MSM 177 Group hugs & Parents need to hear this …

On Our Mind:

Is it fair to students to make personnel changes during the first few weeks of school?

Eileen Award:

To all our Diigo followers . . . group hug!


String Theory:  Take a piece of twine and stick it under the student’s heel.  Unwind it up to their head and cut.  Take a piece of tape and label the string with the kid’s name.  Hold onto the string and repeat the activity at the end of the year.  Compare and contrast.

NMSA/AMLE Video Contest:  Taking the LeadVideo Contest

  • Open to middle grade students (5-9)
  • Those working on the video must be 10 to15  year – olds, but teachers may submit the videos.
  • Each video must be 3 minutes or less.
  • Video(s) must be submitted via SchoolTube. See submission process below.
  • Schools may enter as many videos as they would like.
  • Deadline: Videos must be uploaded no later than October 24th, 2011, at 11:00 pm EST.
  • Top 3 winners will be notified by November 7, 2011.

Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

This middle school science minute is the third in a three part series 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 writing standards that relate to science in grades 6 – 8 in the areas of production and distribution of writing; research to build and present knowledge, and range of writing.

From the Twitterverse:

*Ruth_A_Buzzi What’s so bad about being disgruntled? Would you really, honestly prefer to be gruntled?
*ddraper  The evolution of #classroom technology Interesting infographic, good find (via @tonnet).
*GlogsterEDU Make your own QR Code Scavenger Hunt!
*middleweb New stuff! Flip classrooms, teaching secrets videos; STEM; diversity; ereaders; transmedia #ntchat #elemchat #midleved
*cyndiejacobs RT “@etfoaq: The day Apple won the Flash fight… FINALLY!”
*willrich45 “What We Don’t Know About Our Students — And Why We Don’t Know It” by @alfiekohn #goodstuff #ecchat #edreform
*pammoran “what if 8th graders designed our classrooms?” via @willrich45 #ideachat
*msstewart Just got #pottermore activiation notice. There goes any productivity for the day 🙂
*stevehargadon My free TEACHER 2.0 course (“experience”) in #mightybell for using the web for personal and professional development:
*Mimadisonklein Erin KleinGo Social Studies Go – Multimedia Social Studies Books via Free Technology for Teachers – Go Social Studies …
*mcleod Mind Dump: Teachers in China want their classrooms to be more like ours #edtech #edtechlead
*EleanoreDuyndam Eleanore Duyndam Optimism is the one quality more associated with success and happiness than any other~ Brian tracy
*Michelle_Horst Michelle Horst “The role of a creative leader is not to have all the ideas; it’s to create a culture where everyone can have ideas.”
*pammoran pammoran RT @colonelb: Lee Middle School 6th grade students learn about World Trade Center towers in unique way |…
*msstewart The Other 1st Responders- How Teachers Dealt With 9/11
*pammoran kids constructing history RT @canyonsdave: RT @ABC: 9/11 Scrapbook: Eighth-Graders’ Journals From the Day After

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



Beyond Testing

…my Chinese colleagues didn’t mention their test scores, nor did they inquire about mine. I quickly learned that we share a similar goal for our students: to promote innovation and foster independent thinking.

Every Chinese teacher I spoke with expressed concern with their nation’s emphasis on testing. One teacher explained that students spend their entire final year of high school preparing for national examinations at the expense of other educational opportunities that would enable them to acquire a broad range of skills. She described Chinese students as “unhappy” because they are “forced” to drill for high-stakes examinations.

What teachers really want to tell parents

By Ron Clark, Special to CNN

So, what can we do to stem the tide? What do teachers really need parents to understand?

For starters, we are educators, not nannies. We are educated professionals who work with kids every day and often see your child in a different light than you do. If we give you advice, don’t fight it. Take it, and digest it in the same way you would consider advice from a doctor or lawyer. I have become used to some parents who just don’t want to hear anything negative about their child, but sometimes if you’re willing to take early warning advice to heart, it can help you head off an issue that could become much greater in the future.

Teaching Technology

We are not responsible as educators unless we are teaching not just with technology but through it, about it, because of it.   We need to make kids understand its power, its potential, its dangers, its use.  That isn’t just an investment worth making but one that it would be irresponsible to avoid.


Ambrosia Releases Soundboard for iPad

Ambrosia Software has released their sound effects software for iPad.  You can now put sound effects in the iPad and control your soundboard with the touch of a finger.  You don’t do drama?  (You do if you’re a middle school teacher!)  What about your ESL kids?  What about attaching sounds to word combinations and when they have a hard time sounding things out, they tap the screen and get the correct sound?  I can see this being a great resource for the Speech-Language Pathologist in your district.

Comparison Search

Two ways to look at search results. Could help with looking at the pro’s and con’s of a subject.


Web Spotlight:

Arizona Technology Integration Matrix

The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) illustrates how teachers can use technology to enhance learning for K-12 students. The TIM incorporates five interdependent characteristics of meaningful learning environments: active, collaborative, constructive, authentic, and goal directed (Jonassen, Howland, Moore, & Marra, 2003). The TIM associates five levels of technology integration (i.e., entry, adoption, adaptation, infusion, and transformation) with each of the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments. Together, the five levels of technology integration and the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments create a matrix of 25 cells.

Go Social Studies Go

  • World Geography
  • World History
  • Ancient Civilizations
  • Colonial America

Looks really interesting. Includes a virtual book on Columbus.

Using Film in any Class

These are my notes from Erick Pessoa‘s presentation, “Using Film in Any Class” at the Learning 2.011 Conference in Shanghai, China, on September 9, 2011. Erick teaches IB Film and Digital Photography at Shanghai Community International School. MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS. I ARRIVED A BIT LATE TO THIS SESSION UNFORTUNATELY – ERICK IS A VERY DYNAMIC PRESENTER!
An audio recording of the last half of this presentation is available via Cinch.

Web Tools:

Are you funnier than Scott Adams?

Create the text from a Dilbert cartoons.

ISTE 2011:  Teacher 2.0 with Steve Hargadon

How do you use the tools of the web to get teachers recognized and get them involved?

Get paid for who you are: book on how to get students to be entrepreneurs. The web is becoming a great tool for one’s personal presence. How do we help educators do this?
What are our hobbies? The answer to this question generates energy in people. It gives them a chance to be someone other than themselves right now. The Web as Portfolio.  Feels egocentric.
Create a site that represents who you are How do we use the tools of the web to build our teacher portfolio and represent ourselves?
1. Give teachers permission to lurk on the web. “Hang out”
2. We breed a culture of shame if people don’t twitter and just lurk in Twitter.  Legitimate peripheral participation.
3. The highly connected teacher: data, resources, and people.  Is it conceivable that the teachers that use Web tools had a successful experience online.
4. People are willing to hero worship people on Twitter vs. reality.
5. Professional Development has been done “To” teachers. They’re not used to choosing their own.  They need the opportunity to create a PLN.
6. Building relationships online is important to staff creating their own PLN online.  People are afraid its going to take away from their humanity. What was the initial impetus for going online and building a PLN.
1. Teacher Voice: especially in ed reform. Backchannel chatter on topics. Re-inspire teachers. There’s no room for risk and if we want innovation to happen, we need a place to take risks. Teachers need to feel free.
2. Gateway technologies: Comic Life for example. Get ’em hooked on one and they’ll use another.
3. We need “dream space” to innovate.  How many of us have a personal presence on the Web? Not so many. Lots have professional presence, not so much individual. Should we use that web presence as a way for connecting to our students?
4. We need something that allows our students to define themselves and not let Google define them online.


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