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#241 of 257 Old 01-31-2014, 12:33 AM
 
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Well great. If you're a perfectionist you are constantly worried about what to put down. So you get none of my thoughts because I'm too afraid to express something less than perfect.
kerc has summarized part of the reason it took me forever to write a dissertation: I was constantly worried that by putting down my ideas, I'd expose myself for the sub-par scholar I felt like. rolleyes.gif
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Yes, that's the K-2 writing instruction here.  It slowly gets better until 6th grade, when suddenly, they're taught how to identify which ideas are worth writing and how to start.  Or at least 6th graders who win the lottery of filling in the right bubbles on the psuedo-IQ test in 2nd grade....  Not sure what everyone else gets. 
They started talking about writing structure in first grade here. They've talked about elements needed for creative writing, whether telling a story (plot, characters, etc) or a descriptive piece (metaphors, similes, what kinds of words are good for description), what goes into persuasive writing (statement, reasons why, conclusion), among others. Writing's been one of the district's focuses and there's a fairly large reading and writing block that starts out the day. In first grade, they could also read or write in their journals during snack time, and I think R was always writing. (This may still be true but I haven't asked what she does when she eats her snack.) It helps that she's naturally a good writer (if atrocious speller).

But isn't the analysis you mentioned for your oldest required as part of Common Core (or at least the tests)? BTW, I'm not arguing that instruction should be tabled until later. Introducing the concepts is all good and some will be ready--but we shouldn't expect everyone to master those concepts the first time they're introduced. A spectrum of at least 2-3 years to master any number of educational goals would make a lot more sense.

tjsmama--I have your address. I'm still trying to figure out how to package it, but at least I managed to get the envelopes and pod on my desk!
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The strangest part for me is how much her height seems to factor into conversations. Everyone mentions it as it relates to her ability to "pass" for older. 
I think it makes a difference in both the social stuff (so peers perceive her as a peer and not as a younger interloper) and it's more normalizing for adults too because they don't look at her and see her as a younger student. It's an interesting question, because I don't think we'd skip R ahead a grade in part because of the height thing. Happily, that's not a concern in our district, but it's telling when people have generally thought we had a freaky talented or bright kid because they misjudged her age. My favorite story is when she was in first grade and there was the area strings festival. She and another first-grader played one song with the advanced orchestra, and afterward our music teacher had a bunch of people ask if she was a prodigy. Apparently they thought she was 4 when she was actually 7 years old. I suspect it will make your daughter's transition so much easier and preclude a lot of questions from peers.

sparkle--Ravitch's Death and Life was published in 2010. If that's too old, the newer one covers the same ground. It's grad school though, so you really should read both. orngtongue.gif I'd be interested to see how you frame the Finnish social/political ideology to impact writing pedagogy in the U.S. because there are so many variables there that aren't possible here. It's the fact that there are multiple variables that make the work interesting and hugely complicated, yk?

Shanti--they get snow like that in some places in the mountains. From what I can tell of Grand Lake, snowshoes and snowmobiles are the primary form of transportation around town itself. It's legal to drive a snowmobile down the street there.

It's snowing here! It was heavy, wet, slushy stuff when I drove home from the school board meeting, so I'm wondering whether we'll have school tomorrow. Also wondering whether Saturday's 9-miler will be a treadmill run. Maybe I'll mix it up between the indoor track and treadmill at the gym?

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#242 of 257 Old 01-31-2014, 08:09 AM
 
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Yes to what Real said about writing instruction. The thing that flummoxes me when I hear descriptions like Kerc's is that every pedagogy book I read in my ed. grad program, and still encounter in this program 12 years later, all the conversations Ive ever had with colleagues and friends about how they teach writing talk about it with much more nuance and complexity than 'just write' My dream is to be a fly on the wall in high-school english classes, and freshman comp. classes and see what is happening and how they compare.

