MSM 214: This We Believe to the Stratosphere!

Presented in collaboration with the Association for Middle Level Education.

AMLE Feature:

This We Believe:

In This We Believe: Keys to Educating Young Adolescents, the Association for Middle Level Education, formerly National Middle School Association, describes the nature of an educational program that reflects what research and vast experience have demonstrated to be best for 10- to 15-year-olds.

Major Goals of Middle Level Educators
To become a fully functioning, self-actualized person, each young adolescent should

  • Become actively aware of the larger world, asking significant and relevant questions about that world and wrestling with big ideas and questions for which there may not be one right answer.
  • Be able to think rationally and critically and express thoughts clearly.
  • Read deeply to independently gather, assess, and interpret information from a variety of sources and read avidly for enjoyment and lifelong learning.
  • Use digital tools to explore, communicate, and collaborate with the world and learn from the rich and varied resources available.
  • Be a good steward of the earth and its resources and a wise and intelligent consumer of the wide array of goods and services available.
  • Understand and use the major concepts, skills, and tools of inquiry in the areas of health and physical education, language arts, world languages, mathematics, natural and physical sciences, and the social sciences.
  • Explore music, art, and careers, and recognize their importance to personal growth and learning.
  • Develop his or her strengths, particular skills, talents, or interests and have an emerging understanding of his or her potential contributions to society and to personal fulfillment.
  • Recognize, articulate, and make responsible, ethical decisions concerning his or her own health and wellness needs.
  • Respect and value the diverse ways people look, speak, think, and act within the immediate community and around the world.
  • Develop the interpersonal and social skills needed to learn, work, and play with others harmoniously and confidently.
  • Assume responsibility for his or her own actions and be cognizant of and ready to accept obligations for the welfare of others.
  • Understand local, national, and global civic responsibilities and demonstrate active citizenship through participation in endeavors that serve and benefit those larger communities.

This I Believe Poster:

Jokes You Can Use:

Hear about the gymnast that was disqualified at the Olympics?

On Our Mind:


Eileen Award:


  • Scoopit:  Jennifer Mangler
  • Twitter:  CAMLE,
  • Facebook:  Jennifer Johnson, Marianne Mangels
  • Google+: Zahid Hassan, Andy Winchester
  • iTunes:


Presidential Birthday Gifts:
Why grammar is important-
Build a Meerkat

Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

Summer Reading — Back to School
The Summer, 2012 edition of Science Scope, a magazine for middle school science teachers produced by the National Science Teachers Association, featured an article entitled “Book Your Summer Vacation.”  The article was written by Juliana Texley.  In this podcast, the third and final installment in this series, three books are featured.  They include:

  • Snap by Katherine Ramsland


  • The Failure of Environmental Education by Charles Saylan and Daniel Blumstein


  • Uncovering Student Ideas in Astronomy: 45 New Formative Assessment Probes by Page Keeley

All of these books are available in the NSTA Store:

From the Twitterverse:

* Erin Klein ‏@KleinErin
Free audio recorder & editor: great for podcasting and screen casting #screencastcamp

PLN, check out the Google Doc that #screencastcamp is sharing! Some new tools, that I’ve not seen. 🙂 #edtech #ntchat

Screencasting without worrying about other stuff #fromEvernote @techsavvyed #screencastcamp “Flickr for Audio” #screencastcamp

@ScreencastCamp: Good morning screencasters! Watch our feed of sessions today: live from #screencastcamp #ntchat

* Scott McLeod ‏@mcleod
DangIrrel: The complete teacher vs. what we often have instead #edtech #edtechlead
* RUTH BUZZI ‏@Ruth_A_Buzzi
The disqualified gymnast was asked why she had strapped cats to her feet. She muttered something about purr-fect landings. #HappyCATurday!
* Mental Floss ‏@mental_floss
Today is President Obama’s 51st birthday. Here are some of the strangest gifts presidents have received —
* Scott McLeod ‏@mcleod
MT @tomwhitby Snapshot of a modern learner #edtech
* Terie Engelbrecht ‏@mrsebiology
mySchoolNotebook: Note-taking tool; can include drawings in notes #edchat #edtech #midleved
* Edmodo ‏@edmodo
RT @mrsebiology: An idea I had about using Edmodo for ePortfolios #edchat #midleved #elemchat
* AMLE ‏@AMLEnews
Help ease their anxiety: Make school logistics easier for your student who is new to middle school #midleved #mschat
* Todd Bloch ‏@blocht574
#Mschat Helps us pick the topic for Aug. 9, 8 pm EST @AMLEnews @MSMatters #midleveled
* Ron King ‏@mthman
MT@occam98: Nice advice letter from Pixar animator Pete Docter to Middle School Students: #midleved
l AMLE ‏@AMLEnews
Film as a Great Motivator via @edutopia. Also great in #midleved advisory programs

Study shows texting affects grammar skills of middle school students via @educationweek #midleved

* Steven W. Anderson ‏@web20classroom
Looking to try @edmodo? Here are 15 more ideas:
* Brenda Dyck ‏@bdyck
@eyeoneducation: Teach Your Students to Use Social Media: 10 Kids Transforming their World Through Social Media
Join #mschat on Fridays at 8:00 pm EST on Twitter!



