Conversations Episode 23 1-11-09

Maria Knee and Lisa Parisi were joined by Amanda Marrinan, Alice Mercer, and Sheila Adams to discuss the importance of differentiating instruction for all students.


Chat archive here:

11:18:01 [Message] James Sigler ->  I’m waiting for Conversations
11:18:17 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  Welcome James…you are in the right place.
11:18:23 [Message] James Sigler ->  whew
11:18:26 [Message] James Sigler ->  🙂
11:18:33 [Message] Gureamu ->  Hope I am too…
11:19:33 [Message] Horacio Idarraga Gil ->  May be it is me who are in the wrong place
11:19:50 [Message] James Sigler ->  Just listened to last week’s show about dress codes
11:20:17 [Message] sakayoglu ->  what was it about?
11:20:25 [Message] James Sigler ->  It was good to hear both sides of the issue
11:20:25 [Message] sakayoglu ->  I mean dress codes
11:20:36 [Message] sakayoglu ->  ?
11:20:52 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  We discussed dress codes for staff.
11:20:58 [Message] James Sigler ->  What show teachers wear to teach
11:21:01 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  Had differing opinions.
11:21:03 [Message] James Sigler ->  should
11:21:23 [Message] sakayoglu ->   it sounds interesting
11:21:41 [Message] sakayoglu ->   I missed it
11:21:57 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  It’s archived…
11:22:02 [Message] doris3m ->  Hi, there!
11:22:07 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  HI Doris
11:22:12 [Message] James Sigler ->  I tend to come fall on the side of "if we want to be treated as professionals we should look professional?
11:22:20 [Message] doris3m ->  we are waiting for the evo kick off, right?
11:22:39 [Message] Gureamu ->  i am..
11:22:47 [Message] Horacio Idarraga Gil ->  Doris. I am waiting the same
11:23:10 [Message] James Sigler ->  What is this week’s topic?
11:23:19 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  No..this is Conversations…EVO is in the EVO room
11:23:28 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  This week is open mic time, James. 
11:23:30 [Message] Gureamu ->  how do i find evo room?
11:23:37 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  One never knows what will happen
11:24:18 [Message] James Sigler ->  rat’s let my mic at school
11:24:22 [Message] James Sigler ->  left
11:27:33 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  Stream in ETTA has started…Ustream stream will begin momentarily
11:29:30 [Message] James Sigler ->  Cool ustream.  I can see who is talking on Skype  🙂
11:30:07 [Message] Sheila ->  We have started streaming on ustream for Conversations.
11:30:28 [Message] Sheila ->  Hi marragem!
11:30:44 [Message] James Sigler ->  Hi sheila
11:30:50 [Message] James Sigler ->  Hi Amanda
11:30:54 [Message] James Sigler ->  Hi I’m
11:31:00 [Message] Sheila ->  Hi James!
11:31:19 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  Welcome to Conversations.
11:31:31 [Message] marragem ->  Hi everyone
11:32:36 [Message] James Sigler ->  Oh my
11:33:13 [Message] James Sigler ->  I’m in Jopin, MO.  cold, but no snow
11:33:19 [Message] James Sigler ->  Joplin
11:33:32 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  Not snowing on Long Island today either but very cold.
11:34:00 [Message] Sheila ->  I took some video of the snow today with my flip.
11:35:22 [Message] Maureen ->  The default seems to be EVO 2009? Which room are you in?
11:35:44 [Message] Sheila ->  You’re in the right room for conversations! 🙂
11:36:05 [Message] Maureen ->  Colleen and PeggyG are in another room, so I was confused
11:36:10 [Message] Sheila ->  Changing colors
11:36:27 [Message] Sheila ->  I’ll go over and announce it.
11:36:39 [Message] colleenk ->  oops
11:36:42 [Message] MariaK ->  If you are here for conversations with lisa and maria
11:37:09 [Message] Maureen ->  @Colleen I was talking about you… you must have heard me
11:37:14 [Message] bobsd46 ->  Bravo
11:37:30 [Message] MariaK ->  welcome back bobsd46
11:37:37 [Message] colleenk ->  @Maureen My ears were ringing. 🙂
11:38:27 [Message] MariaK ->  This is the Conversations Show chat
11:39:05 [Message] Sheila ->  I’m back.
