MSM 535: I’ll Buy the Cake, You Eat It . . . or the Cepelani


Shawn and Troy talk about cake, celebrations, and cats. Dave has some great books for middle schoolers. 


Parent Hearts: 

I’m confused. They say that nothing rhymes with Orange. 

  • It doesn’t.

A policeman is driving along on his motorcycle and coming the other way is a convertible.

In the passenger seat is a bear.

The cop turns around and pulls them over.

How come you got a bear in your front seat?

The driver says he was hitchhiking and I’m giving him a lift.

The cop says you ought to take that bear to the zoo.

And he lets him go.

Next day.. guess what?

The same policeman is riding on his motorcycle and coming the other way is the man driving the convertible with the bear in the passenger seat wearing sunglasses!

He turns around and pulls them over.

I thought I told you to take that bear to the zoo!

The man says I did!

And today we’re going to the beach!

Not many people realize that Wilson in Castaway was the same actor from the volleyball scene in Top Gun. 

I have a friend who writes songs for sewing machines. 

  • That’s right, he’s a Singer songwriter.
  • Or, at least, so it seams. 

If a drummer comes out of retirement, are there….

  • Repercussions?

I have two unwritten rules:


I once was attacked by Dennis DeYoung and Mick Jagger until David Crosby came to my rescue. 

  • Just goes to prove that Styx and Stones may break my bones, but Byrds would never hurt me.

How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?

Middle School Science Minute  

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

Outstanding Science Trade Books for Middle School Students

I was recently reading the January/February 2022 issue of “Science Scope” a publication of the National Science Teaching Association. 

In this issue, I read the article listing the “2022 Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students.” 

In this podcast, we look at eight “Outstanding Science Trade Books” recommended for middle school students in grades 6 – 8:

  • “Beavers: Radical Rodents and Ecosystem Engineers” by Frances Backhouse
  • “Inside In: X-Rays of Nature’s Hidden World” by Jan Paul Schuttten
  • “Tracking Tortoises: The Mission to Save a Galapagos Giant” by Kate Messner
  • “Ocean Planet: Animals of the Sea and Shore” by Ben Rothery
  • “Saving Sorya: Chang and the Sun Bear” by Trang Nguyen
  • “Fungarium: Welcome to the Museum” by Gaya Ester
  • “Fred and Marjorie: A Doctor, A Dog and the Discovery of Insulin” by Deborah Kerbel
  • “Wonder Women of Science” by Tiera Fletcher and Ginger Rue 

Reports from the Front Lines

The Twitterverse  

Jack Berckemeyer@JBerckemeyer

As I mentioned in previous posts- this year educators need to find 3 people- one who makes you laugh, one you can vent with and one who will help you with teaching ideas. Post a pic of you and your peeps – #chooseoptimism  

Jenny Luca @jennyluca  

If you’re a cat lover, you’re going to love the replies to this tweet.  

Brianna Parkins  

What made this morning’s trip to the bathroom interesting is that I don’t actually own a cat.  

I read once in Readers Digest. Family cat went out disappeared for 3 months.  Returned. Year later same thing.  Gone 3 months and back. Mentioned it to neighbours a few doors away. They thought cat was stray showing up at their house. They took it to Florida with them each year.

A friend of mine had that happen with her childhood cat. They didn’t have air conditioning, and he’d always vanish for the summer. One July day, she saw him in her neighbor’s window.

The neighbor had air conditioning.

My next door neighbour was selling their house and I had a nosey on the website and my cat was on their bed in one of their bedrooms.  

Replying to @parkinsbrea

That’s my laptop. That’s not my cat.  

Pat Sajak  @patsajak  

Not to be morbid, but I just designed my tombstone. It’ll read: R _ P. I’d like to buy a vowel.  

🧩🍎Jen Davies🍎🧩@jendavies1030 

I start almost every lesson with, “Last time we were… Today we’re going to… This will lead to us learning…” But to write it and post it in the room? Pointless. 

Kevin W. Pledger (he/him/his)@kwpledger_

Replying to @JohnPowersYYZ and @AfroFranco2″Learning Objectives” doesn’t have a clear definition or purpose. Even still, empirical evidence shows that they have no effect on student outcomes.

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


You’ve Got Perseverance!

The “You’ve Got Perseverance!” opportunity is for students who have demonstrated perseverance in their academic pursuits. Teachers, educators, and community leaders are encouraged to nominate students who’ve shown that nothing will deter them from their educational journey.

NASA’s Perseverance mission team is no stranger to challenges, as the team has faced and overcome many hurdles to get the rover to Mars. The team wants to encourage students to persevere, to embrace the idea of not giving up when things get tough and to overcome seemingly impossible challenges. We want to hear how your students persevered!

Selected students will:

  • Get a special message sent directly from the Perseverance rover on Mars!
  • Chat with the rover team members from mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Get a printed materials award pack loaded with mission essentials

Be sure to read the full nomination rules before starting your nomination. You might also like to read our frequently asked questions.

Fill out the nomination form. You will need:

  1. Permission and contact info of student’s parent or legal guardian
  2. Contact info for a second eligible person who can confirm your nomination
  3. Clear and brief description of how this student has shown perseverance
  4. A brief description of how the student has improved their academic performance

Nightly News for Kids




Guess the WORLDLE in 6 guesses.

Each guess must be a valid country, territory, …

After each guess, you will have the distance, the direction and the proximity from your guess and the target country.


CHILE 13557km ↗️ 32%

Your guess CHILE is 13557km away from the target country, the target country is in the North-East direction and you have a only 32% of proximity because it’s quite far away!

FINLAND 3206km ↘️ 84%

Your second guess FINLAND is getting closer! 3206km away, South-East direction and 84%!

LEBANON 0km 🎉 100%

Next guess, LEBANON, it’s the country to guess! Congrats! 🎉

A new WORLDLE will be available every day!

About distance

The distances displayed correspond to the distances between the selected and the target territory centers.

For instance, the computed distance between United States and Canada is around 2260km even if they have a common border.

WORLDLE has been heavily inspired by Wordle created by Josh Wardle (@powerlanguish).

Web Spotlight:

Do We Really Need PD?

His focus is to shift practice in classrooms to impact learners and he saw this happening as a result of this visit, so naturally, he wondered: Why do we need professional development when teachers learn through experience?

My first reaction was, why isn’t that considered professional development?!?!  

He said, “I didn’t bring them in a room and tell them what to do.” #UGH


It’s Wordle times 4

Slang of the Week

Purr: a comment used to signal delight or approval; most likely to be found under a friend or influencer favorite’s TikTok post. (Ex: Did you see that selfie my bestie posted yesterday? Purr.)

Random Thoughts . . .  

An oldie, but a goodie….

Click the Play button below to listen to the show!