Conversations Show 27 03 01 2009

This week's show began with the question, "Why do we spend our year preparing our students for the following year?" and continued to be a discussion about how to reorganize schools to better facillitate learning for all students. Ginger Lewman joined Lisa and Maria. Sheila Adams was in her return flight from Belize.

Chat Log

11:29:35 Lisa Parisi: Welcome
11:29:41 PeggyG: Good morning!
11:30:20 PeggyG: Hi OldMaria--is there something special about your name?
11:30:37 PeggyG: Hi kapil! Great to see you!
11:31:06 kapil: hi everyone , its 10 : 00 pm here in India
11:31:39 PeggyG: bed time isn't it??
11:31:40 minhaaj: Hi all
11:32:03 PeggyG: It's 9:30am here in Phoenix AZ--beautiful day! going to be 89 degrees today!
11:32:05 kapil: not before ...finishing ETT
11:32:19 Lisa Parisi: Stream should be up at ETTA
11:32:20 PeggyG: Good for you! Very dedicated kapil!
11:32:36 PeggyG: Hearing the stream :-)
11:33:01 minhaaj: can't hear
11:33:11 PeggyG: started then stopped
11:33:26 PeggyG: there comes the music :-)
11:33:41 Lisa Parisi: Try again
11:33:45 PeggyG: and now sheep bleating :-)
11:34:16 OldMaria: Hello everyone.
11:34:19 PeggyG: Great to have the show back! Missed you!
11:34:21 minhaaj: the listen.pls file wouldn't load in vlc
11:34:33 minhaaj: vlc screen is blinking over and over and no voice
11:34:42 OldMaria: Lisa missed me so we are doing this show - thought we had the day off
11:34:45 PeggyG: I'm listening on iTunes
11:35:00 PeggyG: I thought you weren't going to be able to join us today Maria
11:35:55 PeggyG: I really enjoyed hearing the recording of the Gary Stager conversation on my ride home from southern AZ last week. Excellent show!
11:36:07 minhaaj: guess i should rejoin. can't hear at all
11:36:42 Lisa Parisi: Is there sound?
11:36:49 PeggyG: Hi LifeIsGood-love your name :-)
11:36:51 minhaaj: nope
11:36:57 PeggyG: Yes Christmas music :-)
11:36:58 minhaaj: you should've used ustream
11:37:14 PeggyG: no ustream! too much bandwidth
11:37:22 bob caro: I can only get sound by pasting the link onto WMP's "open URL"
11:37:25 minhaaj: works fine for me.
11:37:39 PeggyG: Hi Minhaaj! haven't talked to you in awhile
11:37:43 OldMaria: hang on - chrstmas music -for real?
11:37:47 minhaaj: Hey Peggy. How have you been?
11:37:56 PeggyG: great! how about you?
11:38:01 LifeIsGood: It took me ten minutes to log in and the sound kept cutting in and out but now good!
11:38:05 Lisa Parisi: I think that I am streaming.  Please let me know if you here us?
11:38:11 Lisa Parisi: hear
11:38:17 Lisa Parisi: Yes, I know how to spell.
11:38:20 bob caro: I can hear you - have others click on "Listening help Here" link at the right (under the ustream window)
11:38:56 PeggyG: that's really funny--the stream had stopped and it moved on to my Christmas music! hearing you now!
11:38:59 minhaaj: isn't working for me.
11:39:05 minhaaj: lets download some other media player
11:39:11 OldMaria: hey colleen!
11:39:29 colleenk: Hi "Old Maria"....Happy Birthday!
11:39:37 OldMaria: thanx
11:39:41 PeggyG: having children in conferences is a great idea!
11:39:50 minhaaj: listening from browser now
11:39:53 minhaaj: thanks for the tip bob
11:40:07 PeggyG: That's right! It's Maria's birthday! Happy birthday!
