Conversations Episode 89 - Teachable Moments
This week, we discussed the topic of teachable moments. It seems that in these days of more content and high test expectations, there is very little time to take advantage of teachable moments. We discussed ways to capitalize on the moments, as they arise.
11:26:13 Lisa Parisi: Hi Pat!
11:26:44 Sheila: HI tthere!
11:27:07 loonyhiker (aka Pat): hi! i will be right back. for some reason i can't open ETTA or ETTB
11:27:13 Sheila: Switching to ugly color.
11:27:33 Lisa Parisi: No sound yet
11:27:53 Lisa Parisi: Sound will be on ustream today.
11:28:03 Sheila: We will be using usteream
11:28:19 loonyhiker (aka Pat): oh good! i think i can get that to work!
11:28:30 Sheila: Lisa is so fast at typing!
11:30:03 loonyhiker (aka Pat): Changed the color of my font so mine won't look like Lisa's :)
11:30:43 Lisa Parisi: ustream is on
11:32:14 Lisa Parisi: Hi Peggy
11:32:20 loonyhiker (aka Pat): Hmm, i can't get it to play. i have a new lap top so I'm not sure why i can't get anything to work
11:32:33 PeggyG: Hi everyone, I'll be mostly listening today. Still recovering from surgery.
11:32:50 Sheila: REst up!
11:32:51 Lisa Parisi: Hi Cheryl
11:33:16 cheryl w: hi Lisa no sound?
11:33:20 PeggyG: can see the ustream but not hearing anything yet
11:33:21 Lisa Parisi: Pat, click on the play button on Ustream
11:33:58 Lisa Parisi: We're working on the sound.
11:34:04 Lisa Parisi: So how is everyone.
11:34:10 loonyhiker (aka Pat): i don't have a play button :(
11:34:13 Lisa Parisi: Hi Karen
11:34:37 McTeach (Karen): Good morning, Lisa!
11:34:38 PeggyG: are you also streaming on ETT-A?
11:34:43 Lisa Parisi: I just had to reload a few things...java, etc
11:34:44 Sheila: ustream
11:34:47 Lisa Parisi: Hello Jackie
11:34:55 PeggyG: ok-still waiting for audio
11:34:56 Lisa Parisi: Almost there
11:35:01 PeggyG: ok
11:35:13 Lisa Parisi: Hi Cathy
11:35:13 jackiegerstein: Hi, Lisa - sound via ustrea?
11:35:37 Lisa Parisi: Any sound on ustream folks?
11:35:55 PeggyG: not yet for me
11:35:56 McTeach (Karen): I'm not hearing anything
11:35:59 jackiegerstein: nada
11:36:00 loonyhiker (aka Pat): not for me yet
11:36:02 PeggyG: I've refreshed a couple of times
11:36:10 Lisa Parisi: ANyone want to stream for us today?
11:36:28 Lisa Parisi: I don't seem to be able to. Sheila is now trying. Maria is not here today.
11:36:39 Lisa Parisi: We'll get there.
11:36:49 cheryl w: no sound yet
11:37:00 loonyhiker (aka Pat): don't worry - i've got all day and lots of junk food :)
11:37:01 Lisa Parisi: Topic today is teachable moments and how to take advantage of them.
11:37:20 Lisa Parisi: I remember when I was student teaching, teachable moments was a big topic in each class.
11:37:26 cheryl w: this is one them! (LOL)
11:37:30 Lisa Parisi: Now it seems we don't have time for them
11:37:31 Lisa Parisi: LOL
11:37:31 PeggyG: :-)
11:37:50 Lisa Parisi: Hello Maureen
11:37:57 Maureen: Hi Lisa
11:38:00 loonyhiker (aka Pat): i feel like i have teachable moments all of the time - we just need to recognize them for what they are
11:38:22 jackiegerstein: A teachable moment - how to be flexible when technology doesn't work
11:38:30 Lisa Parisi: I wanted so badly to spend time on the mudslides in Brazil and floods in Brisbane
11:38:31 cheryl w: @PLoonyhiker absolutely!
