MSM 186 Yea, We Promised to get to the Wormeli Presentation- and We did!

Jokes You Can Use:

Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.

Three men were sitting on a bench in heaven discussing how they died. The first man said “I died of cancer.” The second man said, “I died of tuberculosis”. The third man said “I died of seenus”. The first two men said, “No, you mean sinus.” The third man said “No, I mean seenus. I was out with my best friend’s wife and he seen us!”

A recently hired nurse listened while the doctor was yelling, “Malaria! Chicken pox!
Polio!” the nurse asked another nurse, “why is he going on like that?” The other nurse replied, “Oh, he just likes to call the shots around here.”

Eileen Award:

Stephanie Francis


The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011

*Warning, you need to review prior to showing live. You’ll probably want to download the ones that you want to share.


The year in 60 seconds


Reuter’s Pictures

From the Twitterverse:


web20classroom Steven W. Anderson  RT @rmbyrne: New post: Quick Screen Share – A Quick Online Screen Sharing Service


teromakotero Tero Toivanen

shares Games Theory – A middle school is using video games to help teach its students. (via Jesse Soininen) ht…


DianeRavitch Diane Ravitch

What happened when one school had a week without testing:…


Larryferlazzo Larry Ferlazzo

RT @DianeRavitch: My speech yesterday to National Opportunity to Learn Summit:



Our English Language Arts Teacher Guide is being sent out right now. Click the link to see it.


Ruth_A_Buzzi Ruth Buzzi

A person’s skin shouldn’t be judged by color….only thickness. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (thank you, John Rickmon)


willrich45 Will Richardson

Yay! Longer standardized tests planned! However, “education officials” won’t have to take them. #edchat #takethetest


missnoor28 Miss Noor ㋡

Principles and Practices in Electronic Portfolios #edtech #edchat #education #HigherEd #edujo


GoodtoKNO Kno

First Textbook free for all students! Sign up while you still can! #ebook #etextbook #college #education #school


LizFrerich Lizfrerich

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence. Robert Frost


tomshepp tomshepp

Ten Tips for Engaging Underperforming Students #teaching #education

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


PE, Recess standards- more schools meet standards

Schools are more likely to offer students 150 minutes of physical education per week if located in a state or district that mandates that level of P.E., according to a study published online today in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Friendly Advice For Teachers: Beware Of Facebook

The new and ever-changing world of social networking has blurred the lines between private and public, work and personal, friend and stranger. It’s becoming a particular challenge for teachers who can quickly rile students and parents by posting comments or photos online.


Online Conversion

Take just about any format and convert it to another.

  • Audio
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Web Spotlight:


AMLE 2011:

Thursday Sessions

Keynote:  Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education

See Dept. of Education website.

Basically quoted a bunch of Dr. Balfanz’s research.

Importance of Middle Schools

Key to keeping kids in high school.

Rick Wormeli:  Tiering Assignments and Assessments

CW121 Tiering Assignments and Assessments

Rick Wormeli

Thursday, Nov. 10  2:00-5:00 pm  212 Convention Center

Two ways to differentiate:  Loud and Slower.  Ha!

Out of survival in 1982 . . . . Tiering

Tiering is   . . .

His:  Group by readiness, not by ability.

Readiness implies a temporary condition “I’m not ready, but I hope to become so . . . “

Talk about he hard work they put into a project.

Talk about the process they went through and the energy they put into the work.

Only talking about the complexity of the challenge level.

Not about ability or learning profile.

Mike Schmoker, “Focus” & “Results Now” has an editorial

Blew it on differentiation and Tiering and “all this stuff.”

They think there’s not a lot of research on learning styles.

Everyone else:  504, IEP, Multiple Intelligences, Learner profile, readiness.

Ability or ability group, belch.

Interest, ability, learning profile.

AKA Responsive Teaching

Tools to raise and lower the content level.

Ask him for the color or black and white slides.

First accept the fact that most regular education classrooms are not set up to meet all students’ needs.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could tell parents to take back their students that aren’t ready yet. Ha!

