MSM 495: Online Learning is the New Coke


My friend just left his job as a human cannonball at the circus. They aren’t replacing him. 

  • They can’t find someone of the same calibre. 

How do hipsters talk about shoes? 

  • Converse

Did you hear that Sting was kidnapped?

  • The Police have no lead

Why can’t pirates finish the alphabet?

  • They get lost C.

Don’t run with bagpipes. 

  • You could put an aye out.
  • Or worse yet, get kilt. 

Here’s a thought. 

  • Getting paid to sleep would be a dream job. 

Why did the dog financial advisor suggest to invest in tennis balls?

  • They have a high rate of return

Middle School Science Minute  

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or


I was recently reading the November/December 2020 issue of “The Science Teacher” a publication of the National Science Teaching Association.  In this issue, I read the “Career of the Month“ column written by Luba Vangelova.  Her article was entitled “Meteorologist.”

Meteorology is a branch of atmospheric science.  It emphasizes the study of atmospheric chemistry and physics, with the aim of forecasting weather.  Maureen McCann is the featured meteorologist in this podcast.  She is a meteorologist at Spectrum News 13, a television station in Orlando, Florida

Reports from the Front Lines

  • What does success mean?
    • How much testing are we doing?
  • Technical Troubles
  • Play
  • Where are they?


Along – SEL Software for the COVID Era

Along is a free tool provided by Gradient Learning, a non-profit committed to helping all students feel encouraged and inspired. Founded and run by educators, Gradient Learning partners with schools and teachers across the country to ensure each student is prepared for life beyond the classroom. With the support of Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Gradient Learning works with teachers, learners, and partners to offer free services and tools—such as the Summit Learning program and Along.  As a side note, I’d like to propose their slogan be “Go Along to Get Along” as a marketing campaign.  Maybe not . . .

The Twitterverse

Pernille Ripp  @pernilleripp

I keep looking at the reports of teachers teaching while hospitalized for COVID or other things and how insane that is. We are replaceable, we may feel as if no one else will ever teach our students the way we do and while perhaps true, we will be replaced when we die or leave

Typical EduCelebrity @EduCelebrity

Putting “Authentic” in front of any educational word makes it sound novel, unique, and forward thinking…even if it is the same thing you’ve always done: Authentic Assessment Authentic Conversations Authentic Curriculum Authentic Lunch It also means extra hours of PD.  


We are thrilled to announce that Michelle Miller has been elected as President of MMSA! @nupseagles She has served as a middle-level educator in various roles including 7th grade LA teacher, Athletic Coach, Gifted & Talented COORD, Instr. Coach and Administrator.

Jeremy Hyler @Jeremybballer

I keep seeing the phrase “best practices for remote teaching” Do we really know what best practices are right now? We have been in the pandemic for less than a year and I am not comfortable saying I know “best practices for remote teaching.” #miched #mschat #6thchat #ncte #nwp

Liz Kleinrock @teachntransform

My favorite procrastination activity during Zoom school is spending an hour deciding which downloadable Google Slides template matches my teaching objective.


And the finalists for the 2021 National Teacher of the Year are: Alejandro Diasgranados (@ThatDCTeacher), Juliana Urtubey (@urtublj), Maureen Stover (@StoverScience) & John Arthur (@9thEvermore)! Learn more at #NTOY21 @CCSSO

#mschat every Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.  And as Troy says, “The Twitter never stops!” 


Teacher Health:  Sleepwatch App

SleepWatch is a health-focused sleep app that automatically tracks sleep with the Apple Watch. It uses A.I. to help you track, achieve, and improve.

Primary Source of the Day:  A Warm-Up Activity

Middle Level Learning, National Council for the Social Studies article May/June 2010

Types:  Quotes from notables, political cartoons, physical objects that students can handle, copies of documents (patents, certificates, letters, newspaper articles, etc.), photographs/sketches/artwork.  

Sources:  National Archives,, Library of Congress,, National Museum of American History, NCSS Online:  U.S. History Collection  

Good questions:  Create a question that forces them to answer with evidence from the primary source.  

Teaching this in the Age of COVID:  Use the forum module in Moodle to generate inter-class discussions and allow conversations on posts.  Create a series of glossary modules for random primary source generation in the sidebar in Moodle for student reflection pieces in Moodle both oral and written.  


  • Snag headlines from  and don’t reveal the articles.  Ask students to create the article they think went with the headline and then reveal it after they have written for a short bit.  
  • Create a History Jukebox by making a playlist out of songs from particular dates that the kids can peruse and relates to the chapter or unit.  
  • Students use a Backpack type app or their cell phone cameras to record a “You Are There“ segment modeled after the Walter Cronkite series.
  • Send students on a historical figure scavenger hunt using Sparticus Educational.  


Backyard Meteorology

The weather forecasts we see every day are based on an army of meteorological sensing networks and intensive computer modeling. Before the rise of these technologies, forecasts were made by understanding cloud formations and wind directions.

This course will explore the science behind weather systems by teaching the observational skills needed to make a forecast without using instruments or computer models. We’ll discuss the physical processes driving weather and the global forces that shape global climate systems. Finally, we will examine the limits of prediction in both human observations and computer models.

Can the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas? Take this course to find out!

Random Thoughts . . .  

Mastodon – open source Twitter like experience. Follow me 

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