MSM- 136 Making Google Stuff Work For You.


Wrong Ends
A contractor hired two brothers to install home siding. He demonstrated the process and sent them off to their first job. Things were going smoothly when the older brother saw that his younger brother was throwing nails away. He asked, “Why are you throwing those nails away?” The younger brother replied, “The heads are on the wrong end.” The older brother laughed, “Those are for the other side of the house.”

A Swiss man, looking for directions, pulls up at a bus stop where two Americans are waiting. “Entschuldigung, koennen Sie Deutsch sprechen” he asks. The two Americans just stare at him. “Excusez-moi, parlez vous Fracais?” he tries. The two continue to stare. “Parlare Italiano?” No response. “Hablan ustedes Espanol?” Still nothing. The Swiss guy drives off, extremely disgusted. The first American turns to the second and says, “Y’know, maybe we should learn a foreign language.” “Why?” says the other. “That guy knew four languages, and it didnt do him any good.”  (If you liked that one . . . try this!)

What did one math book say to the other?  I have so many problems . . .

On Our Mind:

NMSA is a month away . . .

Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski

From the Twitterverse:

** shannonmmiller  Need inspiration for your career? icould includes 1000 films of personal career stories, across all occupations.
** willrich45  Need examples…schools/teachers that intentionally help students publish online with full names to prepare for global interaction. Anyone?
** paulawhite  RT @mikecrain: Want to teach your students about plagiarism? Here’s a Youtube video:
** kevcreutz  Resources for teachers who are new to twitter
** brasst  Math teachers – great Order of Operations shirt on Woot® today – – especially if you like smores 🙂
** shannonmmiller  Super Teacher Tools #vanmeter
** shannonmmiller  Make your own magazine –
** kellyhines  RT @joevans: 20 Google Doc Templates for use in Science and Math Classrooms
** web20classroom  The Teacher’s Guide To Everything Google Sketch Up:
**web20classroom Blogging With Middle Schoolers-First Steps and Frontloading: <-Good tips for any level
* appleplaza  Report: Slimmer Apple iPad with Mini USB, Camera in 2011
* gtoppo  RT @MarcusLeaver: Today is the 568th anniversary of the first printed book. Thanks Mr. Gutenberg.


Small Spaces

What if everything that you needed had to fit through a small space?

This would be a discussion centered around the trapped minors. The focus of the conversation could be around what it would be liked to be trapped for months.

  • What is the difference between a need and a want?
  • What can you “make do” with?

The link has a visual of the size of the whole which everything must pass to get to the minors.

Quadruple Amputee Swims Across English Channel

Philippe Croizon, who lost his limbs in an electrical accident, swam across the English Channel. Nice story about what determination can do. The video is 1 minute and 40 seconds long. It includes quotes from Philippe. (Could also discuss the difference between a quad amputee and a quadriplegic).

Tech Tools:

Educate helps you keep track of student data on your iPad.


Data visualization. Great for those who see in pictures.


YouTube Channel: RobbWorld’s Channel

Many people are unaware that YouTube has “channels”. Channels are essentially the videos from a particular user. At least one trick is that these can be subscribed to. That means that you’ll get notification when a new video is uploaded.
Mr. Robb’s Math Videos is all about, well, math. Most of the videos are around 5 minutes.


Great site from the National Archives Experience. Includes both Activities and Primary Resources.

26 Keys to Student Engagement

by Angela Maiers.


Worldmapper is a collection of world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest.
There are now nearly 700 maps. Maps 1-366 are also available as PDF posters. Use the menu above to find a map of interest. To learn a little more about this and other map projections read this: Worldmapper and map projections.
We recently added a new series of maps of the world’s population using a new mapping technique: Worldmapper Population Atlas


by Nicholas Lemann
An interesting article about education. A different perception than we are used to.
“We have a lot of recent experience with breaking apart large, old, unlovely systems in the confidence of gaining great benefits at low cost. We deregulated the banking system. We tried to remake Iraq. In education, we would do well to appreciate what our country has built, and to try to fix what is undeniably wrong without declaring the entire system to be broken. We have a moral obligation to be precise about what the problems in American education are—like subpar schools for poor and minority children—and to resist heroic ideas about what would solve them, if those ideas don’t demonstrably do that.”

Creating self Graded Google Forms

by Mark Wagner
“For this video I cut right to the chase and did my best to explain the IF formula for beginners… while keeping under a 5 minute time limit. I hope it’s helpful for you and your colleagues and I hope you’ll let me know what you think.”

Listener Question for Troy via Twitter:  From @Mthman: @MSMatters Help me to understand a procedural Q…do the teachers in your building need guidance w/advisory lesson plans? Mine do!!!  (Listen to the show for the answer!)


MAMSE 2011

2011 Michigan Association of Middle School Educators Presenter’s Application now online.  Propose early!  Propose often!

Other presentation opportunities:
North Carolina Middle School Association:  Presenter Application

ISTE 2010:  Steve Hargadon’s “Birds of A Feather” Session

Website for this session: and
Note:  It looks like the links are broken …
Ask a question, take two or three answers from the audience.
Show a site or something online that you like.
Posterous will upload anything for free.
Pearson will sponsor a NING, but it’s limited and you’re tied to the vendor.
Topos will transition stuff from NING to another site.
Site Show Off:
Scientists Space (NING)
Click on members
Kids took on the persona of a scientist and they worked on the project in groups of three.
They could use any number of Web 2.0 tools to show their understanding of the content.
Kid who posted it is below grade reading level.
These were SPED kids who put together the Mendeleev page.
Question:  For the scientist site:  They’re using a gmail hack (cheat).  Use a gmail account with a + but all the email account escheats+(scientist name)
Web demo:  TypeWithMe  (

Web demo:  WallWisher
Post a question and get responses.
Is there a way to merge the stickies?
It’s designed to be strictly online.
Software:  Microsoft Mouse Mischief
Instead of the wall wisher website.
Does work with wired mice.
Highest number mentioned so far has been six mice at a time.
Site Show Off:
Use with
Tagxedo is a Wordle in a picture/art work form.
Note:  Tagxedo is a pay site.
Just for fun:  Copy and paste a school policy into Wordle …
Jen Wagner is posting a puzzle called “Guess the Wordle”
Put people’s tweets in there to see what their interests are.
General Question:  How do you avoid teacher burnout?
Look at what you are teaching first and then look to apply the tool.
General Question:  How do you define Web 2.0?
Ask Todd Williamson
Create characters that talk.  Speaking avatar for everyone (free).
Site Show Off:  National Lab Day
Scientists commit to help out for a day.
e.g. Civil war Sally
e.g. Madame Curious (Madam Curie) and sent her around the world to different scientists and had them use the “doll” like Flat Stanley.
Site Show Off:  Adobe Connect Now
Polling system.
Twitucate:  designed for classrooms.
Global Education

Events & Happenings:

Calendar of Events:

NMSA News:

Other News:

  • ISTE Eduverse Talks are the recorded sessions held on ISTE Island every week. Join ISTE in their Second Life conference location for their weekly talks on education.
    • The ISTE Special Interest Group:  Virtual Environments is holding meetings on Mondays from 4:00 – 6:00 pm (SLT) on ISTE Island.
  • The Ohio Middle Level Association will hold their annual conference February 17 – 18, 2011.
  • Second Life:
    • Regular Tuesday meetings are scheduled. See the board on the ISTE Island for up to the minute details.  Check frequently this week as the ISTE Annual Convention is this week.
    • Video: Educational Uses of Second Life