11:39:15 [Message] Sheila ->  Hi nhill!
11:39:23 [Message] nhill ->  hello
11:40:05 [Message] PeggyG ->  Hi everyone-finally got into the right room 🙂
11:40:12 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  Welcome Peggy
11:40:21 [Message] Sheila ->  Hi PeggyG!
11:40:25 [Message] bobsd46 ->  In our district, a student like your daughter could have an IEP for the very reasons you describe.
11:40:50 [Message] nhill ->  does she have an IEP for gifted?  Could this be put into her IEP?
11:41:01 [Message] PeggyG ->  Why not write a 504 plan? It’s not an IEP.
11:41:03 [Message] Maureen ->  But Lisa- conceptually is she moving along with the class?
11:41:30 [Message] Sheila ->  504 is more for medical issues
11:41:32 [Message] Sheila ->  ?
11:41:42 [Message] Sheila ->  Hi derrallg!
11:41:50 [Message] derrallg ->  Hi Sheila
11:42:11 [Message] nhill ->  so how about the other students in the class…do others have the same problem?
11:42:18 [Message] Maureen ->  If it’s just a question of time on tests.. that should be an easy thing to adjust for by the classroom teacher.
11:42:23 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  I don’t know Nicole
11:43:16 [Message] PeggyG ->  that’s what 504 plans are for–they apply to situations that don’t apply for IEPs and special education. Often ADD kids are on 504 plans–may be bright but need accommodations.
11:43:52 [Message] nhill ->  I would be curious if it is just your daughter of if others have enough time to take the test.
11:44:05 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  But need a medical reason for a 504..we don’t have one.
11:44:07 [Message] James Sigler ->  Sounds like the teacher has a cookie cutter mentality
11:44:18 [Message] Maureen ->  What is the other class doing? Is it the same material at a slower pace? Or as is the case in many math classes, an entirely different course?
11:44:56 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  Different class entirely Maureen
11:45:05 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  Honors class is high school algebra
11:45:25 [Message] PeggyG ->  ok-then 504 isn’t an option
11:45:47 [Message] Maureen ->  @Lisa- that’s the hard thing about math- it’s a hierarchy- go up a ladder, rather than horizontal learning.
11:46:28 [Message] Sheila ->  @PeggyG — no not anymore unless there’s a medical condition. ADD would apply though as long as there’s a doctor’s note.
11:47:40 [Message] Sheila ->  Is this more common in high schools?
11:47:47 [Message] Sheila ->  Hi RitaZ!
11:48:07 [Message] Sheila ->  Hi AidenYeh!
11:48:08 [Message] RitaZ ->  Hi, Sheila, and all!
11:48:25 [Message] colleenk ->  I work with honors HS math students and I’m shocked by the length of the tests. I think competing these exams is an unrealistic expectation.
11:48:37 [Message] colleenk ->  completing
11:49:15 [Message] nhill ->  exactly
11:49:45 [Message] AidenYeh ->  HI Sheila!
11:49:56 [Message] RitaZ ->  hi, Aiden!
11:50:05 [Message] AidenYeh ->  hi Rita 🙂
11:50:25 [Message] PeggyG ->  You’re hitting on a very important point Lisa. Good teachers make accommodations to meet the needs of all of the learners in their class regardless of their "label"
11:50:37 [Message] Sheila ->  How much is diff. instruction used in high schools?
11:50:44 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  Yes, Peggy.  Shouldn’t that just be status quo?
11:50:49 [Message] Maureen ->  I don’t understand why the teacher can’t see that the concepts are being absorbed and she can do the work. To me, a math phobic, I would have appreciated the time spent on that.
11:51:08 [Message] colleenk ->  @Sheila Apart from tracking, I don’t see much differentiation.
