Maria Knee

Conversations Episode 113 - Objectives - Should we share them with students?

This week, Maria brought us an article about sharing objectives with students.  This author gave various reasons not to share objectives.  We debated the issue. Our next Conversations show will be held on Monday, December 19th at 8:00 Eastern. 

2011-12-05 20:04:30 [Message] Sheila -> EdTechTalk: Starting shortly!
2011-12-05 20:07:05 [Message] Lisa Parisi -> EdTechTalk: Hello Cathy.
2011-12-05 20:07:20 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: Audio is great
2011-12-05 20:07:41 [Message] mariak -> EdTechTalk: Hello Cathy
2011-12-05 20:09:16 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: I wish I could!
2011-12-05 20:12:45 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: I feel special
2011-12-05 20:13:00 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: Can't do it
2011-12-05 20:13:06 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: my connection won't hold
2011-12-05 20:13:29 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: no goats 
2011-12-05 20:13:38 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: OMG
2011-12-05 20:13:44 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: I told you Lisa!!!
2011-12-05 20:13:55 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: BAd idea!! to agree to that snake.
2011-12-05 20:14:56 [Message] mariak -> EdTechTalk:
2011-12-05 20:17:08 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: We have always been required to post the objectives
2011-12-05 20:17:35 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: We write them as I can statements and I will statements
2011-12-05 20:18:38 [Message] Sheila -> EdTechTalk: We are not required to do that, but some people write the topics for middle school
2011-12-05 20:19:40 [Message] Sheila -> EdTechTalk: Hi there! Long time no 'see'!
2011-12-05 20:20:15 [Message] sroseman -> EdTechTalk: yes, I  have been quite busy ..suffering from Internet fatigue
2011-12-05 20:20:27 [Message] sroseman -> EdTechTalk: and just returned from Israel
2011-12-05 20:21:45 [Message] Sheila -> EdTechTalk: I hear you! :)  Wow! Israel!  I forgot you were away.
2011-12-05 20:22:24 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: We as the teachers are not deciding what objectives will be taught.  In the past it has been the state, not it is national (common core)
2011-12-05 20:22:37 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: *now
2011-12-05 20:23:08 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: But Maria, you have an end in mind
2011-12-05 20:23:55 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: that is why we write the "i will" statements
2011-12-05 20:24:18 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: "I will decide what is the best tool to use to do xxx"
2011-12-05 20:25:20 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: Where we are now is sooo much better than where we have been with objectives...we are feeling good about it
2011-12-05 20:26:27 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: We have multiple objectives on the board
2011-12-05 20:27:47 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: Our admins walk through all the time
2011-12-05 20:27:58 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: with tablet in hand
2011-12-05 20:28:21 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: Maria, you won't win that battle
2011-12-05 20:28:43 [Message] Sheila -> EdTechTalk: That seems to be the trend now - tablets and apps for walkthrough
2011-12-05 20:29:16 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: That is a shame.  My admins are so involved
2011-12-05 20:29:23 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: they are in our rooms all the time
2011-12-05 20:29:31 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: mine was in today
2011-12-05 20:33:00 [Message] Sheila -> EdTechTalk: Objectively Speaking -
2011-12-05 20:36:42 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: We have "formal observations"
2011-12-05 20:36:52 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: and walk throughs
2011-12-05 20:36:56 [Message] Sheila -> EdTechTalk: There's a snake on the loose in Lisa's house!  :o 
2011-12-05 20:38:22 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: yea, my admins do a lot of observations
2011-12-05 20:45:00 [Message] Sheila -> EdTechTalk:
2011-12-05 20:49:27 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: my admis are very good at asking the questions
2011-12-05 20:49:49 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: 10-20 min
2011-12-05 20:50:04 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: but a formal evaluation is an hour
2011-12-05 20:51:33 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: Do you fill out professional development plans?
2011-12-05 20:51:47 [Message] Sheila -> EdTechTalk: yes
2011-12-05 20:52:14 [Message] mariak -> EdTechTalk: yes
2011-12-05 20:52:20 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: those plans are part of our evaluation process
2011-12-05 20:52:32 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: along with a self assessment from each teacher
2011-12-05 20:52:50 [Message] mariak -> EdTechTalk: my plans should not have to look like everyone else's
2011-12-05 20:56:23 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: So if your objective was "making connections" you were covered
2011-12-05 20:57:35 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: some teachers would never cover the curriculum if they did not have guidelines
2011-12-05 20:57:52 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: and the great teachers, like you, will work around it
2011-12-05 20:59:45 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: Don't let snakes into your house either
2011-12-05 21:01:36 [Message] Lisa Parisi -> EdTechTalk: I'm back to say goodbye.
2011-12-05 21:01:42 [Message] Lisa Parisi -> EdTechTalk: No luck finding the snake.
2011-12-05 21:01:55 [Message] Lisa Parisi -> EdTechTalk: I am thrilled thinking about sleeping with a snake loose in the house.
2011-12-05 21:02:35 [Message] Cathy E -> EdTechTalk: don't tell her
2011-12-05 21:06:02 [Message] Lisa Parisi -> EdTechTalk: Thanks for coming, Ladies.
2011-12-05 21:06:13 [Message] mariak -> EdTechTalk: thank you for putting up with the babble!!!
2011-12-05 21:06:17 [Message] mariak -> EdTechTalk: from me!
2011-12-05 21:06:34 [Message] sroseman -> EdTechTalk: Thanks all
This week, Maria brought us an article about sharing objectives with students.  This author gave various reasons not to share objectives.  We debated the issue. Our next Conversations show will be held on Monday, December 19th at 8:00 Eastern. 

