MSM 181 A Separate Peace

Jokes You Can Use:

Pete and Larry had not seen each other in many years. Now they had a long talk trying to fill in the gap of those years by telling about their lives. Finally Pete invited Larry to visit him in his new apartment. “I got a wife and three kids and I’d love to have you visit us.”
“Great. Where do you live?”
“Here’s the address. And there’s plenty of parking behind the apartment. Park and come around to the front door, kick it open with your foot, go to the elevator and press the button with your left elbow, then enter! When you reach the sixth floor, go down the hall until you see my name on the door. Then press the doorbell with your right elbow and I’ll let you in.”
“Good. But tell me…what is all this business of kicking the front door open, then pressing elevator buttons with my right, then my left elbow?”
“Surely, you’re not coming empty-handed.”


A Police officer approached a motorist stopped in the middle of the road before the river overpass holding up traffic. The officer noticed the driver jotting on a notebook frantically. He asked the driver, what in the world are you doing? The driver replied, “The sign says Draw Bridge”.

On Our Mind:

Congratulations to Dr. Monte Tatom

NMSA/AMLE early registration extended a week.
Dr. Debbie Silver is rumored to have a new book out soon on motivating the hard to motivate student.

Eileen Award:

Sara Kaviar

Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

Part 4 of the podcasts on Lab Safety.  It is about the 7 Standards for Maintaining a Safer Laboratory Environment.

From the Twitterverse:

*pammoran How 2 get started writing fiction – insights from master writing class teacher-novelist Jill Dawson via Guardian #nwp
*s_bearden Googlelittrips seems like a great tool for teaching Language Arts/English! #edcampcitrus #elemchat #engchat
*mcleod Congrats to @johnccarver for being recognized as a 2011 Innovator in Education! #edtech #vanmeter
*robertjmarzano If you have more questions about Leaders of Learning, you can ask me live on Oct 17 6:30pm EDT on #edfocus.
*tombarrett The Graphic Classroom: The Best Comics List (for all grade levels) #comics #graphicnovels

Graphic novels in the classroom | via @dilaycock #graphicnovels #comics

kevcreutz 60 Second Science Lessons via @rmbyrne #edtech
*TeachnologyNews Riddle Of The Day For Students: What is easy to get into, but hard to get out of?- Trouble.
*fabclassroom Huge List of New Printable Coupons via @DebbieDoesCoups
*SeanBanville Soooo many fab blogs – RT @annabooklover: Best grammar blogs:
*AncientProverbs The greatest virtues are those which are most useful to other persons. -Aristotle
*Larryferlazzo “Should we all buy India’s new $60 tablet computer? ” BBC
*VirtualLrnAcad iNACOL Revises National Standards Guide for Online Learning #onlinelearning #edtech
*russeltarr Rubrics for Assessment:

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


A Separate Peace

Alliance’s founder and lead teacher, Tina Owen. She decided to start the school after she was outed at a large Milwaukee high school where she worked as an English teacher. After word spread, she decided her sexuality may as well be all the way out.

…suggested that such a school would not only create the impression that intolerance would be permitted everywhere else but also leave its sheltered graduates unprepared to deal with the sometimes harsh realities of being a gay person in America.

…He recently attended a homecoming dance at his boyfriend’s school, and though people said nasty things as the two boys made their way inside, Dylan notes, somewhat optimistically, that the trash talkers were parents rather than students. He adds, “It seems like my generation is getting over it.”,28804,2095385_2096859_2096805-1,00.html


iPads in the Science Classroom

Last year, around October 2010, I got 13 iPads for my Science students through a service-learning grant. This is the start of my second year using those iPads with my Science students. The summer before I got the iPads I was able to try one out myself and wrote about the possibilities here. I elaborated further on how I was going to use the iPads here. Once students started to use the iPads I used a Google form to see which apps they liked the best. Here are the results of that survey.

Common Core Maps

National Geographic Xpeditions

Geography lessons and free resources for your classroom:

Better Lesson

Google Lit Trips

The short version is simple. Google Lit Trips are free downloadable files that mark the journeys of characters from famous literature on the surface of Google Earth. At each location along the journey there are placemarks with pop-up windows containing a variety of resources including relevant media, thought provoking discussion starters, and links to supplementary information about “real world” references made in that particular portion of the story.
The focus is on creating engaging and relevant literary experiences for students. I like to say Google Lit Trips “3-dimensionalize” the reading experience by placing readers “inside the story” traveling alongside the characters; looking through the windshield of that old jalopy in The Grapes of Wrath or waddling alongside Mr. and Mrs. Mallard’s duckling family in Make Way for Ducklings.”
What Google Lit Trips AREN’T
Google Lit Trips aren’t like sparknotes and other resources that can be used to circumvent the need to actually do the reading. They are designed to stimulate higher level thinking skills and to connect the story’s themes and messages to the issues of the real world in which students live.

Web Spotlight:

Welcome to the 21things4Students Site

This site was created by a grant from the REMC Association of Michigan for the creation of an educational resource for students preparing for 21st century skills. Members of the REMC Instructional Technology Specialists in Michigan along with teachers from around the state have created this site to provide project-based activities which are aligned to the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S), and the Michigan Educational Technology Standards for students (METS) as well as the Framework for 21st Century Learning identified by the Partnership For 21st Century Skills.

For Educators:

For Administrators:


Deb’s Data Digest

A wide variety of resources and strategies.

ScreenCasts as Assessment/Instruction

Here are some examples.

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