11:40:33 minhaaj: Happy Bday Maria
11:40:36 minhaaj: How old ? :)
11:40:42 bob caro: administrator decisions take three months
11:40:43 OldMaria: shhhhh - don't tell everybody....:p
11:41:04 PeggyG: Why not! It's something to celebrate!!!!
11:41:26 bob caro: how many 5th graders are really ready for the level of individual responsibility that middle school requires?
11:41:38 bob caro: (spoke as a sixth grade teacher...)
11:42:05 PeggyG: our 5th graders are still in elementary-don't go to middle school until 7th grade
11:42:25 jackiegerstein: Hi, Peggy
11:42:55 bob caro: @PeggyG - I SO SO agree with that, as a sixth grade teacher. So many are NOT ready for  middle shcool environment.
11:42:57 PeggyG: Hi Jackie! Love meeting up with you online!
11:43:10 PeggyG: I definitely agree with you bob caro!
11:43:29 PeggyG: why do we spend so much time getting kids ready for the next year??
11:44:34 LifeIsGood: Isn't it dangerous to talk about getting a kid ready for the "next grade."  Doesn't this just turn school into promotion factories, a place you go to to get "stuff" so you can make it to the next grade.  We then focus on promotion and not learning....
11:45:01 GingerTPLC: Did someone say something? My ears are ringing!
11:45:09 GingerTPLC: hee hee!
11:45:10 kapil: the stream is breaking can be my Internet, anybody else facing issues with audio stream
11:45:28 GingerTPLC: Acceleration
11:45:29 minhaaj: kapil try that
11:45:30 PeggyG: it's pretty good for me--the stream
11:45:48 GingerTPLC: there are many many ways to accelerate w/o radical grade skipping
11:45:53 jackiegerstein: Maybe we need to start placing kids by ability rather than by age/grade
11:46:35 bob caro: placing by ability has already occurred in TX. My 6th Graders are from 11 to 1r years old
11:46:52 PeggyG: when I first began teaching in the 70's our school entered and moved kids by their birthday and not the end of the year.
11:47:13 bob caro: of course the placement is just two years in 3rd grade, and ywo in 5th, when you cannot pass - eventually you end up in the 6th grade andy you're 14
11:47:20 LifeIsGood: You mean they would be working in mixed age groups, just like "real life!"  Amen
11:47:44 PeggyG: yes I love multi-age classrooms!
11:48:09 LifeIsGood: Isn't Ginger that crazy teacher from Kansas?
11:48:16 LifeIsGood: :)
11:48:20 PeggyG: passion is a good thing!! :-)
11:48:51 PeggyG: @jackie-you should join the call--you have a lot to contribute about gifted!
11:49:21 GingerTPLC: oh I can't wait to start!
11:49:48 jackiegerstein: :D to Peggy - I believe all students have gifts - I have problems with placing kids by age/grades
11:50:09 GingerTPLC: Not all kids are gifted. All kids have strengths, but not all are "gifted."
11:50:16 GingerTPLC: Like not all belong on the varsity team either.
11:50:29 GingerTPLC: but I love working toward ALL kids' strngths.
11:50:49 jackiegerstein: I believe that most kids have gifts - drawing, sports, leadership, drama, music -
11:51:46 Lisa Parisi: Welcome Alice!
11:51:50 jackiegerstein: I teach gifted elementary students - who had to be tested to be in the program - no offense to the kids but I wonder what their gifteness is
11:51:54 PeggyG: I agree jackie! I wish we didn't have to label kids!
11:52:05 jackiegerstein: Labeling is toxic!
11:52:18 PeggyG: yes!
11:52:34 alicemercer: Hey!
11:52:48 PeggyG: Hi Alice!
11:52:53 jackiegerstein: I LOVE multiage classrooms - I worked one summer school with 5 to 10 year olds - it was great!