11:52:00 [Message] James Sigler ->  Sounds like a teacher-centered classroom not a student-centered classroom
11:52:14 [Message] Maureen ->  I was in the honors section all thru high school, but since I didn’t get math- I didn’t take physics or AP bio- my choice. I figured I couldn’t do it.
11:52:40 [Message] Sheila ->  Is this more school-wide or pinpointed in one department or one classroom?
11:53:04 [Message] Sheila ->  Hi A. Mercer!
11:53:13 [Message] Sheila ->  Hi bmullins!
11:53:16 [Message] MariaK ->  Hi alice – do you want to be inthe Conversations room? or EVO
11:53:31 [Message] MariaK ->  glad to have you here
11:53:32 [Message] A. Mercer ->  Convo
11:53:37 [Message] Maureen ->  It doesn’t seem fair to have all these other doors closing because she needs more time on test.
11:53:42 [Message] PeggyG -> This is a very interesting article written by a mom/lawyer re Gifted-LD child. Addresses the concerns re accommodations and teacher cooperation–read later 🙂
11:53:52 [Message] A. Mercer ->  How do you scaffold for the LD kids?
11:53:57 [Message] MariaK ->  thanks peggy
11:54:09 [Message] Sheila ->  For the kids in the middle
11:54:23 [Message] PeggyG ->  that article talks about uncooperative teachers.
11:54:52 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  Alice, we had a website of videos, audio, text, websites, etc.
11:54:52 [Message] nhill ->  It is hard to understand how the other teachers don’t think like you.
11:54:59 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  We had choices of projects
11:55:06 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  We had choices of focus.
11:55:08 [Message] Sheila ->  So how much responsibility is it of the department to work with this teacher?
11:55:24 [Message] A. Mercer ->  But I think what your daughter’s teacher is doing violates the law
11:55:27 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  We had three teachers available at all times to give assistance
11:55:29 [Message] A. Mercer ->  She answered
11:55:44 [Message] A. Mercer ->  😉
11:56:42 [Message] Maureen ->  Even within the "top" group there are differences in strengths and weakenesses. A teacher’s job is to help the kids work with this.
11:57:51 [Message] PeggyG ->  it really seems to be all about differentiation–so important for ALL students–not just accommodations but meeting their needs routinely
11:58:06 [Message] A. Mercer ->  That teacher is BEHIND the times.
11:58:07 [Message] nhill ->  And we all agree..that is what we are here for….but not all teachers think this way.
11:58:21 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  Aren’t so many teachers behind the time, Alice?
11:58:30 [Message] A. Mercer ->  For instance, when my bro was diagnosed with Autism, 70+% of them had MR,
11:58:38 [Message] A. Mercer ->  now, 44% are MR
11:58:45 [Message] Sheila ->  Hi Jan!
11:58:50 [Message] A. Mercer ->  so more autistic kids are normal or high intelligence
11:58:56 [Message] Sheila ->  Hi Cathy!
11:59:06 [Message] PeggyG ->  you’ve tried talking to the teacher and she is unwilling to differentiate–what’s your next step? talk to the principal?
11:59:13 [Message] A. Mercer ->  with intervention, more LD kids are at or above grade level
11:59:26 [Message] A. Mercer ->  More OCD kids are not being shuffled off to ED or other placements
11:59:33 [Message] jan smith ->  Hi Sheila–dead batteries today…
11:59:50 [Message] A. Mercer ->  You should, it’s your child!
11:59:56 [Message] nhill ->  it is so hard to decide how far to push.
12:00:01 [Message] Sheila ->  @Jan – not good! Are you charged up now? 🙂
12:00:21 [Message] jan smith ->  Fully charged! Got coffee!
12:00:37 [Message] bobsd46 ->  The time factor for tests has always confused me. When a student writes an essay, or a grad student a thesis, these are not timed.
12:00:41 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  Alice, want to join skype call?
12:00:49 [Message] A. Mercer ->  in a minute.
12:00:59 [Message] A. Mercer ->  son and dh are leaving for church
12:01:05 [Message] A. Mercer ->  noisy here.
