Conversations #56

What happens when a homegrown webcaster has too many things going on during the same time period? She thinks that she already posted a show but realizes (finally) that she didn't. So here it is, the November 22, 2009 show. Sorry folks.


Lisa, Maria and Sheila discussed the issue of dealing with a very "chatty" classroom, where the noise level is high but productivity is good. Later in the show, Diana Laufenberg, from the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia joined the conversation and talked a bit about Educon2.2.

Chat Log

[11:24] <@sheila> Morning all!

[11:24] <ScottShelhart> Good morning

[11:24] <ScottShelhart> Ustream or shoutcast today?

[11:24] <MariaK> Hi Scott - thanks for following thekinderkids!

[11:24] <@sheila> both today

[11:24] <LisaParisi> both

[11:25] <ScottShelhart> OK. Thank you, Maria.  I'm getting close to student teaching.  I need all of the role models I can get.

[11:30] <Maureen> Good morning all- is the stream up yet?

[11:30] <LisaParisi> Not yet, Maureen

[11:30] <@sheila> not yet.

[11:30] <loonyhiker> good morning

[11:30] <loonyhiker> my chat window screen looks really weird today

[11:32] <loonyhiker> be back, going to refresh my window

[11:32] <MariaK> Stream is up

[11:33] <ScottShelhart> Love the picture!  Sound is good

[11:34] <PeggyG> Good morning! I was lurking in ustream :-)

[11:35] <Sarah> Hey there!

[11:35] <PeggyG> what is a difficult classroom??

[11:35] == Sarah has changed nick to Guest2189

[11:35] <PeggyG> Sheila has fantastic news to share!!!! Huge Congratulations!!

[11:36] <Maureen> Congratulations!

[11:36] <loonyhiker> hooray!

[11:36] <ScottShelhart> clap clap

[11:36] <Guest2189> ok . . why did I turn to Guest?

[11:36] <Barry_> There's a lot of "stuff" on the screen, any way to cut out all the stuff?

[11:36] <LisaParisi> Don't know, Sarah!

[11:36] <PeggyG> When are you receiving your award in person??? Will it be streamed from the conference?

[11:37] <ScottShelhart> if you log in but do not type anything, you time out and revet to guest

[11:37] <LisaParisi> Barry, go to the little icon on the top next to Status.  Then click on options and find Hide....stuff

[11:37] <Guest2189> Congratulations Sheila!

[11:37] <PeggyG> December 2!!! Red-letter day!!

[11:37] <Maureen> You get to thank the giants upon whose shoulders you stand...;-)

[11:37] <PeggyG> I've been browsing around the conference wiki/website and you have all done an amazing job of organizing it! I shared it as a model for AzTEA. :-)

[11:38] <@sheila> Right Maureen!

[11:38] <loonyhiker> whatever works at that point

[11:38] <ScottShelhart>  I get a daily email of my kids grades.  No surprises.

[11:38] <Maureen> I always wished my parents would bribe me.... it was the expectation- you did the work and got good grades or else

[11:39] <Barry_> testing

[11:39] <loonyhiker> @Maureen that is what my parents were like - "u like to eat? well, we like good grades. so...."

[11:41] <Maureen> Pat, I think things are different now- all kinds of things that my parents simply expected- chores, good manners, being respectful to your elders, working hard in school- a lot of that seems to be gone

[11:41] <Maureen> Be careful- it stains!

[11:41] <loonyhiker> i didn't know that about turmeric! i've used it in recipes

[11:41] <Maureen> I used it as a base indicator when I taught science!

[11:42] <PeggyG>

[11:42] <Maureen> Don't get it on your hands and then try to wash with soap--- your get brilliant red hands!

[11:42] <Maureen> Too long

[11:42] <@sheila> Oh have never done that before!

[11:42] <PeggyG> turmeric

[11:42] <@sheila> Magic hands!

[11:43] <loonyhiker> would be great for halloween

[11:44] <PeggyG> what a wonderful idea Maria!

[11:46] <Maureen> Haven't heard Epping for a while- used to live in Raymond when I was a kid... that commercial for epping raceway stayed in my head... sunday sunday....

[11:46] <loonyhiker> could this be a future field trip?

[11:46] <PeggyG> that definitely sounds like a field trip worth taking with your class :-)

[11:46] == andy has changed nick to Guest14761

[11:46] <PeggyG> wow!! $520!!

[11:46] <@sheila> @Maureen I can hear those words now!

[11:46] <Maureen> What a wonderful community!

[11:47] <PeggyG> what were the things your student was most devastated about losing?

[11:49] <PeggyG> gift cards for books is a great idea because they will really enjoying picking their favorites!

[11:49] <PeggyG> that is such a touching story!!

[11:49] <Maureen> Can't imagine books as a luxury.... TV maybe, but not books- a necessity!

