MSM 584: Pink Shirts on the Elevators


Shawn and Troy talk about Washington D.C. trip, institutional knowledge, end of the year, beginning of the year and more . Dave brings some real-world problems.


I was asked to write some song lyrics the other day. Unfortunately, the song is an instrumental.

The court ruled against a swimsuit model. 

  • It was a summery judgement

I went to a conference on wind turbines the other day. The vibe was incredible.

  • There was a lot of energy in the air. 

I’ve finished half a novel. 

  • It’s for the semi-literate.

Two birds were sitting on a perch. One bird asks the other, “do you smell fish?”

Middle School Science Minute  

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

K12Science Podcast:  Real-World Problems

I was recently reading the May/June 2023 issue of “Science Scope” a publication of the National Science Teaching Association.  

In this issue, I read the “From the Editor’s Desk” column, written by Patty McGinnis.  She wrote an article entitled, “Exploring Real-World Problems.”

Incorporating real-world projects provides your students with opportunities to grow not only in STEM, but also in their ability to think critically and compassionately.

Reports from the Front Lines

  • Washington D.C. Trip
    • Insta360
    • Kid behavior
    • Access to “stuff”

Eileen Award  

  • Omar Mo – “Just left you a 5-star review because “Slinging the Slang Making Us Thirsty!” was incredible. I really appreciate the way you discussed AI, SEL, and Parent Conferences in the episode. You gave a great overview of the topics and made it easy to understand.” 

The Social Web  

Matt Miller   @jmattmiller

80 back to school ideas and activities Including: Two NEW back to school escape rooms EduProtocols smart start New #SEL activities TONS of choice boards A folder full of resources Shapegrams & more! #Ditchbook

PUNS  @ThePunnyWorld

Rick Wormeli @rickwormeli2

Here at the end of the school year, many educators are tired-physically, emotionally, intellectually, wondering how to finish the school year w/something meaningful or inspiring. One quote from Maya Angelou helped me every year: “You Can’t Use Up Creativity, the More You Use the More You Have.” Doing creative things is a great source of Oxygen and teacher mojo. Perhaps try one creative endeavor right away: Do a chalk drawing in the teacher parking lot, create a funny video for sending off students for the summer, join students in doing a mini-opera about course content, decorate classroom windows with the removal paints used by sports teams, climb a mountain, ask students to write a letter to their future selves that you will mail at that future time, get training on how to design your own apps, do a family-friendly style of, “Whose Line is it anyway?” with students and families one evening, brainstorm with colleagues how you’re going to teach all formal writing through science, p.e., math, and social studies next year, teach one lesson entirely via puppets, or find creative ways to thank at least five colleagues for help you’ve received from them this year.

And when it comes to creativity, “Resistance is futile!” Embrace your innovative self and achieve escape velocity!

I’ve often found that when students are flagging in some way, they, like our colleagues, or usually doing the best they can. Plus, platitudes really never work, but specific actions/skills do. To get sts going here, it’s a matter of teaching executive function skills, so we need to overtly teach these skills, not simply demand sts demonstrate them. I’d also sit with students, ask them about their immediate goals for personal and academic growth, then ask coaching questions to get them to choose some concrete actions towards those goals and help them monitor their own progress. If we just tell them what to do, they don’t own it; it’s passive, and we want active. Of course, some tchrs don’t have training in all this, so admin that demands these things without providing training in it is deeply ineffective and demoralizing.

Susie Dent


An unscientific analysis of the (excellent) responses to the words and phrases you’d like to ban: 10. My bad 9. The ‘optics’ of something. 8. ‘So’ at the start of a sentence. 7. Let’s go offline. 6. Basically 5. I’m not gonna lie… 4. I wanted to reach out 3. ‘like’ as a filler 2. No disrespect, but… 1. Going forward

Lake Superior State University’s Banned Word List:  


#EduGlow : The Year7 have been doing sound design last half-term. Their final project was to make a 30s bit of audio using sounds from the excellent, freely available BBC Sounds Effects Archive.