12:01:13 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  let us know when
12:01:14 [Message] nhill ->  Same with my daughter….I had a wonderful K teacher that gave her everything she could…the first grade teacher I had to fight.
12:02:06 [Message] Sheila ->  @MariaK – How sweet! And Abi has a phd now!
12:02:27 [Message] Sheila ->  Welcome dlaufenberg!
12:02:39 [Message] James Sigler ->  We just started reading groups in 3rd grade.  Better differentiation, be very different structure to teaching reading
12:02:49 [Message] bobsd46 ->  In our district we use an untimed assessment tool (NWEA) and I find that many of the brighter students take longer to complete. They know they have an unlimited time and they use it wisely.
12:03:02 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  Interesting Bob…
12:03:26 [Message] nhill ->  sometimes when you push …the child gets labeled and you get labeled as the pushy parent and it makes it more difficult.
12:03:26 [Message] A. Mercer ->  But I find that untimed is a default accomodation, and more time doesn’t work for all kids
12:03:30 [Message] Maureen ->  Faculty parents at my school have the hardest time with switching hats. It’s really hard if your child needs you as an advocate.
12:03:38 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  Yes, Nicole.
12:04:02 [Message] A. Mercer ->  I had a neighbor who had problems with local private school…
12:04:35 [Message] A. Mercer ->  kid came in to kinder not reading, and they didn’t work with him to differentiate, and try to strong arm mom into ADHD diagnosis
12:04:41 [Message] Sheila ->  In middle school, I have the students turn the paper over when done with the test. Does 2 things:
12:05:03 [Message] Sheila ->  1. No one really knows who is the last one to finish.
12:05:17 [Message] A. Mercer ->  Oh, I made that mistake coming across wrong
12:05:21 [Message] jan smith ->  I try really hard to let the teachers of my kids know how much I appreciate their work and the unique things that they offer–build bridges early.
12:05:35 [Message] Sheila ->  2. I get insight with drawings or messages about the child.
12:05:51 [Message] Maureen ->  My kids went to private elementary thru HS. Daughter went to private college, son went to 4 colleges- liked public best. Private doesn’t always mean better, but the chance of falling thru the cracks is lessened.
12:06:13 [Message] jan smith ->  @sheila, I often include a cartooning challenge for the end of tests…
12:06:27 [Message] A. Mercer ->  That’s what got me Maureen, kid was falling thru cracks, and parent was paying for it!
12:06:40 [Message] A. Mercer ->  They didn’t want to deal with kids who didn’t show up to kinder reading.
12:07:18 [Message] Sheila ->  Meant to say I have them draw. Have used the drawings for a class book too. Often give themes to start the process.
12:07:21 [Message] jan smith ->  Do I understand that private schools in the US don’t have to do the same heavy testing regime as public schools?
12:07:30 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  How do you choose who to deal with, Alice?
12:07:38 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  I want to start picking and choosing.
12:07:39 [Message] Sheila ->  @jan – I like that idea!
12:07:41 [Message] Maureen ->  @Alice every school is different. Ours used to be a very rigorous school and altho we now take kids with more issues- we don’t deal with it well.
12:07:56 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  Private schools do not work under the same rules, Jan.
12:07:58 [Message] A. Mercer ->  @maureen, yep..
12:08:25 [Message] Maureen ->  @jan- we don’t have to do any NCLB or MCAS stuff. The kids from gr 3 up take ERBS and do OlSats every few years.
12:09:31 [Message] jan smith ->  Do private schools have to teach the state curriculum? (I have heard that curric is mandated from district to district)
12:09:47 [Message] Sheila ->  Who is responsible for helping the teachers to improve? And then who actually does it? Or is the problem ignored?
