Conversations Episode 86- Scheduling Pros and Cons

This week, Lisa Parisi, Maria Knee, and Sheila Adams tackled the topic of scheduling.  We discussed the pros and cons of scheduling and tried to find an ideal way to schedule a school day.  Add to our discussion and maybe we’ll come up with a solution.  One never knows.

Chat:


11:28:22Lisa Parisi: Hi Peggy


11:28:25Sheila: Hi PeggyG!


11:28:32MariaK: good morning


11:28:34PeggyG: Good morning! I see the default is back to
puentesalmundo…


11:28:37MariaK:  cy morning
today


11:28:47PeggyG: are you using ustream today?


11:28:57MariaK: icy


11:29:07Lisa Parisi: yes, Peggy


11:29:21PeggyG: brrrrr… sorry to tell you but it will be 80
degrees in Phoenix today πŸ™‚


11:29:39PeggyG: Love that coffee mug!!


11:29:41Lisa Parisi: Peggy, that’s not nice.


11:29:47PeggyG: where do we buy the mug????


11:30:02PeggyG: I bought the Advent Calendar from Jackie Lawson
too πŸ™‚


11:30:05Sheila: πŸ™‚


11:30:15PeggyG: it’s not religious


11:30:46PeggyG: I bought it for a bunch of my friends and family
too but some of them couldn’t install the Adobe AIR to make it work


11:31:04PeggyG: I love it too!!


11:31:35PeggyG: Hi Maureen πŸ™‚


11:31:45Maureen: Hi Peggy


11:32:07PeggyG: the Wombat sounds tricky in public schools…


11:32:17PeggyG: clever Maria πŸ™‚


11:32:27Sheila: Hi Maureen!


11:32:30Lisa Parisi: HEllo Maureen


11:32:42Maureen: Hello everyone


11:33:02Scott Shelhart @kd9sr: Hello all, What is the topic today?


11:33:09Sheila: Hi Scott!


11:33:10Lisa Parisi: HI Scott


11:33:15MariaK: we’re just gabbing!


11:34:26PeggyG: Hi Scott-haven’t seen you in awhile. Hope all is
well!


11:34:59Lisa Parisi: Hello Karen


11:35:03PeggyG: Hi McTeach!!


11:35:29Scott Shelhart @kd9sr: Hi Peggy.  It is the end of the semester….. homework
crunch time.  Thanks for noticing.


11:35:34McTeach (Karen): Hello Lisa and Peggy!!


11:35:36PeggyG: http://www.jacquielawson.com/advent/landing


11:35:59PeggyG: I think of you often Scott and can’t wait for you
to begin teaching in your own classroom!


11:36:38PeggyG: I love my fake tree because I can keep it up
longer. πŸ™‚


11:36:46Maureen: Wow, that’s a ways up there


11:37:13Lisa Parisi: I too have a fake tree, Peggy.  We put it up yesterday.  Opened the box, straightened the branches,
and voila!  Ready to decorate.


11:37:21MariaK: http://www.therocks.org/


11:37:22PeggyG: yeah Maria!


11:37:54PeggyG: too funny!


11:37:58Scott Shelhart @kd9sr: 2 Week ‘expeience’ in kindergarten
in Feb., the 16 weeks student teaching in August.


11:38:14Maureen: I always used to go cut my tree, but once the
kids left, stopped doing it.


11:38:22Lisa Parisi: Scott…come to Long Island and student teach
with me.  I’d love to have you.


11:38:45PeggyG: we had some of our family’s biggest disagreements
when we went out to cut our own tree! wasn’t always the happiest of times…


11:38:55Sheila: I have a fake one this year.


11:39:24PeggyG: that’s great news Scott! enjoy your Kindergarten
experience!


11:39:31Scott Shelhart @kd9sr: Lisa, I’m tring to get into the
Univ. of Chicago Lab School (John Dewey school).  I’ll call you if I can’t get in. πŸ™‚


11:39:44Maureen: My son would always pick a gigantic(fat) tree. My
little civic would be buried under it all the way home. Tree was always twice
the size of the car


11:40:00PeggyG: what a site Maureen!! love it!