Integrating Technology, Pedagogy and Change Knowledge.
By Michael Fullan

Spotlight Speaker.

Orienting Ideas:
• Real examples
• Whole system reform – this is large scale. Minimum is a district.
• Simple. – Simplexity. Small number of things that you need to focus on – less than 10. Complex part is how to make them gel. How to move individuals, groups. Belief, motivation, skills is clarified by doing it.

Focus on capacity building linked to results.

What is the best insight or idea you got from the session? What question/puzzle is foremost on your mind about the stratosphere agenda?

Stratosphere Defined:
Whole system Reform Opportunities to learn differently – Learning how to learn. Expanding warehouse of information.

• Problem
• Solution
• Timeliness
• Innovation Cycle

Intrinsic motivation. What kind of strategies help develop that intrinsic motivation.

21st century skills. Have been around for a while, but aren’t clearly defined. They film things. Emphasis on FILM.

We need regular schools that get results.

Writing 44% -78% (Boys (32-74)
Students know what they are doing and why. The students provide consistent responses.

Technology has dramatically affected virtually every sector in society that you can think of except education.

The average performance of systems is not the most important factor; rather the gap between low and high performance is.

Loss of enthusiasm by Grade Level

Worse than being bored is teaching the bored.

There is also a decline in Teacher Satisfaction:
2008- 57
2010 – 44

More teachers are also considering leaving the Profession. Now almost 1 in 3. 55% leave the profession within the first 5 years. Higher in some urban areas. Years of experience = 1 for mode of experience. In other words, most teachers have 1 year of experiences.

Professional capital Human Capital

PISA results:
Even in countries doing well have leveled off in performance.

Technology can help us move forward even more.

Explicit Connection:
• Technology
• Pedagogy
• Change Knowledge

New Learning
• Irresistibly engaging for both students and teachers • Elegantly efficient and easy to use.
• Technologically ubiquitous – 24/7
• Steeped in real-life problem solving

There are some examples, but nothing large scale yet. ITL – Innovative Teaching and Learning
Breakthroughs work from a small number of goals. Technology must be combined with Pedagogy.

Pedagogy and Change
• Roles of the Teacher
• Student Engagement
• Pedagogical Precision

Digital Savvy is NOT Pedagogy.
• Making digital devices available is not necessarily learning.

Effect Size on Student learning
• Teacher as Activator .84
• Teacher as Facilitator .17

Lots of technology wants to bypass the teacher. This is a huge mistake. John Hattie – meta-research. Visible Learning is the book.
Is this a result of training? Are the facilitations being done poorly?

Expert Teachers:
• Know the material
• guide learning
• monitor learning
• attitudinal attributes of learning
• Defensible assessments

A small amount of intervention can have a great difference.
20-30 minutes of supportive adult attention can move a student from the wrong path to the right one. Ben Levin.

• Treating students as learning partners
• Employing students’ own tools
• Peer to Peer teacher.
• Offering student more choices and fewer mandates.

It is time to define the learning game as racing with technology.

What does tech want:
• Efficiency
• Opportunity
• emergence
• complexity
• diversity
• specialization • ubiquity
• freedom
• mutualism
• beauty
• sentience
• structure

The Dark Side: Books as reference:

Net Delusion – The Dark Side of Internet Freedom (Evgency Morozov)
The Filter Bubble (Eli Pariser)
The Shallows


If you live in a poor neighborhood, you are far more likely to see a trade school ad than a college ad.

• 8% of teachers fully integrate tech into the classroom.
• 43% of students feel unprepared.
• 23% of teacher feel they could integrate.

Innovative Teaching Practices ITL

• Student centered
• Park Manor Senor Public School – see web site for examples.
• Change knowlege
• Focus
• Innovation
• Empathy
• Give respect before it is earned
• Build relationships
• Capacity Building
• Contagion
• Transparency
• Elimination of non-essentials • Leadership

Strong practice of non-judgementalism.

Events & Happenings:

Calendar of Events:

Ohio Middle Level Association:




AMLE Affiliate Conferences:




Classroom 2.0’s Live Calendar.