MSM 159 Stuff For Your Classroom!, #SKYPE FAIL!, #midleved this week on Middle School Matters!

Call Us at (262) 724-6653 (Google Voice)
Diigo Group:


Twitter:  @MSMatters


Jokes You Can Use:

How did the Vikings send secret messages?
By norse code!

Why were the early days of history called the dark ages?
Because there were so many knights!

Teacher: Where is your homework?
Pupil: I lost it fighting this kid who said you weren’t the best teacher in the school

When a teacher closes his eyes, why should it remind him of an empty classroom?
Because there are no pupils to see!

Teacher: How much is half of 8?
Pupil: Up and down or across?
Teacher: What do you mean?
Pupil: Well, up and down makes a 3 or across the middle leaves a 0!

Q. Your riding a horse at full speed, a giraffe is beside you, an elephant in front of you and a lion behind you! What do you do???
A. You get off of the carousel !!!

Bill and Bob, two children, were sitting outside a clinic. Bill happened to be crying very loudly.
“Why are you crying?” Bob asked.
“I came here for a blood test,” sobbed Bill.
“So? Are you afraid?”
“No. For the blood test, they cut my finger.
As Bob heard this, he immediately began crying profusely.
Astonished, Bill stopped his tears and asked Bob, “Why are you crying now?”
To which Bob replied, “I came for a urine test!”

On Our Mind:

21st Century School vs 20th Century Assessment
MAMSE 2011
#edchat, #midleved Fridays at 8:00pm.
Next week:  iPads with Dr. Monte Tatom

Eileen Award

Eric from Chicago


Rock Paper Scissors

On the computer. With thoughts why the computer picks…

Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

I just did my first podcast, completely recorded on the iPad, using GarageBand.  It was a lot of fun.  Just attached my SnowBall mic and played a few chords on the Smart Guitar and out came the podcast.
The importance of Science…

From the Twitterverse:

*drmmtatom What’s Popular This Week on The Innovative Educator #fhuedu610 #ccstech @msmatters 

85+ Resources: Educator Guide for Integrating Social Media via @ziteapp #ccstech @msmatters

Tips for Conducting PLN Professional Development… via @ziteapp #fhuedu610

*TeacherSabrina 5 myths about #teachers that are distracting policymakers YES!!! Must-read. #edreform #edchat
*NMSAnews Fundamentals for Student Success in the Middle Grades
*gardenglen Ever wonder what teaching Middle School is like? “Toro Pink” #ilovemyjob
*garystager @gdahlby I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again. I can be either the dancing monkey or the crew, but not both.
*lkolb Made video calls from your smartphone…Free!
*AncientProverbs A Jade stone is useless before it is processed; a man is good-for-nothing until he is educated. -Chinese Proverb
*cybraryman1 RT @LiteracyNetwork: Give your child a digital camera & tell them to document 1 day. …y but they are learning to tell stories #ptchat
*francesblo @mthman @MSMatters @rushtheiceberg @tdeacon Lots of interest in what’s allowed, cell phones. How about dealing with tech policies nxt week?
*ipadnewsdigest Emerging iPhone, iPad 2 App Enables Remote Surveillance: A new iPad app aims to give soldiers on the street a bi…
*hrheingold Mediactive by @dangillmor great (free!) resource on crap detection, active participation in media creation
*cybraryman1 My How to Take Part in an Educational Chat on Twitter: #edchat
*mthman Join us! We’re talking MIDDLE SCHOOL this Friday (3/25) 8 pm EST. Topic: How can tech improve learning? #engchat #mathchat #cpchat #elemchat
*karlyb #macul11 – My blog post with list of iPhone Teacher Toolbox apps from my presentation.
*lkolb Turn your iPhone into a high-powered scientific Microscope
Note:  #midleved on Twitter is happening at a new day and time!  Join #midleved on Fridays at 8:00 pm EST.  Hope to see you there! 

This week the topic centered around using Technology in the Classroom.  Several resources were mentioned including Xtranormal, Edmodo, Glogster, Notaland and cell phone use.  It was interesting to read the conversations about cell phone use.  Many students have them evidently, but families are not turning on the data plan.  Next week the conversation starts out with Acceptable Use Polices, but just like the middle schoolers we love to teach, the conversation could go anywhere



‘Curriculum’ Definition Raises Red Flags (Crvena Zastava)

By Catherine Gewertz
Calls for shared curriculum for the common standards have triggered renewed debates about who decides what students learn, and even about varied meanings of the word “curriculum,” adding layers of complexity to the job of translating the broad learning goals into classroom teaching.
Some of the debate about common curriculum for the standards is driven, observers say, by the multiple meanings of the word “curriculum.”

What if?


The Noun Project

Simple Graphical Images. Could be used as story starters.

Thought Boxes

Organize everything you do.
Thoughtboxes is a simple tool that helps to organize your thoughts so you can make things happen.
Keep track of almost anything, and share your thoughts with friends.



Edistorm takes the metaphor of sticky notes on a boardroom wall and brings it online allowing anyone – anywhere to brainstorm with only a web browser.
Each user picks their favorite ideas and Edistorm brings the best ones forward.


Flubaroo is a free tool that helps you quickly grade multiple-choice or fill-in-blank assignments. I designed it for my own classroom, and want to share it with other teachers… for free!

* Flubaroo works with Google docs. Click if you need an introduction to Google docs.

More than just a grading tool, Flubaroo also:

  • Computes average assignment score.
  • Computes average score per question, and flags low-scoring questions.
  • Shows you a grade distribution graph.
  • Gives you the option to email each student their grade, and an answer key.

Read the overview below, or jump straight to Step 5 to see what Flubaroo creates.

The instructions below walk you through creating an assignment, and grading it with Flubaroo:

66 Ways to Use Google Forms

Toasted Cheese

Writing prompts.

Web Spotlight:

The Civil War:

PBS first episode available for free.

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 at The Easton in Columbus, OH.
  • 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