11:40:49PeggyG: I use lots of Pine spray scent for my fake tree
πŸ™‚


11:40:59mdrechsler -> puentesalmundo: Hello


11:41:01Sheila: THat’s exciting SCott!


11:41:06PeggyG: oooohhhh a kissing ball Sheila?????


11:41:25Lisa Parisi: I never thought of the tree smell.  Never had that.  Always had a fake tree.


11:41:29Lisa Parisi: As an adult


11:41:34Lisa Parisi: Never had one as a kid.


11:41:49Scott Shelhart @kd9sr: I surprised they are allowed to
ship trees like that.  We have bans that
forbid transporting firewood.  The
emerald ash bore beetle is a big issue in the Midwest.


11:41:50PeggyG: it helps to make it feel more authentic Lisa πŸ™‚


11:42:03PeggyG: initeresting point Scott!


11:42:08Sheila: You never know Peggy!


11:42:17PeggyG: you’re right Sheila!!


11:42:49PeggyG: Lisa can you give us an update on the book you’re
writing with Brian?


11:42:54Scott Shelhart @kd9sr: HUB?


11:43:40PeggyG: Lisa how do you keep all of those projects going
at the same time?


11:43:43Scott Shelhart @kd9sr: ok.. I’ll check it out.  


11:44:30PeggyG: fantastic!! can’t wait to see your book!


11:44:59PeggyG: will check out your new blog entry


11:45:47MariaK: All you want to know about sunscreen for
trees    
http://realtreetalk.blogspot.com/2005/11/colorants.html


11:45:48PeggyG: http://hubforteachers.discoveryeducation.com/


11:46:00Lisa Parisi: Thanks for the link Peggy.


11:46:01PeggyG: cute Sheila!! so glad you could do that for her


11:46:36PeggyG: my kids decorated my entire home for me while I
was in North Carolina and it was such a special surprise!


11:47:28PeggyG: scheduling was always one of my biggest challenges
as a principal


11:48:03PeggyG: our planning was always collaborative with
teachers but you can never please everyone!


11:48:27PeggyG: your schedule shows your priorities πŸ™‚


11:49:03Scott Shelhart @kd9sr: @PeggyG  That’s the quote of the day!


11:49:03Maureen: My biggest problem with scheduling is that I am
back to back with other subjects, some of which are divided by ability- makes
it harder for those of us who don’t depend on the student ability in Math or
language, etc…


11:49:23Sheila: And I think that’s the problem Peggy


11:50:20Maureen: I would love to have block scheduling- longer
blocks would be a godsend for me


11:50:24PeggyG: trying to find common planning times for a grade
level was a high priority for me but always a big challenge because it was
based on availability of special area teachers to take the classes


11:50:30Lisa Parisi: HEllo Karen! 
Glad you took my advice!


11:50:49KarenJan: just saw it -thanks! now to find the audio!


11:50:51Sheila: Hi Karen!


11:50:55Maureen: @Peggy- we have no common planning times. Wish
that was built in- not holding my breath


11:50:57Lisa Parisi: ustream audio today


11:50:58KarenJan: Hi Shela


11:51:04KarenJan: sheila, oops


11:52:00PeggyG: we tried to schedule all of our math classes in
the same block of time so students could be placed in any class they needed so
one teacher didn’t have to meet such a wide range of needs


11:52:09PeggyG: Hi KarenJan


11:52:22Maureen: Our kids have so many specials- it breaks it into
too many small pieces. How do you switch your head around every 40 minutes? I
have a hard time doing it as an adult- switching from class/grade level to the
next.


11:52:52KarenJan: Hi Peggy


11:52:57KarenJan: great to be here this morning


11:53:03PeggyG: that is changing for us in AZ Maureen because
schools can’t afford to hire specialists and classroom teachers are having to
teach it all


11:53:04Scott Shelhart @kd9sr: I like the big picture of block schedules,
but there needs to be flexibility so we don’t kill teachable moments.  Admins seem to have trouble with structure
and flexibility coexisting


11:53:07Maureen: Since our school is small- we don’t have the
luxury of a bunch of sections for kids- it’s usually 2 sections for each thing


11:53:21KarenJan: yes!


11:53:45PeggyG: you have to know how to use those blocks πŸ™‚


11:54:06Sheila: How many math classes is that Peggy?