11:52:59 alicemercer: with two year, which I've taught, the tendency is to teach one grade level
11:53:18 jackiegerstein: School-wide enrichment ala UCONN is great
11:53:25 Lisa Parisi:
11:53:36 PeggyG: I taught in several multi-age classrooms and really liked what we could do
11:53:38 LifeIsGood: Maria--good point about worrying about them going back into a traditional setting after multi-age program
11:53:47 Lisa Parisi:
11:54:13 PeggyG: yes Nation Deceived! An excellent book for understanding teaching gifted students!
11:54:24 LifeIsGood: cutting in and out--totally missing what Ginger is saying
11:55:14 PeggyG: so sorry LifeIsGood! maybe try logging out and back in??
11:55:45 PeggyG: too often we see that happening--gifted students assigned to tutor other students
11:55:53 jackiegerstein: for schoolwide enrichment resources
11:56:18 PeggyG: Thanks for that link Jackie
11:56:36 PeggyG: all kids are expert in something
11:57:25 jackiegerstein: I have  a three before me - whoever "got" my explanation then teaches those who did not.
11:58:15 PeggyG: I love the 3 before me strategy!
11:58:39 jackiegerstein: Play on their strengths -
11:59:56 PeggyG: I always have a problem with the definition for "reading on grade level"--based on what? test scores? textbooks?
12:01:48 jackiegerstein: Grade inflation is another discussion!
12:02:24 PeggyG: isn't it?? I heard a news story recently where they said college students expected to get a B just for showing up to class!
12:02:31 GingerTPLC: uh oh. Skype just paused
12:02:59 bob caro: bold administrators is the answer
12:03:29 GingerTPLC: COMMUNITY is the answer. Getting a community understanding is what's needed.
12:04:44 jackiegerstein: Differentiation is defined as challenging EVERY student a little beyond his or her "level"
12:04:45 PeggyG: when I taught multiage I never really thought about grade level--not helpful
12:06:36 PeggyG: many teachers think students are "gifted" because they are high achieving students
12:07:30 PeggyG: don't we want that "perfect world"?? we're a long way from that though
12:07:57 bob caro: at my school, teachers think a student is gifted if they do all their homework
12:07:58 jackiegerstein: High achieving students are often very different than gifted students.
12:08:06 alicemercer: A lot of our GATE classes are mixed grade level at least 2 or 3
12:08:10 alicemercer: because of the numbers
12:08:11 Lisa Parisi: Bob, that is sad
12:08:12 PeggyG: yes bob caro--I've seen that a lot!
12:08:22 bob caro: (that's when the counselors tell the parents that their child should apply tothe magnet school)
12:08:35 alicemercer: BUT I resent that this is for ADULT convenience (making the "numbers" for ADA)
12:09:00 jackiegerstein: The problem with omitting gifted programs is that these kids are bored, underchallenged.  This country is loosing its edge in innovation, etc.
12:09:11 GingerTPLC: YES! Jackie!
12:09:19 PeggyG: acceleration shouldn't mean promoting/skipping grades!
12:09:21 alicemercer: I have a sixth grader who can't decode. the one kid who has REALLY slipped through cracks.
12:09:21 bob caro: to clarify - I do teach at a low socio-economic, second generation poverty urban school
12:09:31 GingerTPLC: It must INCLUDE grade skipping as an option
12:09:38 GingerTPLC: but not the only option.
12:09:42 GingerTPLC:
12:10:14 alicemercer: Some of Lisa's autistic kids must be gifted in ways
12:10:26 alicemercer: so you can have special ed and gifted.
12:10:30 Lisa Parisi: Many are Alice
12:10:40 GingerTPLC: twice exceptional is common. I have MANY of those kids.
12:10:43 PeggyG: acceleration is a concept that can mean lots of things! including grade skipping but much more
12:10:59 jackiegerstein: But canned curriculum is more the norm than ever
12:11:00 alicemercer: but Maria, I LOVE MY SCRIPT!
12:11:01 alicemercer: NOT!
12:11:28 jackiegerstein: Like Reading First - yuck!
12:11:44 alicemercer: Hey I'm in an Open Court Dist...