12:09:59 [Message] A. Mercer ->  state sets curriculum here
12:10:11 [Message] jan smith ->  Here in British Columbia, all accredited schools have to teach the provincial curric & receive som funding
12:10:12 [Message] Maureen ->  @Jan- Actually I would like to have the little ones do something like a Gessel. I got trained in that years ago and you can actually see things about the child. IMHO
12:10:19 [Message] A. Mercer ->  You get to choose from two options at each subject
12:10:42 [Message] Maureen ->  @jan- no curriculum is up to individual teachers with input from dept head
12:10:49 [Message] A. Mercer ->  @Jan, DougS was talking about an open plan school there.
12:11:25 [Message] jan smith ->  @Alice open plan in what context?
12:11:46 [Message] PeggyG ->  sadly it seems to be the tests that drive the curriculum
12:11:57 [Message] A. Mercer ->  Where you could show up at will
12:12:00 [Message] bobsd46 ->  Similar in Canada, no national curriculum, each province has it’s own. Western Canada has some cooperation for Math. Private schools only need follow the provincial curriculum if they want partial funding. Tests in BC are grade 4 and 7 (Foundation Skills Assessment) and provincial exams in Grades 10, 11, and 12 for graduation purposes.
12:12:06 [Message] A. Mercer ->  very funky granola
12:12:42 [Message] bobsd46 ->  it’s = its — and I even took time to write that 🙂 🙂
12:12:57 [Message] Maureen ->  @Peggy- the tests our kids take supposedly are used for placement and to see where we are strong/weak as teachers. I don’t know how good the tests are- what they are testing. That’s always the question
12:13:33 [Message] Sheila ->  Welcome Sasa!
12:13:41 [Message] Sasa ->  Hi!
12:14:02 [Message] Sasa ->  when does the kick off start?
12:14:22 [Message] Sheila ->  @sasa are you looking for EVO?
12:14:28 [Message] Sasa ->  yep
12:14:29 [Message] PeggyG ->  @Maureen–so true! I agree with you!
12:14:52 [Message] Sasa ->  am i in the wrong room?
12:15:02 [Message] Sheila ->  @sasa – You need to log into the EVO Chatroom. Log out and it is the default room.
12:15:13 [Message] Sasa ->  thanks!
12:15:18 [Message] Sheila ->  🙂
12:15:19 [Message] Sasa ->  bye!
12:15:28 [Message] jan smith ->  @Alice, "very funky granola" sounds like us 🙂 The standardized tests have a role in balanced assessment, it’s the way results are used. We need to advocate and promote the wise sharing of a variety of data to inform the public better.
12:17:01 [Message] derrallg ->  I allways thought all districts are restrictive on 504s because of cost
12:17:20 [Message] bmullins ->  But its human nature to compare.  Even when my district and my building are told not to compare test scores, only use it for data to improve, I still tend to look at test scores and either pat myself on the back or beat myself up.
12:17:23 [Message] A. Mercer ->  Well, they suck, because you aren’t entitled to services
12:17:24 [Message] MariaK ->  i agree with U derrall
12:17:35 [Message] MariaK ->  cost is the root of any restrictions
12:18:00 [Message] A. Mercer ->  504 cost time because the teacher has to accomodate with no help unless you are RTI
12:18:04 [Message] jan smith ->  @bobsd46 are you on the Sunshine Coast?
12:18:13 [Message] bobsd46 ->  Yes, Jan… I am
12:18:26 [Message] derrallg ->  I had the situation where students with LD would be in my ELD class and coun’t be tested because their English wasn’t high enough
12:18:33 [Message] jan smith ->  Howdy from the Comox Valley, Bob!
12:18:46 [Message] bobsd46 ->  Across the pond… Cheers…
12:18:56 [Message] A. Mercer ->  LD with ELD is tricky
12:19:04 [Message] A. Mercer ->  Lots more of those coming up.
12:19:32 [Message] Maureen ->  Off topic- Just got an email from my daughter- she was issued her teaching credential- official now. Should I congratulate her? Or commiserate?
12:19:53 [Message] derrallg ->  @alice especially when a student has been in US since K, it would obvious by the time I got them in 4th or 5th that they would never test out
12:19:59 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  Congratulate Maureen…and congrats to you too
12:20:00 [Message] Sheila ->  @Maureen – definitely both!