11:54:24PeggyG: there are many different models for block
scheduling


11:54:47PeggyG: Sheila for us it was all of the intermediate
grades–grades 3-6


11:54:49KarenJan: does block scheduleing work better at middle or
high school?


11:55:06PeggyG: I think it does KarenJan


11:55:27PeggyG: we had 4 classes at every grade level


11:56:11McTeach (Karen): An hour for lunch??? Wow!


11:57:19Maureen: We have 40 min ( 20 for lunch/20 min recess)


11:57:21PeggyG: our teachers didn’t have lunch duty either


11:57:36KarenJan: what happens with indoor recess? do you have to
cover that?


11:57:43Maureen: We don’t have a cafeteria- kids bring lunch and
teachers eat with them


11:57:50McTeach (Karen): We have 30 minutes…I usually wind up
with about ten minutes to eat my PB&J


11:57:58PeggyG: our teacher aides had to cover indoor lunch recess


11:58:00KarenJan: our teachers would be jealous!


11:58:16KarenJan: what are your starting and ending times, Lisa?


11:58:19PeggyG: that’s the sad story for so many teachers
McTeach!!


11:58:32Scott Shelhart @kd9sr: Our lecal emen teachers have no
preps.  Have to teach gym and art
themselves. 


11:58:36Maureen: We don’t have planning times every day…


11:58:37McTeach (Karen): You mean YOUR principal doesn’t take up
your prep time with pointless meetings???


11:58:40PeggyG: teachers don’t know how to eat slowly because they
never get to and rarely get to finish a lunch


11:58:58KarenJan: in all my years working, I have never had a
lunch. the life of a specialist


11:59:16Maureen: Ours is 8 to 3, plus mandatory sports/theater til
4:30 for grades 4-9


11:59:19PeggyG: @Scott–that’s starting to be the case everywhere
because of budget cuts


11:59:34PeggyG: that’s so true KarenJan!!


12:00:21KarenJan: Lisa, is that type of school typical for your
area?


12:00:32KarenJan: type of school day…i meant


12:01:07Sheila: Mandatory sports? Maurreen?


12:01:19PeggyG: we started scheduling our Resource Periods
(pull-out classes for ESL, Gifted, LD, etc.) all during the same period for a
grade level. It worked really well and the kids never felt they were missing
things to leave for Resource class.


12:02:01PeggyG: how sad Sheila!


12:02:05KarenJan: lisa,what you are saying is impossible in this
area – do you think it leads to more collaboration between teachers?


12:02:09Maureen: @Sheila- yes- mandatory co-curricular- choice of
sports or theater, unless you are doing something (sport) outside of school 3+
days/week.


12:02:40Sheila: Do you have a late bus


12:02:40Scott Shelhart @kd9sr: We had parent issues a few years
ago. PTA members stalked the school and noted who was late coming back from
lunch….


12:02:54PeggyG: wow Scott!!!


12:03:09Maureen: @Sheila- yes, but many parents pick up, and there
is no late bus for the NY kids


12:03:10KarenJan: Scott – that’s antagonistic


12:03:18PeggyG: that suggests to me that parents felt they needed
to be doing the job of the admin!


12:03:39Scott Shelhart @kd9sr: Was a power struggle…. those
children and parents have moved on now. 
The issued is over.


12:03:58PeggyG: that’s good!!


12:04:12KarenJan: the bank blew it – all the teachers should
choose another bank!


12:04:18Maureen: Our admin put it in our handbook this year-
cannot leave til 3:15. I leave if I am done earlier, since I am going home to
work anyway. I think it’s silly.


12:04:19PeggyG: πŸ™‚


12:04:54McTeach (Karen): I have to be on campus between 7:30 and
3:30 or the boss will write me up.


12:05:18KarenJan: to be honest, when I see teachers leaving within
ten minutes of the kids, I wonder where there work ethic is. (they could have a
prior appointment but who knows?)


12:05:22PeggyG: it’s really common for teachers to have to sign
out if they leave campus due to liability issues


12:05:23Maureen: I think it’s funny that you have contracts that
are specific. Mine says I have a job, and “other duties as assigned”


12:05:31Sheila: New staff now at the bank


12:05:39PeggyG: be glad Maureen!


