MSM 149 NMSA 2010: Weather, Differentiation


A man traveling through the country stopped at a small roadside fruit stand and bought some apples. When he mentioned they were awfully small, the farmer replied, “Yup.” The man took a bite of one of the apples and exclaimed, “Not very flavorful, either.” “That’s right,” said the farmer. “Lucky they’re small, ain’t it?”

Did you hear about the accountant with insomnia? He decided to try counting sheep, but he made a mistake and was up all night trying to find it!

Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or
Weather vs Climate – A Throw Down


Future Me:  A letter to the future . . . from yourself.
This Week in Rap

From the Twitterverse:

*missnoor28 RT @ShellTerrell: Google Doc of Presentations in Case the Website is Down #rscon11 Plz RT!
*steelepierce @johnccarver OH has two districts piloting e-days in lieu of snow days. We’re exploring that. @colonelb @pammoran
**DianeRavitch What you need to know about Finland:
Key Quote:  “I think the things that CAN be imported are ideas that allow a refocusing away from testing and performance by giving teachers more autonomy, a focus on quality rather then quantity of teaching, higher level academic teacher training qualifications, improving the status of teaching as a profession.”  
*russeltarr Anecdotage: Great database of anecdotes for spicing up lessons!:
*hshawjr U.S. drive for high test scores has stifled students’ creativity | The Kennebec Journal, Augusta, ME: via @addthis
Referenced link:,3746,en_32252351_32235731_46567613_1_1_1_1,00.html
Key Quote:  “In fact, it keeps students from learning all the other things they need to know — literature, history, languages, mathematics, science — actual knowledge and skills that go into a well-educated mind, the raw material for creative and civic behavior.“
*missnoor28 Future Me – Send a Letter to Your Future Self… #edchat
*russeltarr Google Features That Make Teachers’ Lives Easier:
*DoTheMathBooks I’ve never know any trouble than an hour’s reading didn’t assuage. Arthur Schopenhauer #quote
*drmmtatom Girls arrested for Facebook teacher attack invite #fhuedu610 on Fluent News
*drmmtatom 100 Online Resources That Are Transforming Education:
*mcleod Video: 3 phases of educational technology #edtech
1.  Dynamic presentation created by the teacher.  (Keynote, Powerpoint, etc.)
2.  Texts replaced by content based knowledge.  (Pencil/Paper outcomes)
3.  Students as producers of content.
*mcleod Print your own flute (yes, that’s correct) Did I mention I want a 3D printer?!
*lkolb Join us in May for first annual U of M Virtual Ed Tech Conference (Free! Wear your PJ’s and Network)….more info @umvirtualcon

NSMA 2010 Session 6:

Session 3

10 ways to differentiate:

Gretchen Goodman

Differentiation is part of RTI – Tier I
Pet Peeves by Joel Pett
Take a label.

Practical tips
Differentiated instruction is a concept that makes it possible to maximize learning for ALL students. It is a collection of instructionally intelligent strategies based on student centerned best practice that make it possible for teachers to create different pathways that respond to the needs of diverse learners

1. Tic Tac Toe

This is related to the student contract plans.
Don’t use any of these everyday.
this can lead to a large amount of work. be careful. You can have them do all 3, turn them in and pick the 1 that they want graded.
Label the boxes. Give them 2 die and let them roll. If they roll a 3 and a 4, they get to pick, they can either do #3 and #4 or #7.

2. Tiering

Always start with the standard and move up or down.
One of the most common DI strategies.
Teach one concept with layers of difficulty/complexity designed by need and readiness.
EG. (Civil War)Tier 1:
Define slavery

Tier II
Take facts and then analyze, apply knowledge.

Tier 3
Present a 3-4 page essay

3. Cubing – 6 sides to a lesson

Describe it
Compare it
Associate it
analyze it
Apply it
Argue for/against it
60 days of access
Stuff it with paper and tape it.
The post office has cubes. Cover with contact paper. Priority cubes.
Michael’s has whiteboard cubes.
Use different cubes for different groups:

or by interest.

Can also use a spinner to pick numbers by box.

Use different cubes.

4. Task Cards

Review the information in the chart showing the habitat.
Can assign them a task as they enter or let them pick

5. Think Dots

Different assignments in boxes.
give the kids a popsicle stick with a different number of dots.

