MSM 610:  Satisfying The Friend Requirement


Shawn and Troy talk about break, Reader’s Theater, culture, and more. Dave brings us down to earth with the International Space Station. 


I applied to be a doorman but didn’t get the job due to lack of experience. That surprised me, I thought it was an entry level position.

I have the heart of a lion… and a lifetime ban from the San Diego Zoo.

I couldn’t get a reservation at the library. They were completely booked.

They say Tiger Stadium can hold up to fifty-six thousand people, but that is just a ballpark figure.

Do you want a brief explanation of what an acorn is? In a nutshell, it’s an oak tree.

When my wife told me to stop impersonating a flamingo, I had to put my foot down.

I’m glad I know sign language, it’s pretty handy.

I started a new business making yachts in my attic this year…the sails are going through the roof

Middle School Science Minute  

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

K12Science Podcast: International Space Station

I was recently reading the October, 2023 special issue of USA Today, entitled, “NASA at 65.”

In this issue, I read the article “25 Years Up There: International Space Station Operators are Preparing for the Outpost’s Demise.”

25 years ago, the first two elements of the International Space Station were connected by shuttle astronauts.  After 2030, NASA will need to bring the space station out of orbit.

Reports from the Front Lines

  • The Juice
  • Moodle Forums
    • Privacy
    • Secure
    • Consistent
  • Video vs Text 
  • Reader’s Theater
    • Group Choice
    • StudentQuiz
  • AI thoughts

The Social Web

Matt Miller   @jmattmiller

It’s been 8 years. This is my first teacher work day in 8 years. Desks are arranged. My desk is cleaned. Planning lessons. I used the words “my classroom” recently for the first time in years. Excited. Let’s do this. #MattsBackInClass

Ron Houtman  @ronhoutman

Google is getting into the AI generated video game too – check out VideoPoet from Google Research #ai

Sloan-Keynote Speaker, Workshop Facilitator  @psloanjoseph

As we return for the new year, now is a great time to reflect, review, and redo the following. #InformInspireInfluence

Larry Ferlazzo  @Larryferlazzo

Infographic: “Countries With the Highest Prevalence of Slavery”

Susie Dent  @susie_dent

Word of the day is ‘phrontistery’ (17th century): a place to withdraw to for thinking or contemplation. If no phrontistery is available, then to ‘latibulate’ is to find a corner and hide in it.  


CK-12 Plix

Language GuessR

Listen to a language and guess where the language comes from. You can sign in or not.

Spin The Wheel

I like this one because you can do multiple wheels.

Robert Orben’s Card File of Jokes

If you happen to be looking for a joke about the Cuban Missile Crisis, Watergate, air pollution, or miniskirts, the Robert Orben Papers in the Manuscript Division has what you need. Robert Orben was a comedy writer, humor consultant, and speechwriter for President Gerald R. Ford. In 2019, Orben donated a stockpile of thousands of jokes, one-liners, and witty patter that he generated over more than fifty years. He created some of the material while writing for television in the 1960s, prepared some of it for specific performers and public figures, and published many of jokes in compilations for use by anyone who needed to get a laugh.


Graphite is an in-development raster and vector graphics package that’s free and open source. It is powered by a node graph compositing engine that fuses layers with nodes, providing a fully nondestructive editing experience.

4 POWERFUL Anti-Procrastination Tips!

Tired of falling victim to procrastination?  In this video, I’ll reveal 4 powerful anti-procrastination tips that will help you unlock your productivity potential and conquer your goals! Say goodbye to wasted time and hello to unstoppable progress!

Web Spotlight: 

Access Mars

Social media made $11 billion in U.S. ad sales from minors and therefore has ‘overwhelming financial incentives’ to avoid protecting children, study finds

A Busy Person’s Guide to Large Language Models

This is a 1 hour general-audience introduction to Large Language Models: the core technical component behind systems like ChatGPT, Claude, and Bard. What they are, where they are headed, comparisons and analogies to present-day operating systems, and some of the security-related challenges of this new computing paradigm.

As of November 2023 (this field moves fast!).

AI Tube

All the videos are generated using AI, for research purposes only. Some models might produce factually incorrect or biased outputs.

AXIS The Culture Translator


What it is: One of teens’ top Christmas list items for 2023 was a $600 hair styling system called the Dyson Airwrap.

What it means: As of this writing, #dysonairwrap has 5.9 billion TikTok views. The tool comes with multiple attachments and claims to help users achieve a range of hairstyles, including the voluminous beach waves that influencers favor. Like many other expensive things that teens favored this year (including Stanley tumblers, White Fox sweats, and Hoka sneakers), owning an Airwrap is seen as a status symbol as much as a useful, high-quality product. 

Over Yondr

What it is: Public schools in the US have spent at least $2.5 million on individual slipcases called Yondr pouches that make smartphones inaccessible during school hours.

What people are saying: Yondr pouches have been available for almost ten years, and used in schools for eight. But as scrutiny over how device use may impact how young brains develop has continued to increase, so have schools’ orders for Yondr products. School officials interviewed by NBC News noted that the pouches successfully redirected students’ attention in the classroom and enhanced the quality of their social interactions face-to-face. 

The Alphas Have Arrived

What it is: The New York Times published 12 predictions for the forces that will shape trends and culture this year, noting that Gen Alpha is poised to influence what’s in style.

What else could be in store? Style forecasters in The Times predict that rosettes will adorn our clothing, athletic prowess will be cool again thanks to Travis Kelce, smartwatches will inundate elementary schools, and more men will be getting their nails done. And the senior members of Gen Alpha, finally old enough to (legally) engage in public social media spaces, may be out in full force to let Gen Z know that old age comes for us all. It’s a powerful turning point when you consider the elements (like COVID-19, YouTube shorts, and ubiquitous iPads) that have already shaped childhood for this group of people. Gen Alpha is currently defined as the people born from 2010 to 2024, and it is estimated that they will number 2 billion—the largest generational cohort in history.

Find more at:  

Random Thoughts . . .  

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