Conversations Episode 111 - Evaluating Teachers

Conversations #111
November 6, 2011

After a bit of a rocky start due to issues with LiveStream, today's Conversation was about how teachers should be evaluated. What is the ideal teacher evaluation method? What should be done? How would you like to be evaluated?  Many different points of view were shared in the chat room and by Lisa, Maria and Sheila. Listen and find out what everyone was talking about.

Conversations #111
November 6, 2011

After a bit of a rocky start due to issues with LiveStream, today's Conversation was about how teachers should be evaluated. What is the ideal teacher evaluation method? What should be done? How would you like to be evaluated?  Many different points of view were shared in the chat room and by Lisa, Maria and Sheila. Listen and find out what everyone was talking about.

Conversations Episode 110 - Changes for Librarians

This week Joyce Valenza and CathyJo Nelson joined us for a conversation about libraries and the new role of the librarian.


Lisa Parisi: Hello

Sheila: Hello

rbuckhoff: Good morning

MariaK: hello

pgeorge: Good morning :-)

Lisa Parisi: Good morning Peggy

edtechtalk: Hi all!

Sheila: Ok now me

Lisa Parisi: We are here.

pgeorge: seeing and hearing now :-)

rbuckhoff: me too!

Lisa Parisi: Click on the little play button on the bottom to see and hear our show

connect2jamie: hi all! Happy Sunday!

pgeorge: K12 Online conference is eager to do a conversation with you to announce plans for this year, Have you been contacted yet?

pgeorge: yes!! photos!!

pgeorge: what a beautiful place for a wedding!

CathyJo: hello--still tuggling to getin

CathyJo: struggling

Lisa Parisi: Answer skype. That's where the sound is.

CathyJo: LOL does it not figure the media specialist is struggling?

Lisa Parisi: LOL

pgeorge: can you use autostitch for that on ipad?

Rebecca Buckhoff: My nikon camera will do time lapse.  Use the delay photo settings to set it up.

Sheila: Topic today is the future of libraries.

pgeorge: it stitches multiple pics together

Sheila: We can hear you CAthy Jo!

pgeorge: great topic!!

joycevalenza: sorry, we lost power and cable!

Cathy E: Cathy E- hello all

pgeorge: welcome Cathy and Joyce! Great to hear from both of you!!

Sheila: Morning all!

CathyJo: agreed

CathyJo: librarian is not going away

connect2jamie: In TX librarians must be teachers first, have 3 yrs classroom experience and a Master's in Library Science. Our certication is called a Learning Resources Endorsement.

connect2jamie: I like the term teacher-librarian.