[11:50] <LisaParisi> Me too Maureen

[11:51] <Maureen> It's always strange for me to go to a house without books. When I stayed overnight at my brother's house, no reading light beside the bed...I brought my own books- but they don't read!

[11:53] <MariaK> @PeggyG He told his mom that he was wondering how he would have books to read. They also lost 3 dogs in the fire in addition to the house.

[11:53] <mcteach> Mine too!

[11:54] <wingsonwater03> that's hilarious

[11:54] <Maureen> You know we're all doing this now!

[11:54] <mcteach> Maureen....LOL!!!

[11:55] <Maureen> I have a few really chatty classes- if they are working, it's OK, but giving instructions is hard

[11:55] <wingsonwater03> I agree with the transistions part. It looks like chaos to people that stop by the classroom.

[11:56] <mcteach> That's what I'm it worth fighting that battle?

[11:56] <loonyhiker> i think yr class is wonderful

[11:56] <loonyhiker> my class was very chatty in low voices and i could live with that

[11:56] <dlaufenberg> remind me how old your students are?

[11:56] <Maureen> My older kids... I put all the instructions on a blog- and when they ask for the directions - again- I tell them to go read them

[11:56] <ScottShelhart> Live stream the class.  A global audience might make them settle down.

[11:57] <mcteach> Oh geez....don't give Lisa a stick!

[11:57] <wingsonwater03> Nice combination. Kids with hands around their throats and a teacher walking around with a huge stick... :)

[11:58] <PeggyG> your mini-Koosh balls don't work to control who can talk??? :-)

[11:58] <dlaufenberg> have you processed what their talking does to the classroom environment... are they old enough to talk about how they feel when other people are talking over them?

[11:58] <LisaParisi> The koosh balls do control the pen clicking and the drumming

[11:58] <Maureen> Can you give them another outlet to talk....

[11:59] <dlaufenberg> how old again?

[11:59] <MariaK> 5th grade

[12:00] <Maureen> I kind of hate them.,.but those lights that change with the noise level??

[12:01] <loonyhiker> reward the whole class when they transition from one activity to another - i had a paper chain from the ceiling to the floor. one chain added for showing desired behavior. when it reached the floor, they got their class reward whatever that may be

[12:01] <wingsonwater03> cool idea...

[12:01] <LisaParisi> Anyone want to come into the skype call?

[12:01] <@sheila> I like that idea. Very visual and i think that's the key.

[12:02] <loonyhiker> peer pressure always worked well in my class

[12:02] <Maureen> I have blurters, the stream of consciousness kids, but some classes- one of my 8th grade classes has been too social since day 1. Only when we are pushing deadlines do they settle down

[12:02] <dlaufenberg> we have done classroom discussion where they talk with each other... and then when it is whole class discussion, they can only repeat what their partner expressed.  reinforced a number of desireable skills...

[12:02] <loonyhiker> i made tallies on the board for each time i had to get them quiet - if they had less then 3 tallies, they got a chain on the "chain of success"

[12:02] <mcteach> I discovered at Back to School Night that my students act just like their parents! (in terms of their chatty behavior)

[12:03] <LisaParisi> Me too Mcteach

[12:03] <PeggyG> some teachers find it really effective to use Fred Jones PAT time to earn points towards Preferred Activity Time--earn them for expected behavior

[12:03] <loonyhiker> apple doesn't fall from the tree

[12:03] <mcteach> How can you fight THAT?!

[12:04] <wingsonwater03> Amen!

[12:04] <mcteach> Thank you!!!

[12:04] <dlaufenberg> reward is different from earning priveleges...

[12:04] <loonyhiker> sometimes they need to be trained to do what they are supposed to do

[12:04] <PeggyG> I agree dlaufenberg!

[12:04] <Maureen> Lisa- I agree- rewarding for expected behavior... kind of like giving men kudos for doing dishes

[12:04] <PeggyG> Fred Jones approach is about training them for appropriate behavior

[12:04] <dlaufenberg> i used to hold kids from lunch if they hadn't met class expectations, and release them 1 miin. early if they had...

[12:05] <wingsonwater03> I threaten worksheets....

[12:05] <dlaufenberg> but it needs to be tangible, and directly after/during the behavior

[12:05] <dlaufenberg> not delayed, immediate... behavior x= this, right now, today... behavior y= the other option, right now, today

[12:05] <Maureen> I assume you've done the teach, model, practice routine...

[12:06] <dlaufenberg> i use the language of ... you are being rude to each other and to me.

[12:06] <wingsonwater03> Has anyone found an "online decibel meter" could be good for visual learners to understand what a good classroom environment is.

[12:06] <ScottShelhart> Sounds like they do not value the community as much as the individual...

