MSM 198: Advisory, Abolition and the War on Teachers in 53 Hours.

Jokes You Can Use:

Boy: Will you marry me?
Girl: No, but I’ll always admire your good taste.

Girl: I’m telling you for the last time- you can’t kiss me.
Boy: I knew that you’d weaken!

Girl: Do you love me?
Boy: Yes, dear.
Girl: Would you die for me?
Boy: Um….mine is an undying love.

Ask me what I had for lunch on March 15th.  Go ahead, ask me.

On Our Mind:

  • MAMSE Conference

Eileen Award:

  • Debbie Silver – Happy Birthday
  • Ashley Kurth
  • Diigo Groupees:  Karen Chopra & G2One Networking
  • Diigo Posters:  Steve Davis & Ron King


Are you a risk taker?

National Geographic has an article on why teens take risks.  Worth a read but I think the picture essay that goes with it is more valuable for the discussion it could generate around the classroom.
Viewing Teens Positively:

Should I raise my hand?


Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

This middle school science minute is about the topic of what drives public opinion.  In the March 2012 issue of Science Scope, within the Scope’s Scoops section, there is a news article entitled “What drives public opinion on climate change?”  The article cites a study by Robert Bruelle and colleagues from Drexel University who set out to identify the informational, cultural and political processes that influence public concern about climate change.  Their conclusion was that the driving factor that most influences public opinion on climate change is the mobilizing efforts of advocacy groups and elites.  It seems that that information-based science advocacy has had only a minor effect on public concern.


From the Twitterverse:

Richard Byrne New post: Calameo – Free Multimedia Publishing to iPads and More
* Kyle Calderwood ‏ @kcalderw
Navigating Apple’s Discount App Program for Educators | #ipaded #edtech #edadmin
* ‏ @TeachnologyNews
A teacher who is not dogmatic is simply a teacher who is not teaching. Gilbert K. Chesterton
*Daniel J. Lewis ‏ @theRamenNoodle
Top of the Irish to you and luck of the morning! #DyslexicLeprechaun #pointlesshashtag
* HEIDI HAYES JACOBS ‏ @HeidiHayesJacob
#AASSA2012’t go to #ascd12 in Philadelphia? ASCD is streaming 22 sessions virtually. More at #ascdvc12
* Nancy White ‏ @NancyW
Why My Six-Year-Old Students Have Digital Portfolios | Getting Smart via @Getting_Smart #edchat #edtech
* Lisa Thumann ‏ @lthumann
We’re talking about using #ibooks to replace textbooks in our admin roundtable #wetech12 anyone doing this already?
* dave mcquaid ‏ @davemcquaid
It’s the last day to sponsor me on my 90-mile, 5-hour, and hopefully rain-free quest. Any takers?
* Vicki Davis ‏ @coolcatteacher
This free tool let’s you apply Bloom’s in your classroom #teaching #edtech – (May not work in Safari. Works fine in Firefox and Chrome)
* Virtual Nerd ‏ @VirtualNerd
Don’t let decimals get in the way of your long division fun! Check out how to handle decimals in long division:
* Amanda Dykes ‏ @amandacdykes
This would be so fun to have in my classroom. Its like a photo booth that takes onstage am pics.
* Terie Engelbrecht ‏ @mrsebiology
Ideas for Podcasting in the Classroom: #edchat #edtech #midleved #elemchatBloom’s Taxonomy Web 2.0 Livebinder: Digital resources by level #edchat #edtech #midleved #elemchat
* Richard Byrne ‏ @rmbyrne
Smart Tools for Your Android Device
* Rich Kiker ‏ @rkiker

Middle Schoolers Flash Mob for Reading

* Edmodo ‏ @edmodo
EdmodoCon 2012 is coming this summer Planning committee selection in April — @betsywhalen will be updating with details! #edmodo
* russeltarr ‏ @russeltarr
A collection of my favourite IPad resources #edtech
Watch the hashtag #midleved for daily tidbits.




