Conversations #72

Ever have a great project idea and were not able to actually start or complete it? We talked about those projects with John Fladd, a colleague of Maria's. What is it that prevents us from seeing a project to fruition?


Chat log:

 11:31:01  Lisa Parisi ->  Welcome all
 11:31:44  sheila ->  People having trouble with the chat room?
 11:32:10  marragem ->  Hi everyone
 11:32:24  Maureen ->  Good morning, everyone. The ETTA just bumps you off... only ustream is working
 11:32:24  sheila ->  We are streaming on ustream and trying ETTA
 11:32:28  marragem ->  @Sheila - no
 11:32:43  Maureen ->  Not a chance
 11:33:24  PeggyG ->  Good morning everyone! Great to see/hear you!
 11:33:31  Lisa Parisi ->  Only Ustream today
 11:33:41  kyteacher (Angela) ->  Good morning!
 11:34:35  PeggyG ->  how exciting to hear about your trip to Iceland Sheila!!
 11:34:40  kyteacher (Angela) ->  I'm so jealous.  I have always wanted to see Iceland.
 11:35:38  PeggyG ->  how scarey!!
 11:37:03  PeggyG ->  do you have pictures posted somewhere?
 11:37:31  sheila ->  I'll get the link.
 11:37:45  Maureen ->  Did you not have a show last week?
 11:37:58  PeggyG ->  clever topic: projects that never were... :-)
 11:38:15  Lisa Parisi ->  Not last week Maureen
 11:38:21  PeggyG ->  good morning John
 11:38:29  kyteacher (Angela) ->  Good morning John.
 11:38:51  Maureen ->  Oh good- I had to work at school- figured I had missed it, but didn't see it posted
 11:38:53  sheila ->  Trip wiki - photos link is there too.
 11:39:05  woodenmask ->  Hi Angela!
 11:39:14  PeggyG ->  thanks Sheila!!
 11:39:59  PeggyG ->  what an exciting trip/experience! love seeing the photos!
 11:40:42  Maureen ->  I haven't been able to do the kind of colaborative projects I would really like to do- some times it was because of equipment- poor bandwidth, but mostly it is because of lack of interest by colleagues at school.
 11:41:50  PeggyG ->  New York City-great place to spend a birthday!
 11:41:59  McTeach ->  46!! We should form a club!
 11:43:01  kyteacher (Angela) ->  Very exciting. We took a group of HS freshmen to NYC a couple of years ago. After a very long drive from KY, we had a great time.
 11:43:04  sheila ->  Forgot Iceland pays for upload and download of data, but hoping schools can do this for free. This may be a problem for them to continue projects.
 11:43:40  PeggyG ->  now that would be a surprise--to find 3 cows in your front yard!
 11:44:04  PeggyG ->  yumm!!! lobster! :-)
 11:44:51  PeggyG ->  why was it $750?
 11:45:00  Maureen ->  This was my week... compiling the results of a tech survey I gave to faculty... "Today's students will become proficient in technology because they will have to.  Let's not overlook exposure to languages and the arts during these impressionable years. " "Time-consuming and not helpful to the students." "I feel that 3 and 4 year old children do not need 'screen' time in school.  Simple as that.""Our children are much too young to be expected to use a computer without direct supervision or assistance.  "   Not surprising, but certainly not encouraging.
 11:46:31  sheila ->  @Maureen - interesting comments. Did you get any encouraging ones?
 11:47:11  Maureen ->  Not really. Many people said thanks for all I do, but they see it as separate and not as a way for them to teach
 11:47:23  McTeach ->  Just like the New England definition of "mountain"...anything over 1,000 feet.
 11:47:33  PeggyG ->  that sounds like a beautiful time in Nantucket!!
 11:47:55  McTeach ->  Not out here in CA!!  :)
 11:48:08  kyteacher (Angela) ->  We had a little horse race here locally...and rain.  Lots of rain.
 11:48:10  sheila ->  @Maureen - One teacher at a time . . . .
 11:48:28  sheila ->  @Angela - did you go?
 11:48:31  PeggyG ->  was it a fundraiser?
 11:48:33  McTeach ->  Yes, a "little" horse race, Angela!  :)
 11:49:36  kyteacher (Angela) ->  No...The Derby crowds are a bit much for me. And it was an absolutely awful weather day.
 11:50:11  PeggyG ->  oh yeah!!! Lisa and Brian's book is at the publisher!! congratulations!!
 11:50:12  Maureen ->  @sheila I know but these baby steps are killing me. This is a link to the compiled results.  Now I get to take some of this info and come up with the 3-5 year plan for tech.  The only good thing out of it- honest answers, sometimes thoughtful answers.