12:20:02 [Message] Sheila ->  🙂
12:20:13 [Message] PeggyG ->  AZ has really started focusing on identifying gifted students who don’t speak English as primary language–whole new paradigm and is going well in some Phoenix schools
12:23:00 [Message] Maureen ->  It always amazes me how much admin influences what actually happens in the classroom. Her/his support or indifference or ?? makes a huge difference.
12:23:14 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  Yes, Maureen, it is true.
12:23:24 [Message] James Sigler ->  principal support is critical
12:24:52 [Message] James Sigler ->  principals set the tone for how much risk they will tolerate for changing the structure of the classroom to support students
12:25:25 [Message] PeggyG ->  and principals can hold teachers accountable for meeting the needs of students in their schools 🙂
12:25:53 [Message] Maureen ->  In times when the economy is tanking or whatever word you want to use to describe it… even the kids who were not having trouble before, may now have more issues in class because of changing circumstances at home. Not a good thing!
12:26:10 [Message] PeggyG ->  many schools in AZ use RTI also
12:26:25 [Message] James Sigler ->  True, the principal’s job should be to support the learning of ALL students
12:26:32 [Message] derrallg ->  @maureen that’s a good point
12:26:44 [Message] James Sigler ->  MO moved to RTI
12:27:29 [Message] PeggyG ->  AZ dropped the 2-grade level discrepancy model
12:27:40 [Message] bobsd46 ->  Gotta run folks… see you on Twitter and your blogs.
12:27:56 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  Bye Bob
12:28:09 [Message] PeggyG ->  Bye Bog-thanks for joining us
12:28:37 [Message] PeggyG ->  Bob that is–crazy typing!
12:28:41 [Message] James Sigler ->  Federal mandates are all about $
12:33:54 [Message] PeggyG ->  gifted students are gifted 24/7–not just during their "gifted classes"–instruction must be differentiated for them in the regular classroom
12:35:34 [Message] PeggyG ->  paperwork is definitely a huge issue!
12:36:03 [Message] jan smith ->  See you all gtg!
12:36:45 [Message] derrallg ->  @Lisa I’m sure that the most frustrating part is that your daughter would be so successful in your classroom
12:36:50 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->
12:37:18 [Message] PeggyG ->  How is Michael and his family?
12:38:14 [Message] marragem ->  I’ve lost you all on skype
12:38:51 [Message] PeggyG ->  that was awesome about the Lighthouse wiki! such a great support!
12:39:02 [Message] Sheila ->
12:39:52 [Message] PeggyG ->  Thanks Sheila. Didn’t know you were using ustream. I was listening in iTunes.
12:39:53 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  Oh yes, Derrall…that is frustrating me the most.
12:39:58 [Message] Sheila ->  Funny how school can get in the way of learning!  🙂
12:40:23 [Message] PeggyG ->  Profound Sheila–so true!!
12:40:35 [Message] PeggyG ->  Thanks everyone!
12:40:43 [Message] Sheila ->  You’re my PLN!  🙂  Thanks so much!
12:40:56 [Message] PeggyG ->  That will be a great topic!
12:41:38 [Message] PeggyG ->  Bye all-have a great day!
12:41:42 [Message] Lisa Parisi ->  Bye everyone.
12:41:44 [Message] James Sigler ->  Oh, my regional teacher’s association is starting a ning for local association presidents.  I get to help train.  🙂
12:42:07 [Message] Sheila ->  Nice Idea James!
12:42:21 [Message] James Sigler ->  I hope I can make it next week
12:42:37 [Message] Sheila ->  Is this initiated by the state?
12:42:43 [Message] Sheila ->  state assoc?
12:43:10 [Message] James Sigler ->  no,  Missouri State Teacher’s Associaton.
12:44:20 [Message] James Sigler ->  I’m the VP of our region.  We are piloting we are a jump on the idea to help the local presidents develop a PLN
12:44:33 [Message] Sheila ->  Interesting! Thanks!
12:44:41 [Message] James Sigler ->  cya

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