Real - yeah, the social-political stuff really interests me, understanding how much is different in Finland compared to here, but also that their intention is far different too! Thinking about Bourdieu's theories and how those are reflected positively in Finland and negatively here. I heard a story on NPR the other day about how Denmark generated 30% of the entire countries electricity with wind in 2013 and their goal is to get to 50% by 2020. The person they interviewed from the project said "it can be done. The only reason these things dont happen is a lack of political will". I like the bent of Finland's political will wrt education, even if they are not the perfect model of/for the US

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#243 of 257 Old 01-31-2014, 08:49 AM
 
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MelW - No, the Manopause commercial was stolen goods.  We wanted to find something to cover the scene change and that seemed to fit in with the theme of bullying and media and its message to everyone that they just aren't good enough but in a funnier way.

 

On height and class placement, Ali G being so much shorter than her peers was one factor in holding her back.  We could see in class that she was being treated differently than her classmates (by her classmates) and suspected that much of it was because they perceived her to be smaller and therefore younger and less important.  This year she is more or less the same height and gets more respect from her classmates and is not treated like a pet.


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#244 of 257 Old 01-31-2014, 09:13 AM
 
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kerc has summarized part of the reason it took me forever to write a dissertation: I was constantly worried that by putting down my ideas, I'd expose myself for the sub-par scholar I felt like. rolleyes.gif
 

Well. fortunately we got to the part where if I didn't defend/submit my classes would expire. Because I wrote that sucker down and defended and bam. Now on getting the paper out the door, well that's where I'm stuck at exactly what you just described.

 

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On height and class placement, Ali G being so much shorter than her peers was one factor in holding her back.  We could see in class that she was being treated differently than her classmates (by her classmates) and suspected that much of it was because they perceived her to be smaller and therefore younger and less important.  This year she is more or less the same height and gets more respect from her classmates and is not treated like a pet.

hmm.  Interesting.

 

I skied last night. But darn it, if I'm going to run 13.1 on May 3, I need to RUN a little. So treadmill plans in 45 mins when my office hours are over.


Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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#245 of 257 Old 01-31-2014, 04:08 PM
 
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Rr:
Join student wellness center.
Run 2.4 miles on tm.
Run back to office.
Make it to meeting.
Next week: 4 miles.

Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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#246 of 257 Old 02-01-2014, 12:11 AM
 
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MelW - No, the Manopause commercial was stolen goods.  We wanted to find something to cover the scene change and that seemed to fit in with the theme of bullying and media and its message to everyone that they just aren't good enough but in a funnier way.

On height and class placement, Ali G being so much shorter than her peers was one factor in holding her back.  We could see in class that she was being treated differently than her classmates (by her classmates) and suspected that much of it was because they perceived her to be smaller and therefore younger and less important.  This year she is more or less the same height and gets more respect from her classmates and is not treated like a pet.
Yeah and ugh. Oddly, I've had a number of students who have been surprised by how short I am when they come up to talk to me after class. Sure, they're sitting down when I teach, but demeanor makes a big difference. Unfortunately, it's so hard for kids to project that kind of self-confidence unless they're feeling it. Being respected by her classmates fosters the self-confidence and that's important in the long run. (This conversation now has me singing "She's actual size, but she seems much bigger to me" by They Might Be Giants.)

Speaking of bullying prevention, this came across my twitter feed and I think it's worth sharing: http://momastery.com/blog/2014/01/30/share-schools/
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Now on getting the paper out the door, well that's where I'm stuck at exactly what you just described.
Yep. I have two of those on my laptop. My excuse is that I haven't had time and a quiet space to do the work that needs to be done (true) but it's all so anxiety-provoking that I haven't put a lot of effort into getting that time either. Probably the same reason I haven't actually emailed my resume yet either. I'm not really anxious, especially compared to DH and R, but this feels like asking people to judge whether I'm worthy or should just go get a job in retail 'cause I'll never have a career in the professional world again. redface.gif

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#247 of 257 Old 02-01-2014, 05:26 AM
 
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IIRC, Height is up to 3 points out if 80 on the IAS, where anything above 60 points is the strongest case for a skip. 20 points come from IQ and achievement. The rest are social, emotional, family, and other secondary issues. It's an evidence-based tool (though I feel based on pro-skip data), so I'd take from that that height is worth about 2-3% of the conversation.