 11:50:19  woodenmask ->  Angela - I was so busy grilling for the first time this year that I totally forgot to watch the race. Was thinking about making julips; even bought a julep strainer!
 11:50:28  kyteacher (Angela) ->  I prefer to go to Churchill Downs on less popular days.  I'll probably be there over Memorial Day.
 11:51:00  kyteacher (Angela) ->  John - Not a lot of grilling going on around here. Way too wet.
 11:51:11  marragem ->  One day, Maria
 11:51:16  PeggyG ->  that's really interesting information @Maureen!! Does your school support technology as a goal?
 11:51:38  Maureen ->  It's gorgeous out here- yesterday too- sunny and in the 80s. Getting a lot of work done outside.
 11:51:41  sheila ->  @Maureen Thanks for sharing the link.
 11:52:08  Maureen ->  @Peggy- we did a big deal strategic plan last year and yes, it is one of the top priorities.
 11:53:07  PeggyG ->  sometimes it's hard to anticipate how much time a project will take, especially when you're collaborating with other countries, schools
 11:53:25  Maureen ->  Not being a "classroom teacher", it is hard to sustain projects without support of others.
 11:53:58  PeggyG ->  such unsettling times for teachers with all of the budget cuts!! makes me so sad!!
 11:54:33  mslaneeus ->  Difficult times for us here too.  Layoffs will be announced this week. 
 11:54:47  McTeach ->  Oh yay! I hear the birds!!
 11:55:03  MariaK ->  lisa is tweeting in the background
 11:55:16  McTeach ->  Funny Maria!!
 11:55:26  McTeach ->  Tweeting on twitter? :)
 11:55:30  PeggyG ->  there are lots of reasons you may need to abandon projects and some of them are very good reasons :-)
 11:55:44  Maureen ->  We aren't facing layoffs, but have a real skeleton crew of teachers- almost all wearing multiple hats. Makes it hard for them to want to take the time to learn anything new.
 11:57:02  MariaK -> one of John's past projects
 11:57:23  Maureen ->  I love that project- what a provocative question
 11:58:12  MariaK ->  John's Prof blog
 11:58:17  PeggyG ->  those are really creative projects!!
 11:58:58  MariaK ->  John's Dead Person Project
 11:59:57  kyteacher (Angela) ->  So many ideas...
 12:01:16  PeggyG ->  are you doing fewer projects or just not able to add new ones due to time restraints?
 12:01:19  McTeach ->  Love Ginger!
 12:01:27  Lisa Parisi ->  Both Peggy
 12:01:40  Lisa Parisi ->  I also have eliminated parts to projects this year.
 12:01:56  Maureen ->  One project that I had really hoped to do was a collaborative project with 3rd grade. They do a biography project- end up doing presentations at the end. Kids stand up and read their note cards... really boring. The kids dress up as their character. I wanted to do a green screen project- have them act out/speak instead of reading... probably not going to happen this year. Time constraints
 12:02:19  PeggyG ->  is that because you have required time slots where you have to spend time preparing for standardized tests or district curriculum?
 12:02:32  woodenmask ->  Destiny&Diahhrea Project:
 12:02:34  McTeach ->  I have trouble getting 8th graders motivated to do any projects with technology! They'd rather use paper and pencil (not even a pen!)
 12:03:44  woodenmask ->  McTeach - I have the same problem. My guys are willing to do ANYTHING - unless it involves work or inconvenience on their part.
 12:04:00  Maureen ->  What is aimsweb? Is it associated with AIMS?
 12:04:18  PeggyG ->  too bad you have to give up the green screen part of the project Maureen! sounds like the kids would love it!! but it does take time!
 12:04:20  McTeach -> how do they define "anything"?
 12:04:30  McTeach ->  Anything that's NOT school work?
 12:04:38  Lisa Parisi ->  AimsWeb is associated with RTI.  It's a data program
 12:05:23  Maureen ->  I spent a lot more time with my older kids on internet safety this year.. added a piece on sexting. Had to do it. I also spent more time on copyright and fair use... another ever changing topic. I liked what I did, but now am running out of time
 12:05:44  PeggyG ->  those are all great things Maureen!!
 12:05:48  Maureen ->  Thx Lisa... we don't have RTI kind of stuff
 12:06:17  kyteacher (Angela) ->  We tend to start & stop projects due to technology issues. Very frustrating.
 12:07:48  PeggyG ->  yes Maria!!! good teaching is always hard work!! :-)
 12:07:53  Maureen ->  @kyteacher I spent all last Sunday at school trying to make my old computers last thru the year.  It's not good. Out of HD space, computers are dying. I already moved one class to the mac lab to work... but other classes are too big- not enough computers. I took off all programs I don't think I will be using.