CathyJo: SC required a teaching degree first

connect2jamie: We do not have computer tchrs at the elementary level.

Rebecca Buckhoff: I am an elementary teacher working on my master's in instructional media.  CA does not require a bachelors degree for a school librarian.

CathyJo: it varies from district to district re tech teacher

connect2jamie: Wow! Not even a bachelor's degree?

Cathy E: I am called a technology facilitator -

Sheila: I know of one district that went from no tech teachers to librarians and now they have switched back, tech teacher/librarian. Staffing issues. Now they have to do all for one person.

Rebecca Buckhoff: I know the librarian at my school is working on her bachelors right now.

Cathy E: There is a tech facilitator at each of our schools - but the job VARIES a lot between schools

connect2jamie: Great point @CathyJo! I started a master's degree in edtech and gave it up b/c I found that my mindset is very library-centric. I just love edtech on top of htat!

connect2jamie: that

pgeorge: do you find teachers view you differently based on your title? I love the title Teacher Librarian.

CathyJo: Joyce!! HOOK ME UP!!

Rebecca Buckhoff: My students increased the amount they were reading dramatically when I start a book chat on Edmodo.

connect2jamie: @pgeorge YES! When I first came to my school, I frequently got the question, "You have to have a degree to be a librarian? You have taught before?"  We don't get that ? as much anymore.

pgeorge: Great way to do it Rebecca!

Cathy E: What was the grade level of kids reading those books

pgeorge: Thanks Jamie

Rebecca Buckhoff: I teach a 4/5 combo

Lisa Parisi: Rebecca, I have book groups on Edmodo too.  Would love to have you join my fourth graders.

MariaK: Cathy Jo and Joyce - links to your library sites, please.

Sheila: Good point Cathy Jo! Many facets.


connect2jamie: You are right @Lisa. There is a huge push in many districts, including mine, that values nonfiction reading and research, and de-values fiction literature.

MariaK: thanx

connect2jamie: I find that I have to kind of help teachers "sneak" literature in.

Cathy E: That is a perfect solution

Cathy E: I'm going to school tomorrow and suggest that

Lisa Parisi: Wow, Jamie.  That's sad.

joycevalenza: What a beautiful partnership!

pgeorge: excellent advice!!

joycevalenza: I think that's true everywhere

Cathy E: So I have another question...were kids allowed to come in anytime druing the day to check in/out books?  Who checked them in?

joycevalenza: eeek!

joycevalenza: 4th grade is the best time to grab young readers!!!!

connect2jamie: Yes. Lots of excerpts being read & studied at elem level, but no whole works in the curriculum. In fact, on each wk's ELA curriculum, it states something about no novel studies are in the curriculum.

Rebecca Buckhoff: Our librarian reads to the kids, teaches library skills and incorporates comprehension activities.  Not much research in the library.

connect2jamie: In library time, I try try TRY to do activities that promote leisure reading, but there is more and more research/digital citzenship curriculum prescribed for us, and the literature piece is

Rebecca Buckhoff: I emphasize teaching internet research skills and incorporate that with book research.

connect2jamie: definitely in danger of being lost. '

Cathy E: @Rebecca that is the way it is at my school- but there is a full time assistant.

CathyJo: I know several teacher librarians/media specialist who have never spent  adya in the classroom who are successful

Sheila: I love our librarian. She knows most people's tastes in books. She also works in unit development with teams and individuals. She is also our whole school event planner, ie one book, one school, etc.

CathyJo: good idea!!

connect2jamie: @CathyJo Yes I do too, b/c some states do not requre it. I have a friend from PA that is in that boat.

Cathy E: A good teacher is a teacher no matter the title

joycevalenza: This makes me so sad!

Cathy E: @ Shelia does she teach scheduled classes so the teachers can hame planning?

connect2jamie: @MariaK that is a realistic worry, I think.

Sheila: No scheduled classes but she will co-teach.

Rebecca Buckhoff: Ours isn't prep.  We go for an hour every other week.  It varies at every school.  The library is also open during recess every day if kids finish their books.

connect2jamie: Yes! Reading good literature helps develop writers! That is why it makes no sense to de-value it!

connect2jamie: Standardized tests is what happened, imo.

