MSM 504: Underestimating the Plague


Shawn and Troy discuss H5P, kids sneaking in, reopening schools and more. Dave books Middle School STEM. 


“I read a history of sandpaper recently…The guy who invented it wasn’t sure how to go about it but he had a rough idea.”

“I found a spider in my shoes. He looks ridiculous; they’re way too big for him.”

“My favorite time on the clock is 6:30. Hands down.”

“Why do you never see pigs hiding in trees?

“When musicians perform onstage, the sound bounces around the room off of the walls. When a pigeon performs onstage, the sound does not bounce. 

  • Because a coo sticks.”

Middle School Science Minute  

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

Best STEM Trade Books for Middle School Students

The National Science Teaching Association in collaboration with the Children’s Book Council released the 2021 list of the Best STEM Trade Books for Students.  In this podcast we look at the 7 books recommended for students in grades 6 – 8.

  • All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team
  • Beastly Bionics: Rad Robots, Brilliant Biomimicry, and Incredible Inventions Inspired by Nature
  • Changing the Equation: 50+ US Black Women in STEM
  • Galileo! Galileo!
  • Machines That Think!: Big Ideas that Changed the World
  • Spaceman: The True Story of a Young Boy’s Journey to Becoming an Astronaut
  • Who Gives a Poop?: Surprising Science from One End to the Other

Reports from the Front Lines

  • The push to the end of the year . . . 
  • H5P Interactive Book Module – Love It!  
  • Falsobordone:  1350 – Music for a Plague  
  • Reopening Schools
    • Many are open
    • Air filtering (basic dust)
    • Temperature


You Can Be a Different Person After the Pandemic

Our personalities are not set in stone. They are more like sand dunes.

Changing a trait requires acting in ways that embody that trait, rather than simply thinking about it. 

For example, in one study, putting more effort into homework led students to become more conscientious — a reversal of the popular notion that conscientious students put more effort into their homework. In another, people were able to become more extroverted or conscientious in four months just by listing the ways they’d like to change and what steps they would take to get there.

Here’s what a post-pandemic dispositional makeover might look like: Someone who was chronically late in the Before Times might work on being more conscientious, or timely. One way to show your friends how much you missed them is to start respecting their time.

Through painful isolation, this past year has, perversely, revealed the value of friendships and social ties. For those who want to renew connections that have atrophied, solidify friendships that have migrated to Zoom, or otherwise live differently, it’s very possible to do so. Remember that your personality is more like a sand dune than a stone.

The Twitterverse  

Phyllis Fagell, LCPC @Pfagell

Fair question.

Colby Sharp  @colbysharp

This school year is hard. I’m so tired. Overwhelmed. Everything feels so heavy.

Chad Livengood  @ChadLivengood


GIFQuote Tweet

Shailin Thomas  @shailinthomas

Michiganders imply the existence of a Michigoose.

Alice Keeler  @alicekeeler

Students Removing Files from Google Drive via @YouTube

Mary Appleget  @teachtothebrain

Teachers Face Burnout More Than a Year Into Pandemic-Era Learning

Alice Keeler  @alicekeeler

Free Gamification Badge Game Template via @YouTube

Will Richardson-BIG Questions Institute  @willrich45

Apple’s upcoming mixed reality headset will reportedly weigh less than an iPhone

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


I Didn’t Allow Hand-Raising In My Class. Here’s Why.


 H5P Free Online Teaching Resources  

Top 50 Websites

Use Text Sets to Benefit Bilingual Students

Web Spotlight:  

AMLE Call for Presentations

AXIS – The Culture Translator

Slang of the Week

salty: feeling angry, agitated, upset, or annoyed. (Ex: “I tried to tell her I had to be home by my curfew and couldn’t drive her home, but she got real salty about it.”) 

John Hattie: We need to get better at learning transfer

“Surely, the purpose of teaching a child something is so that they can transfer it to another circumstance?” “Over the last 200 years, it’s kind of been our dirty secret: we know it’s important, but it’s hard to find evidence on how to teach it,” he says. 

Three phases of learning – surface learning, deep learning and transfer of learning – all require a different approach, he says.

Hattie believes too much time is dedicated to the surface-level learning, while the process of acquiring and consolidating deeper knowledge, and the transfer of this to other areas, has been neglected – evidence of which he has seen in a body of recent research.

MountainMoot 2021

My favorite conference. 

Random Thoughts . . .  

H. Resolution 222:  Supporting National Middle School Month


Personal Website   

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