 12:08:11  woodenmask ->  McTeach - most recently, my Advisory group. Trying to raise money for charity. They're REALLY into the idea (in theory). Shot down all specific ideas. Classic example - We're raising money for Heffer International. Thought it would be cool to get sponsors and all live on a 3rd World diet for two or three days. All but two were adament that there is no way they would give up any food for any length of time. Similarly unwilling to wash cars etc..
 12:08:18  Maureen ->  Lately I haven't been online that much- I can't do it all.
 12:08:51  PeggyG ->  that would make a fantastic topic for a future Conversations show @woodenmask!!
 12:09:09  sheila ->  My kids in Iceland -
 12:09:23  woodenmask ->  Motivation is a contantly moving target w/8th graders
 12:09:55  McTeach ->  John...there's a HUGE difference between the boys and girls in my 8th grade class. The boys want to do nothing but goof off, the girls give 150% to every project they do!
 12:10:05  Maureen ->  @woodenmask the 6th grade geography teacher does the live on $1/day with his kids when teaching about Africa.  Most of the kids try it... but it's hard
 12:10:19  McTeach ->  The girls NEVER want to have any of the boys in their groups for group work.
 12:10:23  woodenmask ->  Most of my girls are pretty motivated. Some slackers there, too.
 12:10:27  kyteacher (Angela) ->  @Maureen Our issues seem to come from our network...computers don't log in when it rains. After a couple of days of some computers working, others not, I move on. 
 12:11:14  Maureen ->  @kyteacher Our network is better(this year) but our equipment is so old... it's failing.
 12:11:33  PeggyG ->  @woodenmask--was your class that way all year or is this just an end-of-year symptom?
 12:11:37  kyteacher (Angela) ->  I do have a group of 7 students during my planning period...we spend a lot of time experimenting with the possibilities of technology in the classroom. Very proud of them.
 12:12:03  marragem ->  kids love that book
 12:12:17  Maureen ->  @kyteacher That sounds like my 7th grade- boys are not into the academics at all- the girls are strong students. Hard to find stuff to motivate the boys. Part of it is just the age, but there must be a better way
 12:12:40  kyteacher (Angela) ->  @Maureen We have that issue too...& no $ to replace. May end up with about 40 student computers for 1300 students. Will definitely limit what we can do.
 12:13:23  Maureen ->  My ning project is pretty much dead... kids were fascinated at first, but the novelty quickly wore off. I guess it's just as well now that ning is changing.
 12:13:51  Lisa Parisi ->  Why do you think they lost interest, Maureen?
 12:14:12  kyteacher (Angela) ->  One of my favorite projects:
 12:14:35  Maureen ->  @kyteacher- I am going begging soon. My computers in the lab are over 10 years old. They have 20 G HD, usb 1.0, not rw drives, and a slow processor. Making me crazy
 12:15:23  Maureen ->  @lisa- they have too much to do, if it is not something that is being graded- they simply won't do it
 12:15:49  McTeach ->  Not that we're counting!
 12:16:00  kyteacher (Angela) ->  20 here
 12:16:01  PeggyG ->  schools are getting out around May 21 in many schools in AZ :-)
 12:16:24  kyteacher (Angela) ->  May 21 was our last day before snow days
 12:16:37  PeggyG ->  that is a great question Maria!
 12:16:51  marragem ->  that's how we work - never do the same unit twice
 12:16:59  Maureen ->  I have less... last day for 7-9 is June 2.. then they have exams, last day for everyone else is June 10th.  Love it/hate it.... crunch time
 12:17:12  PeggyG ->  how often do you have to tell students they can't do the projects they want to do because there isn't enough time???
 12:17:30  marragem ->  has to be inquiry based - different to PBL
  12:17:42  PeggyG ->  excellent point marragem!!!
 12:17:53  MariaK ->  @marragem
 12:18:09  Maureen ->  My kids want scripts... they are so used to the "old school" way of teaching- more conservative than their teachers
 12:18:17  MariaK ->  inquiry  based ed is what I want to learn from you
 12:18:54  woodenmask ->  PeggyG - sometimes yes, sometimes no. It really IS a constantly moving target
 12:18:59  Lisa Parisi ->  I think it only needs to be once, Peggy.  Then they don't ask anymore.
 12:19:06  marragem ->  our new national curriculum might kill inquiry learning - I'll be a rebel & still teach my way
 12:19:10  PeggyG ->  so true Lisa!!
 12:19:23  Maureen ->  My current project in 7th grade is our census project... I gave them the data and the stuff I want them to pull out of it and they are to come up with another question to answer with the data. It is killing them- they want to be told exactly what to do.