Shopclass for Soulcraft, book that fits in to middle level ideas.

Second, identify how your lessons and interactions reflect expertise with the unique nature of the students your serve.

Kids need to move every 10-12 minutes.

Everybody stand up and poke a neighbor in a non-private place.

Relieves stress on the end of their growth plates.

Show a video:  show 10-15 mins. and then have them get up and process for 2-3 minutes.

What you teach is irrelevant, nobody cares.  Tell me what they’re learning, not what you’re teaching.

Example:  The Unique Nature of Young Adolescents

Physical Activity

Creative expression

Positive social interactions

Structure and clear limits

Achievement and competence

One day w/out experiencing competence will cause a 3-4 day downward spiral academically.

3 days for a good home.

Opportunities to define who they are

Age 14 is the last point of teaching difference, compassionate, and responsible.

Connection to adults and communities.

Great Resources for Developing Expertise on Young Adolescents

Turning Points 2000

This we Believe (AMLE)

RMLE On-line

Slices of Life:  Managing Dilemmas in Middle Grades Teaching

Managing the Madness:  A Practical Guide to Middle Grades Classrooms

Everyone’s Invited!

Making the Most of Middle Schools.

Advancing Differentiation

Differentiation and The Brain

Dayna Sousa and Carol Ann Tomlinson

Sample of Tiered Tasks

Grade Level Task:

Draw and correctly label the plot profile of a novel.

Advanced Level Tasks:

Draw and Correctly label the general plot profile for a particular genre of books.

Draw and  correctly label the plot profile of a novel and explain how the insertion or deletion of a particular character or conflict will impact the profile’s line, and judge whether or not this change would improve the quality of the story.

Workload is Time + Energy.  Try to keep the “Workload” the same when tiering.

When designing:

Define grade level first.

Define High level second

Define low level last.

Early Readiness Level Tasks:

Draw and correctly label the plot profile of a short story.

Draw and correctly label the plot profile of a single scene.

Given a plot profile

See handout

Common Definition:  Tiering is when we adjust the following to maximize learning:



Learning Profile

Rick’s preferred:  When we change the level of complexity or required readiness of a task or unit of study in order to meet the developmental needs of students involved.
Common Assessments are valuable.
What is Mastery?
“Tim was so learned, that he could name a horse in nine languages but bought a cow to ride on.”  Ben Franklin
“The student will investigate . . . .”
Center for Media Literacy in New Mexico –
“If we are literate in our subject, we can:  (See slide)
What is the standard of excellence when it comes to tying a shoe?
Now describe the evaluative criteria for someone who excels beyond the standard of excellence for tying a shoe.  What can they do?
Book:  The Pluto Files is a good book.

Determine the surface area of a cube.

Determine the surface are of a rectangular prism (a rectangular box)

Determine the amount of wrapping paper needed for another rectangular box, keeping in mind the need to have regular places of overlapping paper so you can tape down the corners neatly.

Determine the amount of paint needed to paint an entire Chicago skyscraper

Which one gets” the A?.
Anchor Activities refer to two types of learner management experiences:
“Sponge” activities that soak up down time, such as when students finish early, the class is waiting for thenext activity, or the class is  cleaning up or distributing papers.

Graphic Organizer

Anchor Lesson Design

Activty/Group:  At four walls

Center:  Anchor activity

Anchor Activities Advice

Use activities with multiple steps to engage students.
Require a product
Train students what to do when the teacher is not available.
Start small:  half the class, half the class.  work toward more groups.
Double T-Charts
Characteristics of success we’d like to see
Characteristics of success we’d like to hear
Characteristics of success we’d feel.
Practice new behaviors in short chunks and always debrief.
Real learning has little to do with instruction.  It’s what they got out of it.
Need to use it outside of our own classroom.
Process the lesson at the end.
Task Cards may help.
Use and train students in attention signals.
How much time is lost in the beginning of class and the end of class with just getting their attention?
As much as three weeks during the school year.
Practice the behavior.
“Fish Bowl”
The small group is in the center and the rest of the class is observing and then writing feedback on the performance of the group.
Give them a chance to analyze each other’s behavior.