CathyJo: probably @Jamie

CathyJo: another battle!!!

connect2jamie: I think in many cases, it is the tchr-librarian that is trying to keep the literature and the storytelling IN children's lives!

connect2jamie: Levelled books are the bane of my existence!

CathyJo: i have refused to leel books in any library Ive worked in

CathyJo: lveleing is an invasion of privacy

Rebecca Buckhoff: Leveled books make kids choose books based on their level rather than their interest.

connect2jamie: A levelled library is an obscene perversion of a school library program.

CathyJo: why cant upper grade kids check out beloved books even tho wrong level?

Lisa Parisi: They can Cathy but they have been brainwashed not to.

Rebecca Buckhoff: Interest based reading makes kids BETTER readers.

Sheila: Does leveling take the place of staff who could do this with children individually.

CathyJo: leveling is an instructional tool not a selection tool

CathyJo: if a class is studying an authors craft, who cares the leel?

CathyJo: level

connect2jamie: I fight that all the time, @CathyJo--teachers are soooo pressured to think only about reading levels, and I am always pushing to let kids have at least SOME books that they choose--regardless of level

connect2jamie: @CathyJo. I'm going to write that down and use it! Levelling is an instructional tool and not a selection tool. Students should have the opportunity to select what they want to read.

connect2jamie: Students obviously also need to have instructionally appropriate choices too. I try to provide an opportunity for kids to have both.

CathyJo: Picture books have there place in the high school too

connect2jamie: I used picture books all the time--a million years ago, when I was a middle school math teacher!

connect2jamie: Tumblebooks is the most popular e-book type resource with my students. PebbleGo is a nonfiction primary level multimedia resource that is very popular too.

CathyJo: why an e picture book for the librarian? Use a doc camera

Rebecca Buckhoff: My daughter is a reluctant reader, but I get her to read every night when she uses my kindle.

CathyJo: i did use even a camera on a tripod to show the pics on the screen bigscreen styl

CathyJo: style

CathyJo: swweeeeeettt

CathyJo: our high school kids REALLY respond tp book trialers

CathyJo: trailees

connect2jamie: Yes our students love to watch and create book trailers and audio book reviews too. Time is a factor though. I work w them to create them before/after school, but it's not optimal.

Sheila: How do you envision school libraries in 10 years? Especially with technology changes.

Sheila: How much will the services change?

CathyJo: you will always need the librarian even ten years from now because we are the ones that bring our teachers to where the kids are!!

Cathy E: North Carolina does a great job of having all those resources listed in one place for us

CathyJo: amen

Sheila: In our discussion, we envisioned public libraries as open public spaces as we move towards resources on our own devices.

Rebecca Buckhoff: downloading emescatalog app right now.

Lisa Parisi:

Rebecca Buckhoff: ok that was not he right thing to download.  ignore last post.

CathyJo: we serve not only students, but admin, faculty, staff, and even parents who have inforamtion needs or need to learn new things

CathyJo: my teachers constantly tell me how much they personally learned just by being a bystander in a class Im conducting for kids

CathyJo: In our distirct we do goals based education for recertification, making teachers choose PD for recert.  My teachers have demanded that i offer courses on various topics for gbe.

CathyJo: SO i am doing a one tool at a time series this year

CathyJo: i throw out the topic--they show up

CathyJo: many of these have immediate application in a classroom

CathyJo: it generates significantly more collaboration, as teachers want to implement, but with hep.

Cathy E: @CathyJo - my teachers are required to come to the lab with their kids when I'm teaching.  That way everybody is in the loop.

CathyJo: great session!!

CathyJo: Lisa that is so sad.

CathyJo: Does she not promote the state book awards in the least??

CathyJo: our library has 100-150 kids each morning

CathyJo: before school

CathyJo: we also have a full house (half the mornign crew) during lunches.

CathyJo: of course u should know we have 2500+ kids

Rebecca Buckhoff: I spent large amounts of my free time as a child in the public library.

