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.
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 here..it can be my Internet, anybody else facing issues with audio stream
11:45:28 GingerTPLC: Acceleration
11:45:29 minhaaj: kapil try that http://edtechtalk.com/listen
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: nationdeceived.org
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: http://www.accelerationinstitute.org/Nation_Deceived/
11:54:13 PeggyG: yes Nation Deceived! An excellent book for understanding teaching gifted students!
11:54:24 LifeIsGood: Grr..stream 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: http://www.gifted.uconn.edu 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: nationdeceived.org
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: http://ettconversations.blogspot.com/
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!