[12:06] <LisaParisi> Yes, Diana...that is very Responsive

[12:06] <loonyhiker> what about discussing this problem with them and ask them how it can be solved

[12:07] <@sheila> I agree loonyhiker!

[12:08] <dlaufenberg> is there a moment when you can have them do something loud.  like a class cheer, or call/response... after which there is no talking?

[12:08] <Maureen> I used to look at my watch and start counting very quietly- the kids know and will tell each other that they were wasting their science time. Doesn't work as well with older kids, they'd rather talk

[12:08] <LisaParisi> Again, anyone want to join the skype call?

[12:08] <mcteach> We us "warm fuzz"...waving the fingers at the person

[12:08] <@sheila> I've done that with Maureen with 7th graders.

[12:09] <@sheila> Well not  'with' Maureen

[12:09] <spedteacher> Deaf cheer is a great idea!

[12:09] <MOM_> How about "the less we are able to do HERE the MORE you will have to do AT HOME"

[12:09] <Maureen> I have a bunch of "frat boys" ( behavior) in 7th. I showed them the Nike No excuses commercial this week. Told them that they were in 7th grade and I simply did not want to hear any more excuses

[12:10] <loonyhiker> we did the "deaf cheer" because my students w/ autism could handle that better

[12:10] <mcteach> I've told them if they use MY time by being off-task, then I get to use THEIR time to do what I need to do!

[12:10] <dlaufenberg> i think that the key is.  decide a strategy and stick with it, for a significant amount of time, even if it is painful for you.  so that they know you mean business.  seating charts are often effective in changing things up as well.

[12:10] <Maureen> Good point sheila

[12:10] <loonyhiker> reward the ones who are showing the great behavior

[12:11] <Maureen> But if it negatively impacts the learning, then you have to do something

[12:11] <dlaufenberg> you need to choose one thing.  enforce it consistently.  stop throwing the kitchen sink at it.  i've had to do that with classes.  hit the reset button and get the ball rolling in another direction.

[12:11] <mcteach> I want the conversation also...but I've noticed that several are missing instructions

[12:12] <dlaufenberg> do you use classroom timers?

[12:12] <Maureen> Does it make it harder for some kids- the quiet shy ones- if it is loud in your room?

[12:12] <LisaParisi> I have a bell that I ring when I need their attention

[12:12] <dlaufenberg> but maybe a timer, so they could understand how much time they had left... i still use that with HS

[12:13] <spedteacher> That sounds exactly like my sixth grade class, on task discussion but LOUD.

[12:13] <LisaParisi> I need to try that, Diana

[12:13] <Maureen> Have you asked them to solve the problem?

[12:13] <dlaufenberg> the eddy timer is cute.  and you can change the sound

[12:14] <loonyhiker> i think it would be great to have this discussion w/ them. tell them that u enjoy the conversations but the volume and the inappropriate times are a problem and the group needs to come up with a solution

[12:14] <spedteacher> Lisa, I think the loudness comes from excitement about what they're doing. I really don't like to step on that too heavily.

[12:14] <davidcosand> The distinction between when discourse is appropriate and when it isn't...recognizing those verbal and nonverbal cues and responding to them quickly and respectfully...that's a key issue for my class.

[12:14] <mcteach> LOL!!! Me too, Lisa!

[12:15] <loonyhiker> "to make others respect us more"

[12:15] <mcteach> How do you convince the special needs kids who sit up front that they can't have a conversation with the teacher WHILE SHE'S TEACHING!?

[12:16] <MOM_> it's natural, isn't it

[12:16] <spedteacher> I keep trying to teach my students NOT to worry about what people think and say about them, especially what they say about each other.

[12:16] <davidcosand> Do any of you know of a Windows equivalent to the Eddy Timer?

[12:17] <spedteacher> McTeach -- by ignoring them when they talk to you.

[12:17] <PeggyG> Have you ever used the resources & tips from "You Can Handle Them All"? Here are resources for "The Talker"--need to figure out what's motivating the talking.

[12:17] <loonyhiker> @spedteacher i agree

[12:17] <MOM_> visitors can engage in conversation

[12:17] <mcteach> spedteacher: I'm working on doing that. It's hard for me because I'm also a special needs kid!

[12:17] <PeggyG> quote from the Talker page: Remember, this is more a social problem than a discipline problem. If treated as a discipline problem, it may become one. The ability to talk is not a negative-nor is it a liability. It's an asset which the student must learn to manage for personal benefit.

[12:18] <spedteacher> mcteach -- I seem to be going deaf and I always worry that I'm missing something important that they're saying.

[12:18] <PeggyG> link above

[12:19] <PeggyG> they have resources for lots of different behavior problems and how to manage them

[12:19] <dlaufenberg> i still use the phrase... I need your eyes and ears... as a means of letting them know I need them quiet and attentive.  

[12:19] <dlaufenberg> gets them out of their laptops.