12:11:53 OldMaria: @alicemercer - you may LOVE the script but that because you don't follow it!lol
12:11:59 alicemercer: SERIOUSLY!
12:12:01 bob caro: @Lisa - your daughter did not have a problem - her teachers did
12:12:13 Lisa Parisi: Yes, Bob, but that was a problem for her.
12:12:21 alicemercer: I love ignoring the script...
12:12:29 alicemercer: I was being sarcastic Maria
12:12:32 bob caro: some teachers hate it when students don't fit the normal labels
12:12:32 jackiegerstein: Choice in content and process
12:12:35 PeggyG: and accelerated reading if managed inappropriately! My grandson is 6 years old and has tested out of the 6th grade books an AR--teacher doesn't know what to do with him and won't let him read books not on the "list"
12:12:53 GingerTPLC: our local HS is running Reading First techniques with the HS kids.
12:12:57 alicemercer: @PeggyG NO!
12:12:59 alicemercer: That is BAD!
12:13:03 PeggyG: yes!!!
12:13:16 bob caro: @PeggyG - to quote your most important part - "...the TEACHER doesn't know what to do..."
12:13:24 jackiegerstein: YES - need to begin with teacher education
12:13:25 alicemercer: @gingerTPLC, there are *some* good techniques, but I would be REALLY careful using it.
12:13:39 alicemercer: It's like a broken clock, it's right two times a day.
12:13:49 jackiegerstein: But many teachers claim they do DI - but don't see evidence in their classrooms
12:13:51 PeggyG: I required my preservice teachers to included accommodations in every lesson plan for gifted, ESL, specialed so they were really thinking about meeting the needs of all students.
12:14:07 alicemercer: Everyone does some DI I find, but how much?
12:14:20 PeggyG: yes bob--the teacher is the key!
12:14:25 bob caro: I have spent the last couple of years quietly identifying who in my school is "just a teacher", and who are the "professional educators"
12:14:38 alicemercer: And how effective is your DI is important
12:14:46 PeggyG: that's a really interesting distinction bob
12:14:53 alicemercer: ditto bob
12:15:13 GingerTPLC: so bob. Now you've ID that, what will you do?
12:15:14 PeggyG: what's the balance between those categories?
12:15:46 alicemercer: I have teacher days, educator days, and getting educated days
12:16:00 bob caro: some teachers became teachers because they were good at school - the way it was taught back then - this causes them problems inthe 21st century classroom
12:16:27 jackiegerstein: or just teach the way they were taught - some just don't know how to do it any differently.  For example, I can't believe that the young teachers at my school use no technology in their classrooms.
12:17:22 bob caro: uh oh - so now are we onto the problems with teacher ed universities?
12:17:27 alicemercer: I had good and bad experiences in school, but whatever my experience, the big lessons is that I cannot teach the way I was taught without reflection or thought. Sometimes I do teach like I was taught, but it's because it will work NOW for my kids.
12:17:48 jackiegerstein: When I asked my pre-service teachers to describe their best learning experiences - almost none mention a school experience - it is camp, vacations, outside pursuits.  I ask them how they can recreate these types of experiences in their classrooms.
12:17:52 Scott Shelhart: Ahem---Future rule breaker in training here...
12:18:00 alicemercer: I went to San Francisco State, and there were a lot of radical teachers there...
12:18:16 alicemercer: BUT my fellow students were not always that way.
12:18:24 OldMaria: send those radicals to the east coast!
12:18:30 alicemercer: Maria, you are a hippie chick teacher par excellence
12:18:33 PeggyG: @jackie--I'll bet that's true for us too. What is your most memorable school experience?
12:18:47 bob caro: @Scott - follow EdTech tweets like a religion
12:19:11 alicemercer: Well, San Francisco is a unique place. I worked in Oakland with some young women from UCB who were doing HS credential who were Trotkyites
12:19:14 Scott Shelhart: I do.  Plurk, Twitter, google reader, etc.