12:06:24Maureen: @peggy mostly glad, but I have spent the weekend
editing the video from our concert, and posting it to the web- still not
done.  One of those other duties


12:06:28Lisa Parisi: Maureen, my contract is VERY specific


12:06:32PeggyG: when you have a big school it may take 2 hours to
get through all of the lunches! that means lunch may start at 10:30 and not end
until 1:00 sometimes


12:06:57KarenJan: great dropping in but I do have to leave. enjoy
your day!


12:07:03Lisa Parisi: Bye Karen.


12:07:06PeggyG: so true Maureen! there is no limit to your job
when it isn’t specified


12:07:07Lisa Parisi: I missyou


12:07:11KarenJan: thanx for tweeting this lisa


12:07:12Lisa Parisi: We need to talk.


12:07:14PeggyG: bye KarenJan


12:07:34PeggyG: yes Lisa


12:07:56Maureen: @Lisa. Ours simply says you have a job, what your
pay will be, and nothing else- just other duties as assigned… no grade, no
subject, etc… It’s good and bad.


12:08:24PeggyG: lunch and pullouts often drive the schedule–not
good


12:08:37Lisa Parisi: Ours doesn’t say grade or subject.  But other things are written out…like prep
time and lunch time…time starting and ending…class size


12:09:14Scott Shelhart @kd9sr: But they have to give up SOMETHING
for a pull-out.  What to give up?  Core subject? Art? Music? Recess? 


12:09:18PeggyG: that’s why our common Resource Period worked so
well–pull outs all in same period


12:10:08Lisa Parisi: How do the pull out people fit all the kids
at that time?


12:10:11PeggyG: with all of the pull-outs gone the teacher can
really focus on the remaining “average” students who are often lost
in the shuffle of special ed & gifted kids


12:10:20PeggyG: by grade level Lisa


12:10:41Lisa Parisi: Still the same question Peggy.  We have too many on a grade.


12:11:00PeggyG: we had four classes at a grade level


12:11:33Lisa Parisi: 2 per class means 8 kids in a small
group…too large, IMO


12:12:08PeggyG: that’s always an interesting thing to look at
Maria! how much time you have your entire class together at one time..,


12:12:45PeggyG: our Resource classes had 2 teachers or aides to
reduce ratio


12:12:59MariaK: yes Peggy – I consider it the time that I have
control over – the time i can decide what happens in my classroom


12:13:40PeggyG: there’s never enought of that time with all of the
scheduling dilemmas!


12:14:10PeggyG: that’s exactly the advantage of having a common
resource time–they don’t feel they’re missing something


12:15:09Maureen: I have kids coming into the computer lab at lunch
all the time now. They need to have more time in class, and they need to have
more accessibility to the web.  They are
overscheduled


12:15:24PeggyG: great solution Maureen!


12:15:33PeggyG: for the kids anyway πŸ™‚


12:15:58Maureen: Most of the lower school specials used to be in
the morning- when I was in K. Gave me the entire afternoon to have the kids to myself


12:16:22PeggyG: having a co-teacher for inclusion is a fabulous
solution!!! much better than pull-outs


12:16:42Maureen: @Peggy They aren’t supposed to be in there if I’m
not there. I break the rules- trust the kids to be working- and everytime I
come in to check- they are


12:16:45Lisa Parisi: Yes Peggy. 
Every class should have two teachers.


12:17:01PeggyG: I agree Lisa!


12:17:34Maureen: I loved co-teaching in K. Such a benefit for both
the teachers and the kids


12:18:36PeggyG: good strategy Maureen! the kids are on task
because they don’t want to lose the privilege πŸ™‚


12:19:42PeggyG: learning doesn’t just fit in nice little blocks of
time!!!


12:20:57Maureen: When I taught science, as a special- it drove me
crazy- the groups from the teachers were reading groups- and when they changed-
my groups changed- even if the kids were working on a group project with me.


12:21:02Scott Shelhart @kd9sr: Running a classroom is not like
driving a train, following the rails. 
Teaching is like steering a boat on a river… you have a destination,
but you have to work with the current to get to your goal efficently.