However, I was able to squash any discussion about dd skipping based on size, so I'll use it to my advantage when necessary.

Kids respond to size as a marker of age. I stopped 2 elementary kids from harrasing a 6th grader for heading towards the wrong school this fall. My 8 year old is taller than this kid. These boys were being mean. Cruel. Yeah, the elem principal heard about it.
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#248 of 257 Old 02-01-2014, 07:00 AM
 
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This talk about height is interesting. We have considered that skipping DS would likely be academically appropriate/beneficial but his social/self-control part is lagging. He's at least a head taller than his peers. People always mistake him for older (and then assume he is even more lacking in self-control). So he stays where he is and is annoyed at the lack of challenge... redface.gif

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#249 of 257 Old 02-01-2014, 07:56 AM
 
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Interesting about height. DS is tall (5'3", 110 lbs.) for 6th grade. One of his closest friends is 1/2 his weight and about DD2''s height (she's 7). They get treated very differently, although they are exactly one day apart in age.

I scheduled a parent -teacher conference with DD1's teacher. I found it odd that she didn't request a conference with me, even though DD is currently averaging a D in math greensad.gif. At tutoring she scored at the mid-1st grade level on her assessment. She's in 4th grade, and up until this point has always had As on her report card. I'm not sure how she has slipped through the cracks, but am sorely disappointed. Glad we're doing the math tutoring at any rate.

I drove an hour to a swim meet at 6:30 this morning only to find that the meet was cancelled due to a pool filter malfunction.

RR - will walk today now that I don't have to spend the day at a swim meet!

~~Kristina~~ Mama to DS(10/30/01), DD1(VBAC 3/28/04) and DD2(HBAC 5/21/06)
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#250 of 257 Old 02-01-2014, 09:28 AM
 
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birthday.gif Kerc partytime.gif Hope that you get some time to do favorite things with favorite people today.

 

On height; I hope it didn't sound like that was a major reason we held Ali G back.  It was really the consensus among her teachers but it was sort of the icing on the cake.  


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#251 of 257 Old 02-01-2014, 10:08 AM
 
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Height's a funny thing. On the hand, people think ds2 is older than he is and he does act more mature than his peers and hangs out with older kids. (My other kid falls in the less mature category.) On the other hand, when he does act his real age, he is treated as if something's wrong with him. He's 5' tall, 125 lbs in 4th grade. The school website has a picture of the elementary school kids who did UIL on their front page. I looked for ds2 and was bummed when I couldn't find him. I started trying to figure out if he was absent for some reason. Then I started zooming in and scrutinizing faces and realized was in the far back corner. In fact, he was the same height as the teacher in the opposite far back corner. The photographer put him in a teacher's position. It is weird for him to be 1-2 heads taller than his classmates and they sort of look at him like he's deformed, I think, not like it's cool but like something's wrong with him. I think this is why some really tall people may slouch. Coaches get excited when they see him on the basketball court and then they're like, omg, he can't jump. His bones are like bricks.


birthday.gif Kerc

Plady, is there a video somewhere of C's play? I thought I saw a link but now I can't find it.

Real, I was thinking about posting that same blog link. I'll do it anyway. Share This With All Schools, Please
I got tears in my eyes. Freaking awesome.

JG, whatcha reading? We're almost to the end of Wonder and it is so, so good! I'm taking time off of adult books to catch up on my kiddos' books. So far, it has been great to have these long conversations about their books. It has made dinner time so much more interesting, insightful, and shows me so many good thoughts going through their head. Which helps me not be resentful that I'm behind in my adult and professional reading stacks, which includes the latest Ravitch book.

Sparkle, I'm interested in everything you say about that book & your topic. I have some pre-conceived notions about Ravitch, both positive and not positive that inform my opinion. I thought her newest book took a different stance than her previous book, but I may be wrong. And probably am. Since I haven't actually read it!