12:19:28 alicemercer: SO I feel VERY BORING in that context
12:19:49 bob caro: @Scott - one day  (like at mine) yur school district will see the need for someone that has kept up with Ed Tech
12:20:26 Scott Shelhart: I hope so.  My local schools are going in reverse.  Blocking twitter, blogs, etc.
12:20:47 jackiegerstein: @peggy My best school experience was an English teacher who had me act out plays with co-students - I directed my "hippie" peers in plays from Chekhov, Albee, etc.  at 15 years old - I don't know how she figured it out - amazing.  Yours??
12:21:34 PeggyG: love it jackie! plays! for me it was one field trip in 5th grade! :-)
12:21:42 jackiegerstein: WHere to?
12:21:48 bob caro: If 70% of my student get 70% of the material, then I'm only 49% successful
12:22:17 alicemercer: Lisa, can we chat after show about next Thursday?
12:22:33 Lisa Parisi: Sure Alice
12:22:48 bob caro: Lower Bloom's levels are easy for bright kids, but when it comes to application leel, new skills must be learned
12:22:59 bob caro: It can be frustrating for them
12:23:35 jackiegerstein: Need more focus on the process rath than the product - schools are too product oriented
12:24:17 PeggyG: I think one of the problems about "being ready" comes from next year's teacher who tells parents the kids didn't come prepared/ready for his/her grade level.
12:24:52 OldMaria: I so agree  with you , Peggy.
12:25:06 PeggyG: great point Lisa--how many choices/decisions do we really allow kids to make?
12:25:20 OldMaria: what is it about the teacher telling parents that their child was not prepared.
12:25:34 PeggyG: unprofessional in my opinion!
12:25:50 OldMaria: very!
12:28:11 jackiegerstein: Too many kids hate school.  I am angry that school time STOLE my learning time - time I could have been really learning.
12:30:05 bob caro: Stolen time - Tuesday is the State Reading test for 8th Grade - 6th grade is not allowed to leave their 1st period classrooms until all 8th graders are done.
12:30:25 Scott Shelhart: Indiana just mandated that EVERY school must havt a G/T program.
12:30:33 PeggyG: very interesting point jackie--never thought of it that way because I always feel I am learning something (regardless of what is being taught)
12:31:03 jackiegerstein: @Peggy - I was terribly bored through most of my K12 education
12:31:21 GingerTPLC: @Scott: That's GOOD. Ginny Burney did a lot of wowrk for that!
12:31:28 GingerTPLC: work. WOW work! LOL
12:31:34 alicemercer: Well, there is hope, cause my district, in their concern about test scores, has come to a novel conclusion. We need to improve students interest and engagement
12:31:53 bob caro: Push Arne Duncan in Washington to fund $$millions for Teacher staff development!!
12:32:01 alicemercer: I think it depends on your school not the time
12:32:26 alicemercer: Any time at SFSU seemed to have it's hippie element. I imagine BYU NEVER has it.
12:33:02 jackiegerstein: The UCONN gifted program - summer confratute - are passionate about teaching, schoolwide-enrichment - Renzulli, Ries, etc.
12:33:15 alicemercer: We can find you Ginger you are all over the place!
12:33:17 Scott Shelhart: put ur email on a private plurk
12:33:22 PeggyG: my visit to Jackie's classsroom this week was so confirming because it reminded me that engaged students are learning all the time!
12:33:52 jackiegerstein: Thanks so much Peggy - students love their learning - love their energy!
12:34:15 Lisa Parisi:
12:34:24 jackiegerstein: lol lol lol
12:34:46 Lisa Parisi: Thank you all for coming.
12:34:53 GingerTPLC: yay! Clap clap!
12:35:05 jackiegerstein: Bye
12:35:17 kapil: this episode should be a compulsary module of any teacher training graduate programme
12:35:22 PeggyG: great conversation! lots of things to think about! love the passion and commitment of all of you!
12:35:25 colleenk: Thank you! Have a great day everyone.
12:35:34 PeggyG: bye all!

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