 12:19:58  marragem ->  yep - all about the questions.
 12:19:59  PeggyG ->  the kids don't have to think of "projects" but just have to be curious about something that they want to explore and learn more about (inquiry)
 12:20:02  woodenmask ->  Peggy, Maureen, Angela - Have you read "Boys Adrift". Really thought-provoking about why boys and young men are such slackers. I've got a theory about why boys don't invest, particularly in literacy.
 12:20:22  PeggyG ->  yes @Woodenmask--Boys Adrift is an excellent book!
 12:20:31  marragem ->  play-based learning is inquiry learning
 12:20:40  Maureen ->  @woodenmask.. no, haven't read it. Last "boy" book I read was Raising Cain
 12:21:20  kyteacher (Angela) ->  I am ending the year w/a shortened version of National History Day projects. So excited that several of my students want to know how we can participate "for real" next year.
 12:22:15  McTeach ->  Angela...I'd love to do that also. We should talk about it at ISTE!
 12:22:26  Maureen ->  @woodenmask- is there a short version of your theory? Care to expound?
 12:22:43  PeggyG ->  @kyteacher-that sounds like an exciting way to end the year!! what fun!
 12:22:49  kyteacher (Angela) ->  @McTeach Absolutely!
 12:23:04  marragem ->  good idea, Maria
 12:23:14  McTeach ->  Nat'l History Day is in November, isn't it?
 12:23:23  kyteacher (Angela) ->  @PeggyG Most seem to be pretty into it.
 12:23:26  Maureen ->  There is.. I think you just have to put the number of times you want it to appear... maybe (5)word, etc
 12:23:29  woodenmask ->  My Curmudgeonly Theory - We keep telling the boys to act like girls: don't compete, sit still, work colaboratively. All their teachers are women. Almost all their paras are women. Any reading/literacy at home is Mom, Meme, sisters... OfF COURSE they think school is for girls and not worth their time.
 12:23:56  kyteacher (Angela) ->  @MCTeach The national competitition is usually around June...state competitions a bit earlier.
 12:24:29  McTeach ->  Wow! I was way off...I wonder what I was thinking about???
 12:24:29  sheila ->  Thanks Maureen!
  12:26:17  McTeach ->  Can't have that at a Catholic school either!
 12:26:38  McTeach ->  My 7th graders are loving anything that has to do with Greek mythology
 12:26:56  Maureen ->  Sometimes it is the way you let the kids explore a topic. The 5th grade boys projects on Ancient Greece are almost all about weapons... but I make them answer questions about how the weapons, what they were made of, etc... influenced the history.
 12:27:10  marragem ->  of course not! As long as they are reading
 12:27:34  kyteacher (Angela) ->  @McTeach I love Greek mythology.
 12:28:08  McTeach ->'d get along great with my kids!
 12:28:24  kyteacher (Angela) ->  Looks like I will be starting a history club at my school next year.  :)
 12:28:35  Maureen ->  Wait a minute Lisa- how many awards have you won? Didn'
 12:28:39  Maureen ->  tDidn
 12:28:51  Maureen ->  sorry... but you do compete....
 12:28:57  McTeach ->  Sounds like we'll be having a show about boys sometime soon!
 12:29:10  McTeach ->  I LOVE that idea, Angela!
 12:29:17  kyteacher (Angela) ->  @McTeach We have to work out a way to collaborate next year. Look forward to the conversations at ISTE.
 12:29:17  sheila ->  I think you're rigth McTeach!
 12:29:32  MariaK ->  yes - let's do a boy show!!!
 12:29:34  marragem ->  they do - I have double the number of boys in my class to girls
 12:29:34  McTeach ->  What was the book again?
 12:29:49  McTeach ->  Most definitely Angela!
 12:30:33  woodenmask ->
 12:31:39  McTeach ->  Thanks John!
 12:31:45  woodenmask ->  McTeach - Boys Adrift. Just posted the Amazon link
 12:31:52  marragem ->  I have them sitting, lying, upside down on the couch, in beanbags...
 12:32:16  marragem ->  they are!!
 12:32:35  PeggyG ->  love that image marragem :-) kids don't have to be sitting in seats to learn :-)
 12:32:38  Maureen ->  Thank everyone.... back to the weeding, dividing perennials
 12:32:42  Lisa Parisi ->
 12:32:57  kyteacher (Angela) ->  :D
 12:33:18  McTeach ->  Awesome!!
 12:33:33  McTeach ->  Same here
 12:33:33  Lisa Parisi ->  Bye
 12:33:40  PeggyG ->  thanks everyone
 12:33:43  kyteacher (Angela) ->  Bye.\
 12:33:56  marragem ->  Bye all