RR: watching 4 basketball games. No exercise for me. Blagh.

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#252 of 257 Old 02-01-2014, 01:30 PM
 
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Since I'm procrastinating on running (having tried and failed to print shipping labels for first-class postage, argh!), I'll chime in here.

lofty--Ravtich's views on education have changed. She used to be a much bigger proponent of charters and such, and was part of the Bush administration as they implemented NCLB. The reason she changed her mind, according to her, is that those didn't work, and like any good researcher she's looking for what does. She has a number of books in print, but Death and Life of the Great American School System is the first one to really start looking at what is and isn't working, and some of the problematic undercurrents, like the privatization theme. Reign of Error follows on those themes, provides a lot of updated data, especially when it comes to say, comparing NAEP scores that show are students are steadily, if slower, posting better scores (and that's especially true among underserved populations), and that much of the hand-wringing about students supposedly doing worse is a matter of lying with statistics, ignoring history, pretending poverty doesn't have an impact, and the new practice of seemingly purposefully assigning cut scores to tests to prove that students are 'failing.' She's a bit strident these days, and there are areas where I think she's too ideological (i.e., non-voucher school choice. I get her point, but I just don't think the issue is that simple). Her claims about inBloom were valid in some areas but ridiculously off-base in others, though to her credit when I commented about those issues on her blog she responded respectfully. Her biggest fans are a different story; I had a series of somewhat hostile emails about inBloom with one Ravitch fan in our district and it was barely civil on her end because I wasn't a true believer. Though a lot of things are like that lately on any topic, right? :eyeroll Anyhow, consider yourself warned that Reign isn't quite the calm discussion that Death and Life mostly was.

On height: I have to say I'm really surprised and horrified that it shows up in any codified way when academic placement is in question. Yes it makes a difference and yes, I've had some of the experiences people describe, but it shouldn't count for points to or against anything. That's an issue for parents and the students, not anyone else.

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#253 of 257 Old 02-01-2014, 02:50 PM
 
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Real - that's how I feel about Ravitch. She is hard for me to stomach even as I *mostly* agree with her. I couldnt read her blog, it was so full of strident generalizations, but I appreciate that she gets people talking

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#254 of 257 Old 02-01-2014, 03:22 PM
 
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Lofty - Here's another link.  

 

Feeling like I should clarify that the teachers were only concerned with academic and social readiness but dh and I could see that there was an obvious social impact of Ali G being so much smaller.  Of course she was also the youngest in the class so she needed to grow in a variety of ways to be on par with her peers, not just heightwise.  

 

As always I'm keeping notes on the conversation here for later.  Speaking of catching up, I just finished Cutting for Stone which kept me flipping pages to the end though I'm not certain of how much I enjoyed it.  It definitely was a good thing to get my mind out of the local scene with all its beautiful imagery of Addis.

  

Time to start packing.


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#255 of 257 Old 02-01-2014, 03:38 PM
 
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Drive by. Happy birthday Kerc!

 

:blowkissto all my Dingoes, I think you're all the best.

 

Back is still stiff and sore but better.

 

First (indoor, wussy, but still) triathlon tomorrow. Oo-rah.


 "Now bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible." (William Shakespeare -- Julius Caesar)

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#256 of 257 Old 02-01-2014, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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February thread! love.gif

Gaye, single mama to Tyler (5/06) and Baxter the labradoodle
surf.gif bikenew.gif jog.gif Wait...I signed up to DO an Ironman??? I thought I was signing up to go SEE Ironman! nut.gif

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#257 of 257 Old 02-02-2014, 05:57 AM
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I will catch up more properly later today (hopefully).  But wanted to say a big GO, GO, GO Dingo to Nic! 

 

About to head to the pool and a run on the mill. 

 

Also, I have thoughts about SAD, Common Core, Math, test taking and the tightrope dance we do as parents. 

Nickarolaberry likes this.

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