I spent the past couple of days making a podcast showcasing their submissions:

Sound Design Supercut by WBCast on #SoundCloud


Five Fun Year End Activities

As the end of the school year approaches, it’s time to celebrate all the hard work and accomplishments it brought. What better way to bid farewell to a memorable academic year than with some memorable activities? Let’s check out a few activity options for a little end-of-the-year fun!

Embracing Learning Through Play

A new book encourages playful learning in classrooms — for all ages. Creative Commons book is available. 

The authors of a new book say the traditional view of play and learning is a “false dichotomy” and that relegating play to the sidelines in schools is a mistake. Learning is helped by “experiences that are playful — that are joyful, meaningful, actively engaging, iterative, and socially interactive,” and school really can be enjoyable they explain in A Pedagogy of Play – Supporting Playful Learning in Classrooms and Schools. The user-friendly book is the result of eight years of research led by a team at the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero (PZ), in collaboration with the LEGO Foundation and educators at schools in Denmark, South Africa, Colombia, and the United States.


The Cambridge Geek

Geeking out about science fiction, fantasy and audio/radio drama.

Every month, there are a large number of new audio drama and fiction podcasts released. These monthly lists collate everything I can find that has released an Ep1 in its dedicated fiction RSS feed for the relevant month. Feel free to shout in the comments if you’ve got more information or corrections and I’ll update with anything I’m missing.

The Cambridge Geek (or “Rob”) took a passing whim of writing a blog way too far and now has this review website which he obsessively updates as near to daily as possible. If you want something a bit more personal than that, then you may be interested to know that he’s an engineer, not any form of creative or coding whiz, so that’s his excuse for any website or language failings.

Up for review is any science fiction or fantasy he happens to read (books, comics, manga), watch (anime, films, theatre, TV), play (games), listen to (podcasts/audio shows) or attend (events). BBC Radio also sneaks in fairly frequently, and he sometimes has an original thought. If you’re lucky, The Girl might post on a Friday.

Class Quiz

Educators are buzzing around a new Kahoot and Quizziz-like tool available at no cost. This quiz website offers a host of features, the most important being that it doesn’t collect data. If you’ve used other quiz tools, you know data is collected about you and your students for their own use. ClassQuiz asserts that, unlike these other quiz tools, it doesn’t send information to third parties.

ClassQuiz works in a simple way. It allows you to take three primary actions:

  • Create a quiz that allows the insertion of pictures/images
  • Explore and find quizzes others have created
  • Import quizzes from Kahoot! that you can then edit in ClassQuiz

As you might imagine, this import option gives you access to the content in a more established tool. Once the quiz has been set up, students select responses, view results, and see a leaderboard.

40 sites for students with free time on their hands

Moderator Mayhem

*NOT for student use. Good construct for critical thinking. 

“Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of our newest game in partnership with Engine. Moderator Mayhem is a mobile, browser-based game that lets you see how good a job you would do as a front line content moderator for a growing technology company that hosts user-generated content (in the game, it’s a “review” website that lets you review anything, not just businesses).”

AXIS:  The Culture Translator

Giving Players an Ultrahand

What it is: With perfect review scores abounding, Nintendo released its highly anticipated game “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” for the Nintendo Switch last week.

A Diet of Darkness

What it is: Despite some states trying to ban TikTok to protect users’ data privacy, an article in the Wall Street Journal argues that the bigger threat is still to teens’ mental health.

Web Spotlight:

Why birds and their songs are good for our mental health

Two studies published last year in Scientific Reports said that seeing or hearing birds could be good for our mental well-being.

“The special thing about birdsongs is that even if people live in very urban environments and do not have a lot of contact with nature, they link the songs of birds to vital and intact natural environments,” said Emil Stobbe, an environmental neuroscience graduate student at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and author of one of the studies.

Recent research also suggests that listening to recordings of their songs, even through headphones, can alleviate negative emotions.

By analyzing the data, the researchers found a significant positive association between seeing or hearing birds and improved mental well-being, even when accounting for other possible explanations such as education, occupation, or the presence of greenery and water, which have themselves been associated with positive mental health.

Would You Recognize a Good Lesson If You Saw It?

Random Thoughts . . .  

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