3 questions to ask, 3 questions to ask and write down the responses.

2 quesitons to ask, 2 questions to ask and pick one follow up question.  Write down.

Here’s a list of 10 questions, pick 3 and write down the responses.
Examples and non-examples
20-45 minutes in length for secondary students, 10-20 minutes for primary and early elementary students.
Train students in how to engage from one activity and move back into another one successfully.
Sample Anchor Activities:
Language Arts:
What to Do When the Teacher is Not Available
Suggestions include:
Move on the next portion; something may trigger an idea
Draw a picture of what you think it says or asks
Re-read the directions or previous sections
Find a successful example and study how it was done
Ask a classmate (“Graduate Assistant”, “Teacher Assistant”, “Technoids”)
Define difficulty vocabulary.
Try to explain it to someone else.
(Kids come up with three more)
Football!:  Sequence the Class Hour
General lesson on the topic – everyone does the same thing.  10-15 mins. or so.
Students practice, process, apply and study the topic in small groups according to their needs, styles, intelligences, pacing, or whatever other factors that are warranted.  15-20 mins.
Students come back together and summarize what they’ve learned.  10 mins.
Needs to be respectful tasks with meaning!
Always keep the bigger picture in front of them throughout the “pieces” lessons.
Additional structures that May Help:  Video-At Work in the Differentiated Classroom.
Use Anticipation Guides
Reminder:  You can have different levels of these.  Reading Journals, etc.
Create personal agendas for some students.
Top half is something that is there all the time.
The bottom half is the steps of the lesson that are important to that day’s lesson.
Keeps the distractions down.
Use centers/learning stations
Have a higher level and a lower level of station . . .
Adjust journal prompts and level of questioning to meet  challenge levels
Incorporate orbital studies “Orbitals”  i.e.  Satellite Studies
Surrounds the basic curriculum and leads to something that is presented in class.
Example: Graph these two coordinates on a plane.
For Early readiness
Limite the number of variables.
Limit the inequality symbols to, “graphing” thing.
For Advanced
Require students to generate the 4 quadrant . . .
Begin by listing every skill or it of information a student mys fuse in order to meet the needs of a task successfully.  Most of what we teach has subsets of skills and content that we can break down for students and explore at length.
Steps to Tiering Assignments and Assessments – Advice
Figure out what the critical elements are the kids need to know.
Tier tasks by designing the full-proficency and then design the high and then the low proficiency.
You don’t have to have high, medium, or low.
Don’t tier every aspect of every lesson.  It’s often okay for students to do what everyone else is doing.
When you first start this, stay focused on one concept or task.
To Increase or decrease a Task’s complexity, Add or remove these attributes:
Manipulate information not just echo it:
Extend what you’re teaching to some other area.
Work with advanced resources
Add an unexpected resource
Reframe a topic under a new theme
Synthesize two or more unrelated concepts or objects to create something new.
Work with the ethical side of the subject.
The Equalizer (Carol Ann Tomlinson)
9 elements in a learning experience
Google this.
Learner Profile:  Any factor that might influence Learning.
see the handout
Learning Contracts – Basic Components
Student and Teacher responsibilities
Teacher expectations of Student
Consequences for the student if he does not live up to responsibilities and expectations
Spaces for both teacher . ..
See handout
These dates and descriptions . . .
Science Class:  The student will complete the following tasks by December 10th .  .  .
Working on these tasks during contract time the student will . . .
Contractual consequences
Frank William’s Taxonomy of Creative Thought
Incentive Publications builds their stuff around him.
Risk Taking
Fluency:  We generate as many ideas and responses as we can
Originality:  We create clever and often unique responses
Ask students to create a 3-D cube out of foam board or poster board, then respond to one of these prompts on each side:
Describe it
Compare it
Associate it
Analyze it
Argue for or against it.
Apply it.
We can also make it higher and lower-level complexity cubes for varied groups’ responses.
S has been added for strong adjective or adverb.
Raise complexity by adding things that aren’t a natural fit.
Four or five choices per role.
Learning Menus