Sheila: We have a piano in the library ( middle school), a recording "studio", comfy chairs. We even hatch chicks there. More than books!

CathyJo: Hi MAria!!

CathyJo: :)

connect2jamie: yes--thanks so much for hosting this topic this week!

CathyJo: Gotta go everyone--great as always

Cathy E: great job - I learned so much!

connect2jamie: Thanks CathyJo and Joyce!

Lisa Parisi:

Lisa Parisi: Bye everyone!

connect2jamie: Have a great week, everyone!

Rebecca Buckhoff: Bye!

pgeorge: This has been a great conversation! Thanks to all of you!

This week Joyce Valenza and CathyJo Nelson joined us for a conversation about libraries and the new role of the librarian.

Conversations Episode 107 - Back to School Night

This week we discussed Back to School Night, debating what parents want to hear, what we want to say, and what our administrators expect us to say.  


11:29:16mariak : hello everyone.

11:29:19mariak : just setting up

11:29:19Cathy E : howdy

11:29:29mariak : it's chilly up here

11:30:12Cathy E : just nasty here

11:30:16Lisa Parisi : Amanda!

11:30:24Cathy E : been blowin a nor'easter all weekend

11:30:28marragem : Hi everyone!

11:30:40Sheila : Morning all!

11:30:54Sheila : What time zone are you in now Amanda?

11:31:13Sheila : Should be doing ustream shortly

11:32:10marragem : Only 12 hours difference at the moment

11:33:26marragem : no conversion...i don't have to think. You are all exactly the opposite to me :)

11:34:51marragem : oooh!

11:35:29marragem : saw Little Miss badges at the markets yesterday. There was one for Mother of the Groom

11:35:35PeggyG : Hi everyone-had problems logging in! Great to see you!

11:35:46Lisa Parisi : Hi Peggy!

11:35:49Sheila : Hi PeggyG

11:35:55marragem : can't believe it's only 2 weeks away, Maria

11:35:58PeggyG : Sorry I missed you last week but I listened to the recording :-)

11:36:01marragem : Hi Peggy

11:36:21PeggyG : Hi Amanda! Love having you here!!!!

11:36:45marragem : Thanks, Peggy. An easier timezone at the moment.

11:37:09Sheila : Hi cybrarianliz!

11:37:18Sheila : Love the name!

11:37:26cybrarianliz : Hey and TYVM

11:37:42cybrarianliz : I am here cuz I saw Lisa tweet!

11:37:56PeggyG : do you have parent conferences before back to school night?

11:38:11marragem : We have a Parent Teacher Night some time in the fisrt 2 weeks of school. Have an Open Day in May for prospective parents - normally of Prep students.

11:38:34PeggyG : family nights---feed them :-)

11:39:00cybrarianliz : at our middle school we have "open house" during the first two weeks of school no official parent conference time

11:39:38cybrarianliz : and Peggy I agree

11:39:43cybrarianliz : feed them and they will come :)

11:39:44marragem : that's a good idea, Sheila

11:39:50PeggyG : we always did a BBQ and found that dads will come to that--we keep the entire evening informal--no scheduled presentations and we often got former students back to see their teachers too

11:40:15marragem : We have a welcome back BBQ but no Open House

11:40:39PeggyG : our BBQ was both welcome back and Meet the Teacher Night/Open House

11:41:47marragem : Our kids have a Meet the Teacher in the last week of the school year. They already know who their teacher will be before the go on summer break

11:42:55Lisa Parisi : Hello Jen!

11:43:00PeggyG : that's great Amanda! You must not have a transient population. We always had tons of changes over the summer so waited to announce teachers until right before school started

11:43:20Cathy E : @Peggy who pays for the BBQ?

11:43:26cybrarianliz : so do you think its better to have a "schedule" for back to school night or to just let them flow around?

11:43:47Sheila : Good question!

11:43:50mariak : Would anyone like to join the skype call to add another voice to the Conversation...would love to hear other voices.

