person with a physical abnormality or disability. Some of the photos used were of prominent disability advocates, who have since penned essays on how it feels to be derided and presented to children as some sort of scary monster. Instead of letting your children think that people with disabilities are something to fear, be a part of showing them how every human being has incredible value.  


Teacher organized, content selected, math game challenge.  Challenge your class, challenge other classes, challenge the world.  -or-  where you can join a live 20 min. game and take on others from around the world!  

Web Spotlight:  

We the Young People: For our Teachers

  • Please Manage Zoom (or other online learning platforms) better
  • Understand the emotional impact of COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter uprising on our capacity to learn. 
  • Rethink how you engage us online.  
  • Engage us offline in different ways
  • Please call/text us before you call our parents or guardians.
  • Change the way you evaluate us with homework and tests and be clear about grading.

We the Young People: For each other

Blended and Online Learning Strategies from Yong Zhao

Podcast from Silver Lining for Learning   

Dr. Catlin Tucker is a bestselling author, international trainer, and keynote speaker. She was named Teacher of the Year in 2010 in Sonoma County, where she taught for 16 years. Catlin earned her doctorate in learning technologies at Pepperdine University. Currently, Catlin is working as a blended learning coach and education consultant. Catlin has written a series of bestselling books on blended learning, which are available below. You can find Catlin on Twitter at @Catlin_Tucker and can access numerous free resources at her internationally-ranked blog.”

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Random Thoughts . . .  

Personal Web Site   

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