[12:20] <mcteach> spedteacher - I have such a high-level class, so many gifted kids, and just a few special needs. With 36 kids, it's hard to keep up

[12:20] <Maureen> I still worry about the quiet child, who cannot work in the noise. How does she/he feel?

[12:20] <mcteach> Terrified? Or seriously bored?

[12:20] <spedteacher> That is the exact description of my 6th graders, but I only have 28 of then.

[12:21] <loonyhiker> not sure a total silent enviroment is teaching them to work in a real life environment

[12:21] <mcteach> Maureen - that was me!

[12:21] <mcteach> That's a great idea!!!!

[12:21] <Maureen> I wasn't quiet, but I cannot work in a noisy environment.

[12:22] <PeggyG> their talking is a more powerful motivator to them than listening to the teacher :-)

[12:23] <Guest2189> How about using an audio meter that dings when it hits a particular level?

[12:23] <dlaufenberg> I would also shoot a msg home on days when we had a good day... and tell the parents to praise the kids.

[12:23] <PeggyG> @Maureen--that is such a great point! some kids really can't work in a noisy environment!

[12:23] <@sheila> The 'gives' to 'gets'

[12:24] <LisaParisi> Diana, I have to say I am surprised to find that you have these same issues in hs.  Always thought it was an elementary age issue.

[12:24] <spedteacher> In group work, where everyone hasa job, give one student the job of monitoring the noise level of the group.

[12:24] <dlaufenberg> @lisa... project based is project based

[12:24] <dlaufenberg> sure

[12:24] <loonyhiker> i also played instrumental music in the background and some kids talked quieter cuz they wanted to hear the music

[12:25] <PeggyG> it's not just an elementary age issue! happens in staff meetings too :-)

[12:25] <mcteach> Pat...I love the idea of using music!

[12:25] <Maureen> I'm hoping to be able to go this year- still waiting for approval. Nothing is approved yet!

[12:26] <lnitsche> It is great that I actually was at home this week and had a chance to stop in.

[12:26] <MariaK>

[12:27] <lnitsche> I am trying to multitask- what a surprise- getting elsson plans done:)

[12:27] <PeggyG> really looking forward to Educon22--hoping to participate virtually!!

[12:27] <mcteach> I so wish I could go to more conferences!!

[12:27] <lnitsche> I like your idea for a session Diana

[12:27] <loonyhiker> @lnitsche i usually am in church but i didn't go this morning. glad i could hear this conversation

[12:28] <Maureen> @mcteach. Last year I got to go to 3, but had to pay my own way for  a lot. Want to go to NECC, educon and BLC this year... None have been approved yet.

[12:29] <mcteach> Maureen - that's my problem. I have to pay for it, but don't have the money. New principal doesn't support professional development!

[12:30] <@sheila> Wow!

[12:30] <mcteach> That's a great problem to have!

[12:30] <PeggyG> so great to hear the preview of your sessions!! Thanks Diana!

[12:30] <@sheila> Our funds are used up but I emcumbered reg $ for NECC in sept. Must plan ahead!

[12:30] <Maureen> @mcteach I did pay for a lot last year, and really cannot afford it- so I'm hoping that I get some answers soon

[12:30] <lnitsche> WOW!

[12:31] <PeggyG> congrats Lisa on getting your presentation accepted!! :-)

[12:31] <Maureen> @sheila- I asked, but haven't heard anything. Can't go to NH next week, couldn't go to Masscue... not looking good

[12:32] <@sheila> :(

[12:32] <lnitsche> I have my spot, but need a hotel room still.

[12:32] <MariaK>

[12:32] <LisaParisi> Linda, want to share?

[12:32] <lnitsche> @Lisa- that is a possibilty. I still have to see if Kristin is going to come-

[12:33] <PeggyG> great idea for your presentation Diana!! Definitely falls into taking charge of your own learning :-)

[12:34] <spedteacher> The

[12:34] <lnitsche> hopefully I won't have the same problem:)

[12:34] <MariaK>

[12:34] <PeggyG> there's no place to sign up if you're attending virtually, right?

[12:34] <spedteacher> The Embracing Failure preso I read about in last year's Educon was what made me so want to come to this year's!

[12:34] <PeggyG> Nov. 30--K12 Online preconference keynote with Kim Cofino!! Can't wait!!

[12:35] <PeggyG> no show for next 2 weeks? boo hoo!

[12:35] <mcteach> Happy Thanksgiving!

[12:35] <Maureen> Have a great conference in NH- wish I could be there!

[12:35] <PeggyG> Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate!!

[12:35] <loonyhiker> i won't see u here until jan. i'll be on a couple of cruises and internet is sketchy

 [12:36] <loonyhiker> thanks y'all for doing this!

[12:36] <LisaParisi> Thanks for coming, everyone!