11:44:41mariak : BTW - I do hear "other voices" - just now I'm inviting them to be broadcasted!! :p

11:44:42marragem : I guess not Peggy. Always been this way - at least in Queensland. We have a few new ones arrive in January but not enough to change the practice

11:44:57PeggyG : we found it better to let them flow around :-) with multiple children it was always so complex to try to work out a schedule for everyone. There are many ways to share info about your classroom/plans without making a presentation

11:45:40marragem : I'd love to Maria but I'll wake everyone here. Only a little townhouse. I would not be popular!

11:45:55PeggyG : we did many of them as scheduled events but got much more positive feedback about the informal setup

11:46:16Cathy E : That is great, Lisa, our attendance is not that great.

11:46:52PeggyG : special area teachers definitely get more "traffic" with an informal night

11:47:29marragem : gee - our specialist teachers never meet with parents

11:47:50PeggyG : how sad Amanda!

11:48:19jenorr : Our specialists teachers are in the hallways throughout Back to School Night available to parents. Our special ed and ESOL teachers go into the classrooms where they work to meet and talk to parents.

11:48:56marragem : it is, Peggy. Unless a parent requests a meeting, they are not part of our Parent Info nights of conference nights

11:49:19PeggyG : those first impressions are soooo important!!

11:49:41Lisa Parisi : Yes they are Peggy

11:49:46jenorr : Lisa, I think that issue, the talking all about the test, is so common these days, sadly.

11:50:32PeggyG : @jenorr do your specialists like that arrangement? seems like it devalues their role as a teacher

11:51:47jenorr : @PeggyG I don't know. In 14 years there I've never heard a complaint, but it's an interesting question. I think some are relieved to not have to make their room "parent-ready" in the second week of school and others may be annoyed to have to come and stand in the hall. Our librarian opens the library up for the evening and is there to talk to parents. Many do stop by there.

11:53:07cybrarianliz : Sorry to have to go so soon..thanks for the idea-sharing. My chores and minions are calling me.

11:53:10PeggyG : we always had to work hard to get parents to understand that specialists are teachers with important things to teach and not just people who provide preps for classroom teachers. Our specialists were in their rooms greeting/meeting parents just like classroom teachers

11:53:18Lisa Parisi : Thanks for coming, Liz

11:53:27PeggyG : bye Liz-have a great day

11:54:04jenorr : @PeggyG Did a lot of parents go to their rooms?

11:54:13marragem : One day I'll get to it!

11:54:39PeggyG : yes the kids love to take their parents there :-) with an informal plan and not scheduled times it worked really well

11:55:01Sheila : Hi Minhaaj!

11:55:14Sheila : :)

11:55:38jenorr : @PeggyG That's wonderful. I'll have to share that idea with our administration. I know our students adore going to PE, music, art and such and their parents would enjoy seeing those things as well. Do your students attend Back to School Night? (Ours typically don't.)

11:55:40minhaaj : Hey Sheila!!

11:55:50PeggyG : the challenge is to get parents and kids to leave :-) I always got on the intercom as the principal and announced that it was time to go and thanked them for coming

11:55:50minhaaj : Its been a long time, since i was here last time.

11:55:57mariak : Hi Minhaaj!

11:56:02minhaaj : Hey Hey Maria!!

11:56:09mariak : @minhaaj - it's been so long...

11:56:10marragem : I'm teaching the littlies next year! Yikes!!!!

11:56:24minhaaj : Yea feels like eternity. Man i missed that place :)

11:56:26PeggyG : yes our back to school night was for the whole family and all the kids come including those who moved on to Middle School/High School

11:57:22PeggyG : having a BBQ made it easy for them to come because they didn't have to prepare dinner that night

11:57:46minhaaj : Hey Peggy, Lisa :)

11:57:53jenorr : It's great to hear about how other schools have done/do Back to School Night. There are so many fabulous ideas.

11:57:59PeggyG : Hi Minhaaj! long time no see! Welcome back!

11:58:09minhaaj : thanks thanks. feels good to be back.

11:58:29PeggyG : what time is it where you are Minhaaj?

11:58:36minhaaj : I am in Sweden atm

11:58:36jenorr : How early in the year is Back to School Night for others? Ours is the second week of school and there isn't much to show yet.

