MSM 175 Out of the frying pan and into the bathwater . . .

On Our Mind:

Starting of the school year.
Education and Election Reform

Eileen Award:

Ellizabeth S – iTunes comment
(I bet Principal Beth ROCKS!!!)


The Mindset List

Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

This middle school science minute is about the ELA common core standards in Writing and their relationship to science.  The four areas of writing include: text types and purposes; production and distribution of writing; research to build and present knowledge; and range of writing.  In this podcast, we look at the five reading standards that relate to science in grades 6 – 8 in the area of text types and purposes, with a special focus on writing arguments focused on science content.

From the Twitterverse:

*Ruth_A_Buzzi Political correctness has now gone too far. Sea World just renamed an exhibit, “Shamu the Alleged Killer Whale.”
*tmoreira Don’t stay in bed, unless you can make money in bed. – George Burns #quote
*Frankwspencer Why I Hate Teach for America — Feministe via @addthis
*markbarnes19 What if educators just said “No” to the test? #resultsonly
*ShellTerrell Bring Your Old PC To Life With Ubuntu–Free PDF Guide ~ @jdthomas7 #edtech
*rkiker RT @AllisonBurley: Great first day of school activities to help students, teachers get to know each other #palisd
*mcleod Proposed education reforms must address students’ day-to-day classroom work #iaedfuture #iaedsummit
*jksuter @doctorjeff We have to ensure testing serves education not education serving testing. Good stuff, thanks!
*pammoran inventing the future in 1939 … from the Smithsonian minivids
*stardiverr Maybe it’s because it doesn’t work to say, “Turn in your learning.” I think there’s a message in there somewhere.
*julielindsay Julie Lindsay  ADE Spreading the word that ALL Flat Classroom, Digiteen and A Week in the Life project forms are open again! Join us now!
*fabclassroom Rite Aid Deals Week of 8/28 – 9/3 via @FrugalNavyWife
*apuustin 5 Reasons Why Our Students Are Writing Blogs and Creating ePortfolios via @zite #finnedchat #education #mlearning
*tmoreira Don’t stay in bed, unless you can make money in bed. – George Burns #quote
*KTVee Krissy Venosdale  Did ur students come running into OpenHouse shouting “Ooooh, ooooh, when are we taking our first standardized test?” #noway #edchat

Don’t forget to join the conversation on MiddleTalk and Twitter at #midleved this Friday at 8:00 pm EST.  


Chiquita Sweepstakes.

Starting August 15th, Chiquita, in partnership with Rio the movie, will celebrate back to school and healthy eating by giving away up to $5,000 in prizes!
The interactive site will give you and your students the tools to learn about healthy nutrition with FUN and original lesson plans, games, worksheets and more. The sweepstakes is open to all teachers from accredited schools in the U.S. Simply register your class at


Monte Selby Free Song of the Week

Check out the Monte Selby web site. This week is a free song about Matter.

Web Spotlight:

Understanding 9/11: A Television News Archive

by Richard Byrne

Which Rules Are Worth Circumventing?

By Tina Barseghian
Rules are important in any civilized society. Without them, chaos would ensue. But some rules are worth questioning, especially when the consequences negate their very purpose.

“What Would You Attempt to Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail?”

Ten things every new teacher should know

By Meris Stansbury, Associate Editor

1. Focus on the positives, not the negatives.
2. Be clear in your student expectations.
3. Have a backup plan.
4. Students are not your BFFs.
5. Many times, you’ll find yourself alone.
6. Lashing out will get you nowhere.
7. Learn to put your foot down.
8. Teaching is often political.
9. Make friends with custodians and secretaries
10. Make sure your professors have experience with current instructional practices.

ISTE 2011:  What are we doing for our leaders?

syteshirt: Very cool iPad integrated shirt. Scott McLeod leading the discussion.
Uninformed technology purchasing. TPAC session: having discussions with principals to accurately implement tech. We have a lot of technology instruction that we’re pulling in principals into teacher instruction and we actually need tech instruction for just the principals.

1. Empower a select group of teachers to implement the tech.

2. Create a rich, deep technology vision at principal/supt. level.

3. Principals get a “principal” version of the technology instruction.

4. District level evaluation of the technology after purchase.

5. 3-5 year plans lead to rigid thinking.

6. Can the average administrator understand what they’re seeing when they are looking at tech being used in the classroom? (one hand of 50)

So . . . what do you do about that?

1. Training them on the walkthroughs to ask more reflective questions on

their walkthroughs. Standardized questions. Teacher presentation vs. Student usage.

2. Need to hire principals that understand all curr. subjs.

3. Need a principal level conversation on tech usage in building and district.

4. “Focus Walk” teachers and principals fill out the check sheet and answer

whether the students/teacher are using/consuming technology. i.e. What is engagement?

5. Interesting point: really have to go to the students’ homes and also see what they are doing there, because the engagement goes on beyond four walls.

6. Hit administrators in a key specific way

7. Provide specific support in forms and rubric to assist but allow flexibility to allow the admin. the opportunity to expound.

8. Create ownership as instructional leaders.

9. Provide them contrasting examples.

10. Give them time with peers.

11. Make the administrators play with the tools.

Why aren’t we doing this already for our “leaders”? Now?

1. Embarrassed if it doesn’t come up to expectations.

2. Administrators run PD and so they can’t participate in it themselves.

3. There isn’t research yet to support the purchase. Yet.  Innovation precedes Research.

4. Leaders control all the power by controlling resources.  If you don’t feed their technology needs, they won’t spend the $$ on it.

5. You have to understand what their incentives are. They also want to

survive a disaster for example.

6. Superintendents don’t want to be seen as unknowing in front of their teachers. They get bribed to go to ISDs to learn.

7. Find out where the administrators and then take them from there. Require them to use the tech first, then the teachers. (i.e. Google Docs/ Moodle)

Do School Boards have a role in this?

The critical people are school boards, superintendents, and people with money in the district. Superintendent took pictures of what was going on in the district and then created a VoiceThread and commented on the pictures as a way for feedback and evaluation.

CASTLE model Increase discomfort level with status quo in order to make change. Replace it with a different kind of vision. Come in the back end with support and resources and vision.
Where is the student voice in this? (Peggy Sheehey)

Summary: By and large these are good people who want to good by the kids. loi87We have to educate up as well as down. We need to resource the principals when they do go to do a change. Instead of coming to admin. with “we need this to be better” come to them with “here’s the problem here’s how we make us and you better.”

Jokes You Can Use:

I recently visited a Mental Asylum & I asked the director, “How can you know when a person needs to be institutionalized?” He said, “Well, we fill a bathtub with water & we offer them a Teaspoon,a Teacup and a Bucket & ask them to empty the tub.” I said, “I see…A normal person would choose the bucket because it is bigger.” He responded, “No. A normal person would pull the plug…would you like a bed by the window?

Ruth_A_Buzzi Ruth Buzzi
I knew the Washington Monument would develop a crack problem in that neighborhood.

The U S Mail is considering dropping back to just 4 days a week next year. The other three days, mail will be carried by Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Have a heart, Col. Qadhafi, before you leave town; please send all that old clothing back to the estate of Ethel Merman.

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.

Ohio Middle Level Association:  

Michigan Association of Middle School Educators

  • 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