6. Grouping

Clock Partners
Colored clothes pins
Table tents with names
Pull a popsicle stick
Teacher assigned
CD covers- Go to a music store. Write down the first four songs of a variety of songs and cut down the strips. Students pick a song. They are then grouped by artists.
Puzzle pieces- Take a picture of something the kids like. Cut it into puzzles pieces. The kids pick a piece and put the puzzle together for a group. Keep hotel keys.
Hershey kiss groups.
Paint chips – get 4

This can really help cutting down on bullying. When kids know each other and work together, they are less likely to bully.
Have kids write 4 science vocabulary words on a page that is quartered. Have students pick a partner for each word.

7. Assessments

Gallery Walk – Large chart paper. Open ended questions on the chart paper. Kids have to answer a certain number of them. Nobody can use a ditto.
Write and Pass- Each kid has a question. They respond to the question within 1 minute, then pass to the next student.
1 minute write – Summarize for 1 minute at the end of class. Write everything that you learned today in 1 minute. One teacher called this “brain vomit”.
K-W-L+  – The plus is what do you still want to know.
Who-Has I Have ~ Get a set of index cards. Laminate with blanks. Each card has two pieces of information- the who has question and an answer of what they have. This means that they have to know answers.  (Browser based generator:

8.  Exit Tickets

I don’t understand
I would like to learn about
The most important thing I learned today is
3-2-1 Exit card.

9. Know The children

Learning Style Inventory
Self evaluations
Scavenger Hunt – find someone who can….
That’s Me- ask questions. Have students raise their hand and shout “that’s me” if the question is yes.
80% of drop outs are tactile/kinesetic.

10. Pass Options

Turn to partner and discuss
Off the pass, but come back and have them restate. (Go to 2 more kids and then come back to them.)

Don’t Forget – Recognition:
Silent Cheer
Give them a hand – trace and pass
Way to go home call.
Post cards
e-mails…digital photos attached.

#11 Centers:

Tie to the curriculum
Match with the standards
Teach them how to use.
Can be games, boards, magnetic letters, computers, etc.
1. Train the troops.

FaceBook assignment- post a Facebook page of a famous person.

• Appetizer: Everyone does together.
Entree – Do on your own.
Side Dishes – Select at least 2.
Dessert- optional. Extra credit.


Internet Gains on Television as Public’s Main News Source

More Young People Cite Internet than TV

The internet is slowly closing in on television as Americans’ main source of national and international news. Currently, 41% say they get most of their news about national and international news from the internet, which is little changed over the past two years but up 17 points since 2007.
…more people continue to cite the internet than newspapers as their main source of news, reflecting both the growth of the internet, and the gradual decline in newspaper readership (from 34% in 2007 to 31% now).
In 2010, for the first time, the internet has surpassed television as the main source of national and international news for people younger than 30.

The Test Chinese Schools Still Fail

High scores for Shanghai’s 15-year-olds are actually a sign of weakness.

It’s ironic that just as the world is appreciating the strengths of China’s education system, Chinese are waking up to its weaknesses.
China’s most promising students still must go abroad to develop their managerial drive and creativity, and there they have to unlearn the test-centric approach to knowledge that was drilled into them.
Even Shanghai educators admit they’re merely producing competent mediocrity.
Shanghai’s stellar results on PISA are a symptom of the problem. Tests are less relevant to concrete life and work skills than the ability to write a coherent essay, which requires being able to identify a problem, break it down to its constituent parts, analyze it from multiple angles and assemble a solution in a succinct manner to communicate across cultures and time.


4 Promising Curation Tools That Help Make Sense of the Web

by Steve Rosenbaum

1. Storify



4. Pearltrees

Big Huge Labs

Do Amazing Things with your Photos

What is BeFunky?

BeFunky simplifies photo editing and effects for everyday people.

Marvelous Photo Effects

Choose from our constantly growing library of photo effects to turn your ordinary photos into extraordinary art with virtually no effort.

Smart Photo Editing

Photo editing made smart. Fix your common photo problems like bad lighting, digital noise, fuzzy colors and details with one click.

Design Goodies

Give your digital creations a whole lot of character with BeFunky Goodies. Add speech bubbles, frames and more…

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