Why the Ed Department should be reconceived — or abolished

Over time, the Department of Education has become increasingly bureaucratic and invasive, and has formulated its policies on questionable information that appears to emanate from hunches, anecdotes, whims, and fads, buttressed by corroborating evidence from ideologically friendly think tanks and media blowhards.
Arne Duncan is only the latest, although probably the most test-obsessed, person to occupy the seat of U.S. secretary of education. A lot of people trace the testing movement that he currently enforces with a vengeance back to Rod Paige, George W. Bush’s first secretary of education and architect of the Houston Miracle.–or-abolished/2012/03/09/gIQAHfdB5R_blog.html


The war on teachers: Why the public is watching it happen

All over the nation, teachers are under attack. Politicians of both parties, in every state, have blamed teachers and their unions for the nation’s low standing on international tests and our nation’s inability to create the educated labor force our economy needs.
In New York State, where teacher evaluations were just released to the press, the state Legislature just passed — and the governor signed — a bill that exempted police and firefighters from having their evaluations released to the public. What better symbolizes the way teachers have become “fair game” for public demonization?
There is another more insidious consequence of the attack on teaching. Every time you undermine the job security, working conditions, and wages of one group of workers, it makes it easier for employers to undermine them for all workers. This is why, during the Depression, many unemployed people organized in support of workers on strike, even though anybody with a job in that era was relatively privileged. They believed in the concept of solidarity — the idea that working people could only progress if they did so together, and if one group of workers improved their conditions, it would ultimately improve conditions for all.

Survey: Teachers work 53 hours per week on average

Teaching is a much talked about yet often misunderstood profession. Educators frequently hear well-meaning comments from parents and friends like “It must be so sweet to spend your days with children” or “How wonderful to be done for the day by three o’clock.” Are they serious?


A South Carolina Teacher’s Been Suspended for Reading ‘Ender’s Game’ to His Class

A middle school teacher who read to his students from Ender’s Game is on “administrative leave” because a parent complained to the school that Orson Scott Card’s classic novel is “pornographic.”
Children’s advocacy group has recommended Ender’s Game for children aged 12 and up — and the child whose mother complained to the school and to the police was aged 14.
But at the same time, the school has a policy requiring teachers to “preview” any supplemental material they present in class, so school officials can check for offensive ideas or themes, and the unnamed teacher did not do that in this case.




What is AudioViator?

AudioViator is a collaborative project among internet users. With AudioViator you can create and download audioguides in several languages and share your knowledge with people while they visit monuments, cities, nature reserves and anything else you can imagine! We know it’s just not the same to visit a city or a museum if you have to read large texts and carry heavy guides. It’s much better when you can listen to the history and explanations of the best spots and their details. This is why AudioViator wants to spread culture with your collaboration.

Creating your own:

It’s very easy! You only need to sign up to have all the necessary files for editing the audioguides. You can register in three easy steps. And rest assured, AudioViator will never use your email for advertising purposes! Then, start to edit your audioguide by filling in its main characteristics, giving a general description, and attaching a map or other image where you can plot the different points for the audioguide tour.
Next, you need to complete the informational text for each point. Later, you can choose the background music and the kind of the voice, a male or female one. Then, we dub all the texts and the audioguide will be available on the web. You will receive an e-mail when its ready for download.

How Can you Use the Audio Tours?

You are free to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work under the conditions set on You may not use this work for commercial purposes. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by AudioViator. You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.. With these audioguides, you can

  1. listen to them on your mp3 when you travel
  2. share them with your friends
  3. help people to get to know your city
  4. insert them in a blog
  5. teach with them in schools and universities
  6. .  .  .

Web Spotlight:

11 Peculiar Meetings Between Famous People

You’d expect famous people to know other famous people. But maybe not these famous people.

1. Nikita Khrushchev & Marilyn Monroe

2. Samuel Beckett & André the Giant

3. T.S. Eliot & Groucho Marx

4. Federico Fellini & Stan Lee

5. James Brown & Alfred Hitchcock

6. The Beatles & Elvis Presley

7. Elvis Presley & Richard Nixon

8. Edgar Allan Poe & Charles Dickens

9. Orson Welles & Adolf Hitler

10. Bob Dylan & Woody Guthrie

11. Steve Jobs & Andy Warhol


Failure Is an Option

Children may perform better in school if they are told that failure is a normal part of learning, rather than being pressured to succeed at all costs, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.
The students who were told that learning is difficult performed significantly better on the working memory test, especially on more difficult problems, than the second group or a third control group who took the working memory test without doing the anagrams or talking with researchers.


Little Free Library  


The Challenge of Challenging Text

How is reading complex text like lifting weights? Just as it’s impossible to build muscle without weight or resistance, it’s impossible to build robust reading skills without reading challenging text. The common core state standards in language arts treat text difficulty as akin to weight or resistance in an exercise program.

Events & Happenings:

Calendar of Events:

Ohio Middle Level Association:

AMLE Affiliate Conferences:

Classroom 2.0’s Live Calendar.