11:38:39 Lisa Parisi: But it didn't really fit into my schedule.
11:38:55 Lisa Parisi: So I wait for 10 minutes here, five minutes there...to tell the kids about it
11:38:59 Lisa Parisi: Then I move on
11:40:02 loonyhiker (aka Pat): Sometimes Lisa, it is those short bursts of time that are the most meaningful
11:40:06 Lisa Parisi: Almost there with sound
11:40:42 Lisa Parisi: I feel like they are Pat, but instead we spend our time on content
11:40:48 Lisa Parisi: Sound is on ETTA now.
11:40:52 Lisa Parisi: Come join us.
11:41:27 loonyhiker (aka Pat): I can hear you on ETTA
11:41:33 Lisa Parisi: Hello again
11:41:54 McTeach (Karen): Not hearing anything on ETTA...gonna refresh...
11:42:13 jackiegerstein: I hear it there too :D
11:42:21 cheryl w: I am in!!
11:42:44 Sheila: Finally!
11:43:11 McTeach (Karen): Yay! Sound!!
11:43:31 McTeach (Karen): Thank you, Sheila! :)
11:47:18 McTeach (Karen): I could use some energy...
11:47:18 PeggyG: hearing you now. Thanks!
11:47:41 jackiegerstein: Foss?
11:48:35 Maureen: I loved teaching science to grades 1-3. Kids got to experiment, and play with lots of different materials. Electricity and design technlogy were really fun.
11:49:57 Maureen: I used to have 1st graders learn about short circuits by making them... burning steel wool. They loved all the sparks they made
11:51:19 woodenmask: Good morning. Teachable moments?
11:51:32 Lisa Parisi: Yes
11:53:00 woodenmask: Spent a big-ish chunk of time this week talking to my 7th/8th graders about the Arizona shootings. In the case of the 7th grade, not even close to what we're studying, but seemed too important not to address.
11:53:38 PeggyG: excellent example @woodenmask of a teachable moment! That was really important to talk about!
11:54:22 Deven: I used the quake in Haiti the day after it happened as a teachable moment. Taught about plate tectonics to my social studies class. I love it when interdisciplinary opportunities come up.
11:55:24 McTeach (Karen): 25 years! Wow!!
11:55:24 Lisa Parisi: lost the skype call
11:55:54 PeggyG: teachable moments often provide both the teacher and students an opportunity to learn together since it is "late-breaking news"--even if it's snow in Phoenix :-) you're not prepared for it but you can learn about it together
11:58:10 Lisa Parisi: broadcasting again
11:58:22 loonyhiker (aka Pat): i hear u now
11:58:23 PeggyG: hearing you now
11:58:27 Maureen: you're back
11:59:20 woodenmask: Yay. I can hear you now.
12:00:39 McTeach (Karen): We discussed the Arizona shootings and the Baptist church that wanted to protest at the funerals. It was a good conversation about first amendment rights
12:01:57 woodenmask: I played my 8th graders an NPR story about Westboro BCh earlier in the year. As it turns out, we were in the process of discussing the 1st Amendment. VIGOROUS class discussion.
12:02:00 PeggyG: there was a lot of controversy about showing the challenger events live in classrooms because parents felt they should be the ones talking to their kids about it. you can't preview live breaking news to know if your kids can handle it
12:02:12 Maureen: When it is hard for kids to understand what "civil discourse" is... it's important for them to hear unbiased views and have a safe place to talk
12:02:36 woodenmask: One of the students ended up hosting an online discussion about it on FaceBook that night, including her father, who is an active duty serviceman in Afghanistan.
12:02:54 PeggyG: what a great outcome woodenmask!