11:58:42minhaaj : 6 pm

11:58:43PeggyG : it's almost 9:00am in Phoenix AZ

11:58:58mariak : @jenorr - do you have a night for parents - I know you have many parents who speak other languages

11:59:00Lisa Parisi : Hi Joes

11:59:03Lisa Parisi : Jose

11:59:03PeggyG : that's a great time for you Minhaaj :-)

11:59:08Lisa Parisi : Just stopping by?

11:59:11PeggyG : Hi Jose!!!

11:59:20Jose Rodriguez : hi.. just checking in .. we have a program over at Puentes..

11:59:21mariak : Jose ? Are you lost.

11:59:25minhaaj : hehe yea i have been hopping around a lot of places.

11:59:26Jose Rodriguez : funny,..

11:59:33Jose Rodriguez : good luck.

11:59:42minhaaj : i have been here some real crazy times.

12:00:29PeggyG : we always had Grandperson's Day in November right before Thanksgiving. Great day to have both parents and grandparents come to school to see what the kids are learning/doing

12:00:30Sheila : I bought  book about his travels!

12:00:43minhaaj : hehe did you!! thanks for your 8 dollars lol

12:00:59jenorr : @MariaK We have Spanish, Korean, and Vietnamese translators at our Back to School Night and lots of parents bring their kids (even though it is discouraged) to help them understand what is being said.

12:01:30PeggyG : great idea @jenorr!! kids are often the best translators!!

12:02:13jenorr : I love watching the kids interact with their parents too. It gives me so much insight into their lives.

12:02:24Lisa Parisi : Yes, Jen.  Always interesting.

12:02:35PeggyG : love it Maria!! we had those days too--Muffins for Mom and Donuts for Dad :-) Usually done in some classrooms and not whole school

12:03:06marragem : We have Tissues and Tim Tams Day One

12:03:16Lisa Parisi : Why tissues?

12:03:26PeggyG : so true @jenorr!! You can learn so much about the kids and the family dynamics when they are there together--in a very short amount of time

12:03:34marragem : all the Mums crying

12:03:37Lisa Parisi : LOL

12:03:38PeggyG : love it Amanda!!!!

12:06:42minhaaj : I hope you are better with to-do list than i am :)

12:06:43PeggyG : if you use the technology as you present in many varied ways it covers the message and models the tools

12:06:50Lisa Parisi : Yes, Peggy

12:07:12Lisa Parisi : Minhaaj, one of my favorite things to do is cross items off my to-do list.

12:07:31PeggyG : when Meg Wilson gave her presentation requesting funding for iPads for special ed to her governing board she used the iPad to demonstrate and they were so impressed they approved it immediately!

12:07:37minhaaj : hehe i am envious. i love to pile em up and then work 18 hours in a row to get them done.

12:07:43Lisa Parisi : LOL

12:09:26PeggyG : great point Lisa!! one computer can be a challenge in a family with lots of kids and homework expectations that require the computer

12:10:35PeggyG : providing alternatives for those who don't have internet access is really important

12:10:44PeggyG : exactly Lisa!!! great idea!

12:11:02Cathy E : I have many students who do not have computer access at home

12:11:51PeggyG : that would be a great future topic--alternatives for kids who don't have computers or internet connection at home

12:12:53PeggyG : Liz Kolb's new book is out this week--Cell Phones in the Classroom :-)

12:12:59Cathy E : Exactly Maria, there are a lot of parents who don't read the paper notes either.

12:13:18Sheila : Welcome to Conversations!

12:13:55Cathy E : Here, Here...I would love to be wired at home :)

12:14:59PeggyG : money!!!

12:15:22Lisa Parisi : YEs, Peggy.

12:15:39Cathy E : My electricity has gone out 3 times this week.

12:15:40PeggyG : we've had a "small" recession since that announcement :-)

12:15:48Lisa Parisi : Just a small one.

12:16:13PeggyG : we've lost so many public services with devastating impact on education and teachers

12:16:16Sheila : Due to weather Cathy?

