MSM 207 Hanging Out

Jokes You Can Use:

All visual jokes today.  (Go see the Google+ recording.)  

On Our Mind:

Kathy Hunt-Ullock 1951-2012
AMLE Remarks:  “Kathy Hunt-Ullock passed away on Saturday, May 19, surrounded by family and friends. She was a well-loved member of the AMLE family, developing friendships along the way as she espoused doing what’s best for middle grades students. She will be greatly missed by all of us in the middle level education community.”
Kathy’s Website

Virtual Presentations:

MiddleTalk:  9 Dangerous Things & Book Club this summer

9 Dangerous things you were taught in school:
1. The people in charge have all the answers.
That’s why they are so wealthy and happy and healthy and powerful—ask any teacher.

2. Learning ends when you leave the classroom.
Your fort building, trail forging, frog catching, friend making, game playing, and drawing won’t earn you any extra credit. Just watch TV.

3. The best and brightest follow the rules.
You will be rewarded for your subordination, just not as much as your superiors, who, of course, have their own rules.

4. What the books say is always true.
Now go read your “world is flat” chapter. There will be a test.

5. There is a very clear, single path to success.
It’s called college. Everyone can join the top 1% if they do well enough in school and ignore the basic math problem inherent in that idea.

6. Behaving yourself is as important as getting good marks.
Whistle-blowing, questioning the status quo, and thinking your own thoughts are no-nos. Be quiet and get back on the assembly line.

7. Standardized tests measure your value.
By value, I’m talking about future earning potential, not anything else that might have other kinds of value.

8. Days off are always more fun than sitting in the classroom.
You are trained from a young age to base your life around dribbles of allocated vacation. Be grateful for them.

9. The purpose of your education is your future career.
And so you will be taught to be a good worker. You have to teach yourself how to be something more.


Eileen Award:

  • Twitter People:  Gary Johnston, Jeff Trudell, Aric Haley, Michael Jones, Connect Michigan (Michigan Public Service Commission), and @HeyLeeAnn!


New Computer Algorithm Knows Your Phony Smile [VIDEO]

Can you tell whether a smile is real or not?

Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

In the April/May, 2012 issue of Science Scope, a publication of the National Science Teachers Association, two articles dealt with the topic of misconceptions

In the first article, “Misunderstanding Misconceptions,” Page Keeley defines the term misconceptions.  In the second article, “Investigating Students’ Ideas About the Flow of Matter and Energy in Living Systems,” authors Melanie Taylor, Kimberly Cohen, R. Keith Esch, and P. Sean Smith give examples of student misconceptions and provide the corresponding correct ideas.  The topic of this podcast mainly focuses in on the process of photosynthesis.


From the Twitterverse:

* Ron Peck ‏@Ron_Peck
Pls help @cybraryman1 get to #ISTE12 by assisting the #istenewbie12 project -> #cpchat #edchat #edcampphillyYay! We are at 70% of our #ISTE12 Newbie Project goal and payday is near. Plz help @cybraryman1 get to ISTE. #edchat
iPad Plaza ‏@iPadPlaza
Apple iPad May Be Getting Microsoft Office Soon #iPad
* Jeff Johnson ‏@ipadeducators
iBooks & grade7: #ipaded #ipadedchat #abed
* Eric Sheninger ‏@NMHS_Principal
Think-Pair-Share Variations by @kathyperret
* Jeff Russell ‏@jrussellteacher
A Standardized Composition Test
* ABC News ‏@ABC
10 Cheap Gizmos and Ordinary Items Every Traveler Needs
* pammoran ‏@pammoran
Why one shot “national” tests of any kind fail as authentic assessments of and for learning shared by @saorog
* Carol A. Josel ‏@schoolwise
‘Facebook parenting’ is destroying our children’s privacy #cnn
* Maggie Cary ‏@maggiecary
How to Handle the Class Clown:
* World and Everything ‏@TWERadio
A Memorial Day edition of ‘The World & Everything in It’: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknowns, 150th anniv. of Taps, more
* LeeAnn ‏@HeyLeeAnn
Grockit Launches Learnist, a Pinterest for Education via @zite
 Larry Ferlazzo ‏@Larryferlazzo
How NOT To Prepare A Student For A Standardized Test“Parents Describe Why and How They are Engaged in Their Children’s Learning”
* Bill Ivey ‏@bivey
MT @plugusin: from @teachingquality: The Sad Irony Behind Teacher Leadership – <Is it an irony deliberately created?
* Steven W. Anderson ‏@web20classroom
From @timbuckteeth-5 Tools For The Global Educator:
*Neil deGrasse Tyson‏@neiltysonKnowing how to think empowers you far beyond those who know only what to think.