12:03:26 PeggyG: I agree Sheila
12:04:32 loonyhiker (aka Pat): the "n"word is a big issue down here in the south
12:04:38 Maureen: One of our English teachers had a big discussion about that with her class. Didn't show the John Stewart piece tho. She also teaches history and has had discussions about rewriting history
12:05:11 Maureen: History is written by the winners
12:06:02 woodenmask: Here's my blogpost on it: http://bit.ly/9UjqbZ
12:06:34 woodenmask: Or, in the case of the Civil War, by the losers.
12:07:00 loonyhiker (aka Pat): Brought in a speaker who wrote The Four Perfect Pebbles - was in the same concentration camp as Anne Frank - entire school came and community was invited - Jewish religion is not very prevalent here so very educational
12:07:35 loonyhiker (aka Pat): Sometimes we have to make teachable moments happen
12:07:42 Deven: Or we know how to fit it into the curriculum.
12:08:04 PeggyG: teachable moments happen for all teachers--experienced or not. it's what they choose to do about them
12:08:05 Sheila: Yes, Deven.
12:08:35 Lisa Parisi: Yes, Peggy...they do.
12:08:51 Lisa Parisi: So are more experienced teachers more willing to teach them?
12:09:08 Maureen: I skipped a teachable moment with a 5th grader this week. We were making anagrams out of names. The generator turned his name into "genital herpes"... told him to use his middle name. 5th grade- not goin' there
12:09:16 McTeach (Karen): Lisa, would love to hear more about your Global Awareness Club. Thinking about doing something like that at my school.
12:09:26 woodenmask: I think that more experienced teachers are more comfortable with not covering everything in the curriculum - after a certain number of years, you realize that there is NO WAY to cover everything under the best of circumstances.
12:09:31 Lisa Parisi: Let's talk Karen
12:10:00 McTeach (Karen): Awesome! Thanks!
12:10:03 loonyhiker (aka Pat): @Maureen I just wish I could have seen your face when that came up!
12:10:12 Deven: I think my best teaching occurs when I'm taking advantage of teachable moments, often because the students recognize the moment and are more attentive.
12:10:25 Maureen: @loonyhiker :-)
12:10:39 PeggyG: access to the internet has changed teachable moments a lot
12:11:09 Sheila: I agree PeggyG!
12:12:28 woodenmask: It's always a risk - a lot of the time, the kids take the teachable moment in a direction you'd rather they didn't. One of my classes simply decided that the Westboro creeps should just be shut down; didn't get the bigger constitutional issues I was trying to get at. Still - leaves us someplace to come back to later in the year, if there's another teachable moment.
12:13:44 woodenmask: (Which actually gives me an idea - talking about abolitionists now. THEIR message was offensive and unpopular at the time. Hmmm...)
12:14:20 Maureen: good question
12:14:31 Deven: It doesn't matter.
12:14:47 PeggyG: you could research it together :-)
12:15:02 woodenmask: Yes, apparently, I'm now an Ares.
12:15:12 Lisa Parisi: Yes, Peggy, but what would the research bring?
12:15:33 PeggyG: late breaking news isn't in the hard copy encyclopedias
12:15:34 Maureen: Technology has changed the speed that we get the info, the quality of the info and our access to research and ways to answer questions
12:16:16 Maureen: But it's good for kids to know that there is a difference between astrology and astronomy
12:16:49 cheryl w: Very often the teachable moments come up from the student questions and I have to say I don't know lets investigate
12:16:53 Lisa Parisi: I think I am too, John. I was Taurus
12:17:25 loonyhiker (aka Pat): my students loved learning about Chinese New Years and the chinese zodiac
12:17:29 McTeach (Karen): Peggy...last week the math teacher asked me if I had a set of encyclopedias in my classroom. I just laughed!
12:17:36 Lisa Parisi: Cheryl, do you have more time to take advantage of that because you might not have to get into as much curriculum?
12:17:54 PeggyG: funny McTeach!
12:18:19 McTeach (Karen): :D
12:18:25 woodenmask: That gets into the whole issue of personal beliefs - given what I teach, I feel the need to keep most of my personal political beliefs to myself; I'm trying to get them to develop their own political beliefs. It's hard.
12:18:40 PeggyG: the internet definitely brings up the issues about is it true, accurate--all of the issues that need to be explored when using sources like wikipedia
12:18:56 McTeach (Karen): One of the benefits of teaching at a Catholic school is we can talk about beliefs
12:18:57 Lisa Parisi: I always tell them they can't have an opinion unless they can back it up with proof, John.
12:19:07 Sheila: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/worldbalance/material.html
12:19:19 woodenmask: I do a whole unit on that - Immigration.
12:19:21 Maureen: yes- that's amazing
12:19:22 cheryl w: absolutely~! Not having c urriclum but teaching students to use technology and using technology to integrate into the curriculum allows me more opportunites for investigation!
12:20:23 woodenmask: I love the Material World
12:20:29 cheryl w: Even when I know the answer I will say I don't to encourage investigation!
12:20:36 woodenmask: They have one on the food that each family eats, too.
12:20:41 Maureen: Did you see the Fedex interactive visualization... you can compare $ with "happiness index" Interesting comparisons
12:21:05 PeggyG: interesting Maureen! do you have a link for that?
12:21:31 Lisa Parisi: http://www.mapping.com/village.html
12:21:41 Maureen: Here you go Peggy http://experience.fedex.com/us/en
12:21:50 PeggyG: thanks!
12:22:18 woodenmask: If I ever had an AP class, I'd love to read The Geography of Bliss, with them. What is happiness and how do we find it? We talk a lot about "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" - it would be great to take that to a more pragmatic level.
12:22:23 Sheila: Thanks Maureen.
12:23:26 McTeach (Karen): Yes...we talk about all religions
12:24:57 woodenmask: It's hard teaching History w/out addressing Religion and Politics. I've been muddying it in recent years by adding Sex - a real tightrope.
12:25:04 Maureen: By definition... isn't the universe it?
12:25:32 loonyhiker (aka Pat): hmmm aliens... you haven't met my stepsister's husband lol
12:25:40 Lisa Parisi: LOL
12:25:55 PeggyG: lol
12:26:19 woodenmask: Chariot of the Gods
12:26:54 Maureen: When I talked about checking sources with kids-I used the lunar landing example- One girl said it had to be real, her parents had watched it on TV. It was a teachable moment
12:27:16 PeggyG: and then there are moments when the kids bring up whether there is a Santa Claus or tooth fairy and they aren't all ready to learn that :-)
12:27:29 loonyhiker (aka Pat): we read the Scarlet Letter and had to talk about adultery!
12:28:01 loonyhiker (aka Pat): kids started telling stories about their parents and i wanted to yell "Too Much Information!!!"
12:28:05 PeggyG: that's called a backup plan :-)
12:28:13 woodenmask: When we do our New York City unit, I do a big lesson on 9-11, which leads into conspiracy theories. I try to give them a rule of thumb for evaluating C.Theories.
12:28:52 woodenmask: Ginger Lewman's school doesn't have snowdays - all online on days when they're at home.
12:28:54 PeggyG: great approach woodenmask!
12:29:44 woodenmask: Conspiracy Theory Rule of Thumb - How many people would have to have been involved for it to be true? How likely is it that they would have all kept their mouths shut?
12:30:27 loonyhiker (aka Pat): We watched all day on 9/11. I didn't know where my niece or brother in law were because they worked in Manhattan
12:31:28 Sheila: Thank you for joining us!
12:31:34 McTeach (Karen): Thank you ladies!
12:31:37 loonyhiker (aka Pat): Thanks y'all for this wonderful conversation!
12:31:38 cheryl w: bye thx
12:31:55 Lisa Parisi: http://ettconversations.blogspot.com/
12:32:25 Lisa Parisi: Bye