12:21:15PeggyG: schools just don’t have enough money to hire the
number of teachers needed for flexible scheduling–unfortunately!!


12:21:48PeggyG: very nice quote Scott!!!


12:22:29PeggyG: but as we’re hearing today as a teacher you don’t
always have control over steering your boat for your own kids


12:22:47PeggyG: lots of other variables you have to steer around


12:23:01Scott Shelhart @kd9sr: πŸ˜€ Thanks.


12:23:13PeggyG: such a good example of the dilemmas Maria!!


12:23:16Lisa Parisi: Peggy, I think we spend more time in the back
of the boat, throwing out an oar every once in a while hoping to move the boat
in a different direction.


12:23:33Maureen: phonicate?? πŸ˜€


12:23:53PeggyG: I agree Lisa


12:24:18PeggyG: literacy vs phonicating πŸ™‚ another big topic!


12:24:32MariaK: Is phonicate a swear word?


12:24:33Maureen: @maria I used to tell the parents that reading
using just phonics was like listening to the music note by note


12:24:38PeggyG: don’t know if that’s a real word but it works…


12:25:18MariaK: I think phonicate comes from my Yetta and Ken
Goodman years


12:25:20PeggyG: I really like that description Maureen!


12:25:32MariaK: exactly, maureen


12:26:10Scott Shelhart @kd9sr: Phonicate sounds like a surgical
procedure….


12:26:12PeggyG: I think you’re right Maria–I have all of the
Goodman books!


12:26:25MariaK: or maybe it was Frank Smith who taught me about
phonicating!


12:27:19MariaK: @Scott – it is a surgical procedure – It is when
the love of reading is removed.


12:27:32PeggyG: let’s not use that word any more–the urban
dictionary defines it as related to sex on a telephone!


12:27:44Lisa Parisi: LOL


12:27:50Maureen: @Sheila- that’s one of the reasons we have
mandatory sports


12:28:01Scott Shelhart @kd9sr: @Maria Ah, yes. Just like the
Accelerated Reader program.


12:28:48PeggyG: yes Scott! I have lots of concerns about the way
the AR program is implemented in schools


12:29:07Sheila: I like that idea Maureen


12:30:07Lisa Parisi: Don’t even get me started on the AR program.


12:30:19Maureen: @Sheila- our kids over 6th grade don’t have a
regular gym class- this is mostly a way to make up for that. But they don’t
have room in their schedule for it- 2 languages, shop, etc… It’s a trade off


12:31:22Sheila: We also have shared staff with the elem.


12:31:40PeggyG: we will never solve the scheduling issues!!


12:32:18MariaK: spoken like a full fledged principal – Peggy! lol
:p


12:32:20PeggyG: we can only work to advocate for the kids with the
best schedule possible


12:32:22McTeach (Karen): Not that kind of drama, Lisa!


12:32:31PeggyG: funny Maria!


12:32:38Maureen: It’s middle school- drama is always a big part of
the day


12:32:44Sheila: http://lisaslingo.blogspot.com/


12:33:08McTeach (Karen): I definitely don’t fit into school


12:33:18PeggyG: schools need to be transformed!!! stop trying to
fit the centuries old model!


12:33:34PeggyG: thanks everyone!


12:33:36Scott Shelhart @kd9sr: Thanks all. 


12:33:49Lisa Parisi: 
http://ettconversations.blogspot.com/


12:33:53McTeach (Karen): Thanks ladies…sorry I didn’t contribute
much today


12:34:05Lisa Parisi: Thank you all for being here.


12:34:14Sheila: Thanks everyone! Going back to read the chat
latere.


12:34:17PeggyG: do you have solutions McTeach?


12:34:32PeggyG: would love to hear your take on all of this!!


12:34:34McTeach (Karen): No solutions this morning


12:34:39Scott Shelhart @kd9sr: BTW… love UStream much better
than shoutcast.


12:34:45PeggyG: see you all next week


12:34:51Lisa Parisi:
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/alfie-kohn/kohn-what-ready-to-learn-reall.html#more


12:34:57PeggyG: Alfie Kohn is being interviewed by Steve Hargadon
very soon


12:35:03PeggyG: check Future of Education schedule


12:35:05Lisa Parisi: Bye all

 

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