Educators Use Mobile Devices More Than General Public

Principals and administrators are also more likely to use those devices than the teachers and librarians they oversee, the report says, though teachers are also more frequent users of those tools than the general public.
“For many of us, we cannot truly appreciate the value of a new technology tool until we have realized a direct benefit from its use in our personal or work life,” said Julie Evans, the president and CEO of Project Tomorrow, the Irvine, Calif.-based nonprofit education research organization that conducts the Speak Up survey, in a statement. “That’s the same for educators.”
Administrators who used smartphones or tablets were found roughly twice as likely to consider a bring-your-own-technology approach for students at their campuses, pilot such a policy, or work in a school or district that provided students mobile devices for educational use.

How summer increases the achievement gap

Much of the discussion about the wide discrepancies in educational achievement between poor and affluent students is focused on what schools and teachers should be doing to close it. But researchers are gathering more evidence suggesting that summer—when students are typically out of contact with their schools and teachers—is one of the root causes of the gap.


Our Principal’s Reaction To Being Included In The Wash. Post’s List Of Top High Schools

Two years ago we were on a list of schools described as ‘dropout factories.’ And now, two years later, without doing anything substantially different, we are listed among the top nine percent of high schools in the country only because a different metric was used.  This seems to be a blatant example of how these types of quantitative evaluations lack substance.”)


Standards would immerse Arizona students in science

Arizona is one of 26 states leading a nationwide initiative aimed at improving science education by requiring a deeper understanding of key concepts and incorporating science and technology in all subjects.
The new standards are based on a framework developed by the National Research Council with input from the National Science Teachers Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The science standards are separate from but align with the new Common Core State Standards that Arizona will implement in English and math.
Under Next Generation, students will be expected to tackle actual problems — for example, a jammed-up school-bus lane — using engineering concepts.
Adding more hands-on projects will be a big change for teachers
Kaufmann said the next step will be to create a national science exam, which is probably at least five years away.
“I have to tell you, until there is a test that counts, science is still is not going to be as important, especially in the elementary grades.”

Student Principals (Contributed by Ron King)

How would students run the show if given a chance?


Mr. Rogers talks sarcastically about children and consumerism

Apparently, kids and consumerism is nothing new.

Web Citizenship and Media Literacy Curriculum (Contributed by Ron King via Diigo)

Play me a story?

Playfic, the online community that lets you write, remix, share, and play interactive text-based games with the world.
There is definitely a learning curve with the site.

Burn Note

Burn Note lets you send messages that are deleted after they are read.
You can use Burn Note to send a password or have an off-the-record conversation with a friend.


What’s a Readlist? A group of web pages—articles, recipes, course materials, anything—bundled into an e-book you can send to your Kindle, iPad, or iPhone.

Easy Web Calendar

Localendar is great for Churches, Schools, Teams, Non-Profits, Families, and Webmasters that need a free web calendar

Web Spotlight:

Honesty In The Computer Lab

The reason I’m writing about this today is because of a guest column written by researcher Dan Ariely in The Wall Street Journal today — Why We Lie. It’s an excerpt from his newest book.
I’ve found that when I remember to apply my own version of that method — before we head to the lab, I take less than a minute to remind people why it’s important to listen to the English audio for their own development and because I want to be able to trust them — it’s hardly ever an issue. After that 40 second “spiel,” I also ask people to raise their hands if they commit to staying only on the assigned sites.


Knowledge Graph

The Knowledge Graph enables you to search for things, people or places that Google knows about—landmarks, celebrities, cities, sports teams, buildings, geographical features, movies, celestial objects, works of art and more—and instantly get information that’s relevant to your query. This is a critical first step towards building the next generation of search, which taps into the collective intelligence of the web and understands the world a bit more like people do.


Project-Based Learning: Success Start to Finish

Events & Happenings:

Calendar of Events:

Ohio Middle Level Association:

AMLE Affiliate Conferences:

Classroom 2.0’s Live Calendar.

View the video of the recording here: