MSM 220: Picture This, Space, Books and more.

Jokes You Can Use:

The teacher said; “Take a pencil and paper, and write an essay with the title ‘If I Were a Millionaire.’” Everyone but Joe, who leaned back with arms folded, began to write feverishly.
“What’s the matter,” the teacher asked. “Why don’t you begin?”
“I’m waiting for my secretary,” Joe replied.

Why were all the ink spots crying?
Their father was in the pen.

A fellow bought a new Mercedes and was out on the interstate for a nice evening drive. The top was down, the breeze was blowing through what was left of his hair and he decided to open her up. As the needle jumped up to 80 mph, he suddenly saw flashing red and blue lights behind him. “There’s no way they can catch a Mercedes,” he thought to himself and opened her up further. The needle hit 90, 100…. Then the reality of the situation hit him. “What am I doing?” he thought and pulled over. The cop came up to him, took his license without a word and examined it and the car. “It’s been a long day, this is the end of my shift and it’s Friday the 13th. I don’t feel like more paperwork, so if you can give me an excuse for your driving that I haven’t heard before, you can go.”
The guy thinks for a second and says, “Last week my wife ran off with a cop. I was afraid you were trying to give her back!”
“Have a nice weekend,” said the officer.

Eileen Award:

  • Scoopit:
  • Twitter:   Rovy Branon , Allison Petersen
  • Facebook:  Ella Sherman
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Picture books

Have your students make picture books for elementary students. (This can be done the “old fashioned” way or electronically.

Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

“A Special Assignment from NASA”

This podcast is based on an article from the September, 2012 issue of Science Scope.  A magazine for middle school science teachers, published by the National Science Teachers Association.  The article was entitled “A Special Assignment from NASA” – Understanding Earth’s Atmosphere Through the Integration of Science and Mathematics.  The article was written by Justine E. Fox and Nicole J. Glen.

The purpose of the special assignment was to help students understand the role of NASA scientists, while asking real world questions about the atmosphere.  The unit begins with the reading of “Here’s the Crusher” from the book “Even More Everyday Science Mysteries.”  The mystery is about a boy, Eric, who washes a water bottle under hot water and then observes what happens to the bottle.  This leads students in the classroom to re-enact the mystery and then apply the knowledge to a better understanding of why certain technological items like satellites, airplanes, etc. are found in certain atmospheric levels and not others.  They study the height and the temperatures of the atmospheric levels.

From the Twitterverse:

* Lance Mosier ‏@lmosierhistgkk
RT @B_Berns: Middle School teachers: Consider joining IA, MI, and NE’s Mystery Skype project. #mschat … #nebedu
* Terie Engelbrecht ‏@mrsebiology
Vocabulary Strategies  #edchat #midleved #elemchat

Inquiry Chart for developing questions and doing research  #edchat #midleved #elemchat  

* Scott McLeod ‏@mcleod
Why Kids Need Schools to Change  via @mindshiftkqed #edreform #iaedfuture  

How to Plan a Memorable Parent Night: Classroom Videos | Expat Educator

* Richard Byrne ‏@rmbyrne
7 Good Sources of Creative Writing Prompts
* russeltarr ‏@russeltarr
Video: If institutional education refuses to adapt to the information age, it WILL die and SHOULD die:
* Angela Maiers ‏@AngelaMaiers
Twenty Tips for Success for New Teachers  via @teachingwthsoul
* Beth Lisowski ‏@MrsLTech
RT @twhitford: Do Middle Schools Make Sense? | Harvard Graduate School of Education  #cpchat #mschat
* AMLE ‏@AMLEnews
AMLE Best Sellers Now on Kindle and iPad  Only $9.99 (save up to 40% over print editions) #edchat #midleved

When it comes to the common core, librarians can be a school’s secret weapon  via @educationweek #mschat #edchat  

How will students perform? Depends on teachers’ expectations  via MindShift KQED #edchat #ntchat #mschat

* Todd Bloch ‏@blocht574
Here is a link for 36 ways to know your class. … #mschat
* Kara Walk ‏@karawalk
Grading blog motivate vs. engagement #cpchat #edchat #mschat …
Don’t forget #mschat on Thursdays at 8:00 pm EST on Twitter!


Run for President:


“We designed it for ages 7 and up, but parents are encouraged to sign their kids up earlier and help them along until they’re ready to use it themselves. Some reading is required.
DIY is designed for kids as young as 6 years of age, and to comply with the United States Federal Trade Commission’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which was put in effect as of April 21, 2000:
Your kid can create an account and use DIY for free. Many parts of the service will always be free to play. However, DIY will eventually offer paid memberships. Membership will give DIY kids access to extra features.”


Interactive, Customizable, Free:
Using Open Source FlexBooks

CK-12 is non-profit organization.

Have free and low cost options. See the about page.

All content is in the STEM. Middle School and High School. Most of it is Math and Science.

Standards correlations is on the About page. Done by Common Core and State.

All material is written by content experts.

Books can be customized. The system is being upgraded.

Create an account. This allows you to save changes.

When editing, you can combine from different books. Click on scrubber icons to add to the Flexbook.

FlexBooks go to My Library when saved.

When editing, you can add images, videos, links to other sites, etc. This can be localized. Videos are streamed. If YouTube is blocked, it won’t show.

When editing, if you are pasting from Word, use Edit | Paste From Word.

Creative Commons – by Attribution, Non-Profit, Share a like.

Anything embedded must match the license.

In order to have multiple people edit a book, you would need to share an account.

How to Share:
Print your book using the Print icon. This will generate
PDF – Video will have a link. You can use a local printer or Amazon or USB sticks.
HTML 5 – Can provide students with a link. Students do NOT need to have an account.
(Beta will add Mobi and ePub)

Different paths for Students and Teachers. Will allow to associate students with specific teachers.

Concepts are meant to be 10-15 minute.

Weekly webinars are available. They are on Tuesday or Wednesday. Can be scheduled.

David Wylie (Wiley) put together a cost study.


“Using VAM to evaluate teachers is akin to using Lysol as a mouth wash because it does a good job killing germs on your kitchen counter.  – Principal Carol Burris, in The Answer Sheet “

No Soft Retirement

Last season, he made $3 million as the Cowboys’ backup quarterback. Now, he makes roughly one percent of that to teach at Lincoln High School and coach the Abes.


Lawrence Baines’s Education Week Commentary, “What If We Brought Education Reform to the Military?,” suggested satirically that, “An infantryman in Afghanistan, outnumbered by well-armed terrorists, who fails to accomplish the mission should receive a deduction in pay. An accountant stationed in Honolulu, who balances the payroll, thereby accomplishing his mission, should get a raise. … There are no excuses.”

Web Spotlight:

The day I quit teaching

Posted by Brad Flickinger on Sep 20, 2012

As it turned out, technology wasn’t the problem, I was.

iCivics (

WebQuests and other online tools to teach the U.S. Constitution and other democratic principles to middle schoolers.

“iCivics prepares young Americans to become knowledgeable, engaged 21st century citizens by creating free and innovative educational materials.
In 2009, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor founded iCivics to reverse Americans’ declining civic knowledge and participation. Securing our democracy, she realized, requires teaching the next generation to understand and respect our system of governance. Today iCivics comprises not just our board and staff, but also a national leadership team of state supreme court justices, secretaries of state, and educational leaders and a network of committed volunteers. Together, we are committed to passing along our legacy of democracy to the next generation.”

Events & Happenings:

Calendar of Events:

Ohio Middle Level Association:

AMLE Affiliate Conferences:

Classroom 2.0’s Live Calendar.

Classroom 2.0’s Ning Blog: Archived content is available.