Hors d”oubres
dessert: Short and fun.
side dishes
Put the kids on a meal plan.
Tic-Tac-Toe board
Tic Tac Toe any way but vertical
Horizontal:  Summarise (Describe)  Compare (analogy)  Critique
Vertical:  ?
Tier 1, 2, 3 etc.
Practice complexi-fying.  Really.  A Lot.
1.  Students will come up with an appropriate thesis for a paper.
2.  Kick it up a notch:  Give the writing and come up with a thesis.  Analyze other thesis and come up with a better one.  Make a reteaching plan for your classmates.
3.  Use a thesis.
Here’s three economic principles of FDR.  Rank them in importance to Hermine Granger.  How is that different from Ron Weasley?
Explain it to an Amazonian tribe that doesn’t have electricity.
Tier questions as warranted.
Test design: easy, hard, easy and hard alternate and then go easiest at the end.
Principles for Teaching ADvanced Students
No mater what readiness level, we teach essential and enduring knowledge first or at least at the same time as advanced standards.
The teacher oesn’t have to know it all.  He has to facilitate the learning.
Advanced experiences illuminate more material during the course of the year, whether by moving more rapidly, by exploring concepts in greater depth, or by offering more breadth in the field of study.
CEC and NEGC (Susan Rakow)  National Associationo of Gifted children.
Failure is Not an Option, it is Preferred!
A blind alley always teaches more than an easy street.
With advanced students, we affirm effort and perseverance, hot how intelligent or capable they are.
They love humor so much more!
We incorporate student’s multiple intelligences and the characteristics and challenges thereof.
They love slapstick!
We affirm and use shared leadership in the classroom.
Textbooks and novels are resources, not the curriculum.
Primary sources in research are more heavily valued.
In general, advanced students do not like whole novels to be read to them.  Excerpts are fine.
Advanced experiences expose students to a larger variety of language and literature.
Non-traditional grammar, sentence structures, vocabulary words and writer’s voice are encouraged.
Assessment is more authentic and alternative assessment is are more likely to occur . . .
We intentionally provoke thinking and confront the status quo and invite students to do the same.
There can often be a wider range of readiness levels in a classroom of advanced students than there is in a classroom of general education students.
Advanced students tend to appreciate the teacher’s use of humor more than other students do.
ADvanced experiences will have some unique opportunities:  Socratic Seminars, debates, working directly with experts in the field, integrating subjects.
Accountable Talk (Checking for Understanding ASCD 2007)
Press for clarification – “Could you describe what you mean?”
Require justification – “Where did you find that information?”
Recognize and challenge misconceptions .. .
see handout
We still make the implicit, explicit and not assume anything.
We compact the curriculum for advanced students as warranted.
Advanced students often perceive subtlety and nuance.  We notice, too.
Home vs. House
Mastery vs. Excellence
Advanced students embrace complexity, often transcending simplistic or binary responses.
Advanced students can often lose track of time, space, and people; they easily enter, “Flow.”
Advanced are often quite good at switch-tasking
Independent studies (orbitals), adjusted prompts, and learning contracts work.
Advanced students appreciate patterns and connections and rarely leave content to its individual pieces.
Integration with fine and performing arts works well with advanced students, even with those not advanced with those arts.
Just because I can’t think of it doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
“Little Geniuses” Article
Advanced thinkers:  “Dumbth”
Aren’t afraid to change their minds.
Are aware that their opinions
Quick Reference:  Differentiated Lesson Planning Sequence
Design the learning experiences for students based on . . .
When designing your actual lessons . ..
Brainstorm multiple strategies
Cluster into introductory, advanced, and strategies that fit between these two.
see hand out
Students have to do both,
Access to sense-making
Process to Meaning-Making
Ask him for the article on meaning making.
What to do with the kid who . . . . by Kay Burke
“Even a man on the right track will get run over if he just stands there”  -Will Rogers.

Events & Happenings:

Calendar of Events:

ISTE 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:

AMLE Affiliate Conferences:

Classroom 2.0’s Live Calendar.

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