12:16:36Cathy E : yep - been blowing here for 4 days

12:16:57minhaaj : Wonderful show as always. Gotta leave unfortunately. Its always sad to leave you lovely ladies :)

12:17:00minhaaj : Rock on!

12:17:10Lisa Parisi : Bye Minhaaj

12:17:23PeggyG : I think you were right earlier when you said it was more important to ask parents what they want to know and offer that on that night--you can always share your curriculum info, homework/grading policies in other ways

12:17:23mariak : Thanks for stopping by, Minhaaj

12:17:53marragem : for mine the focus, sadly, is on homework

12:18:34Lisa Parisi : And mine is testing...very sad indeed

12:18:41PeggyG : you have to "kick them out"--that's where the principal comes in over the intercom and says you have 10 minutes to leave and the lights will go out and the doors will be locked--in a nice way of course :-)

12:19:03marragem : hoemwork in preschool?

12:19:11Lisa Parisi : Usually, Peggy, the principal has to come down the hall and into my room to tell the parents that I need to get home.

12:19:47marragem : I know of other schools where the Prep (Kindergarten) classes have homework. Levelled readers, phonics work. Ugh!

12:19:53PeggyG : my intercom announcement did the trick--I also did a final, 2-minute warning...

12:21:19jenorr : I always offer to share the research that shows that research in elementary school has not been shown to be meaningful. I also tell parents that we will use every minute at school and at home they should play and spend time with their family.

12:22:20PeggyG : great idea @jenorr! do you also have a school homework policy/guidelines that support that research. That really helps to reinforce your message :-)

12:22:28Sheila : Welcome to "Conversations" chat room!

12:23:03jenorr : Sadly there is no good school-wide policy. Our district policy is 10 minutes per grade level (second grade is 20 min, third grade is 30 min, etc.).

12:23:25Lisa Parisi : We have a homework policy per grade.  But it only talks about the amount of time not what it is.

12:23:26PeggyG : that helps too

12:23:42jenorr : I've had so many parents look relieved at the idea that I want them to have family time - and this is just first graders! I can't imagine by upper elementary.

12:23:54Lisa Parisi : Our policy is similar Jen.  But we don't go past 30 minutes in 5th grade.

12:24:20PeggyG : explaining what "homework" means in your classroom as all of you are saying really is important--not just writing spelling words or reading 15 minutes but everything it includes

12:25:38Sheila : @Mario Do you need to change chat rooms?

12:25:55PeggyG : I love the posters that Silvia Tolisano created to explain the learning that happens with podcasting in her room.

12:26:27PeggyG : yes Maria!! the reading is really important every day!!!

12:27:50PeggyG : great conversation today!! :-)

12:28:05PeggyG : so happy to have you back on the air!!

12:28:59Lisa Parisi :

12:29:00Sheila : Thanks Peggy! good to get back in touch with everyone!

12:29:27PeggyG : those sounds like wonderful projects Lisa!! We'll help you spread the word.

12:30:34marragem : Yay!!

12:30:35PeggyG : woo hoo!!!!! I've been waiting to hear about your book coming out!!!!

12:30:50PeggyG : Can't wait!!!!!

12:31:43PeggyG : I always buy the pre-order and then forget that I did it and try to buy again when it is released!!! I need a better system to keep track :-)

12:32:04PeggyG : congratulations Lisa and Brian!!

12:32:58PeggyG : isn't that amazing--we "know" and collaborate with so many people we have never met f2f

12:33:44PeggyG : once some people start contributing to the wikis they will grow quickly as they get an idea about what to share

12:34:59marragem : they're sold as pets here

12:36:04PeggyG : have a great rest of your day/weekend! Thanks for an interesting, engaging conversation today!!

12:36:29Lisa Parisi :


This week we discussed Back to School Night, debating what parents want to hear, what we want to say, and what our administrators expect us to say.  

Conversations #106 - Summer Learning

The Conversations gang returned from their summer vacation with lots to say and ready for plenty of conversation. Lisa , Maria and Sheila share their learning while away for the summer.
The Conversations gang returned from their summer vacation with lots to say and ready for plenty of conversation. Lisa , Maria and Sheila share their learning while away for the summer.


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