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Thread: Oh noes! Obama is going to talk to schoolkids!

  1. #196
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    My son's school did not say anything until I called Friday and asked if they were going to show the President's speech to the children. The office person said they were not, that it was not part of the NC course of study. Which is complete bullshit because last year they showed Charlotte's Web (the live action movie) in class one day. I find it hard to believe that a movie was part of the course of study. I believe other schools in the county/state did show it so apparently it was at the discretion of the individual school.

    I would write a letter to the principal complaining but I don't want my son singled out.

  2. #197
    Elite Member cupcake's Avatar
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    My grandsons school didnt show it either. They sent a letter saying they already had their curriculum set for that day. I have talked to a bunch of people and I dont know if any schools in our county showed it. My daughter read the transcript to my grandson which i thought was good at least
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  3. #198
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    I pulled it up online after school today and my son and I watched it together. It was exactly what my son needed. He's struggling with motivation issues this year and is skimming by and doesn't want to work hard. It was great to have the POTUS say that you have to work hard to become something and that our country needs educated children to grow and progress. It was a very nice reinforcement of the message we're trying to send at home.

  4. #199
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    I am not a fan of President Obama but I still don't understand the hysteria that was displayed imo. Everyone is entitled to their opinions but to the best of my recall all of the past presidents ( good, bad, or indifferent) have talked to school children to encourage education. I don't see anything wrong with that.

    My son did not see it b/c school only started today. I don't know what the reaction of our school would have been.
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  5. #200
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    I don't know what possible curriculum is so much more important than the President of the US addressing school children? They can't take an hour of the day to watch this? Who is more important in this country than the President? You don't have to agree with him on every point but he's the leader of our government right now. And all he wants to do is motivate kids to get a good education and take it seriously.

    The whole thing is bizarre. And sad. I wish we'd just split into 2 countries already. I hate sharing my country with so much ignorance.

  6. #201
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    Are the children dead yet?

  7. #202
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    My kids are in 2nd and 5th grade, the principal called an assembly and had 5 televisions up and running for the kids to watch.
    Never had to deal with permission slips or any other bullshit.

  8. #203
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    Quote Originally Posted by *DIVA! View Post
    This is utter crap, because when I was in school we had to do reports on the first Bush and Reagan....
    Me too, well, not Reagan but Bush the elder and Clinton.

  9. #204
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    Voices from the Flats Ė Thoughts on the Presidentís Speech from a Title One School

    20 09 2009
    This submission came from a Mudflats reader who wishes only to be known as Mudflatter N. Mudflatter N works in an elementary school, and offered this post as a way of sharing her experience showing President Obamaís recent address to a group of 9-12 year olds.


    *************************************

    I work in an elementary school with a population of over 400 students. We are one of the Title One schools in the community where I work. Our school is struggling to meet the standards of the No Child Left Behind Act. All of our students qualify for the free lunch program, some are homeless, most are living in poverty. Our student population is from diverse backgrounds. Some of them come from families that are longterm residents, many are from immigrant families. And many of our children, like our new President, come from families that are mixed racially and culturally.

    During the week after President Obamaís speech on education I had the opportunity to show the speech to a number of students ranging in age from 9 years to 12 years. The student assignment was to write down what they thought was interesting, what they wanted to remember and to also listen for any way in which the speech could be improved. We are practicing notetaking and critical thinking skills.

    In our school we only received calls from one parent with concerns about showing the speech, and since her children were in the younger grades, it didnít effect our lesson plans. However, to my surprise, in one class their were two girls who both said they were not allowed to see the speech. I kept my most diplomatic face as I found another room for them to stay until their class was dismissed. I couldnít help but notice how extremely uncomfortable they were when they asked to leave, they seemed genuinely concerned that they might go against their parentís wishes by hearing the speech. I wondered what unforeseen consequences their absence might have, how they will interact with other student in conversations about Obama, and how they will regard him for the rest of his presidency.

    In preparing to write about the responses of our students to the speech, I was tempted to go back and read their notes, but in the end have decided that those notes belong to them, and I can only fairly share my own observations. And what I observed most of all was that there were key points in the speech that caught the attention of different children around the room. The typical childhood expression would suddenly give way to pensiveness at the story of the foster child who made good, the point where Obama talks about his own childhood struggles, or when he shared that he had made some mistakes of his own and sometimes felt lonely as a child. When President Obama said that bad behavior doesnít make you bad, bad grades donít make you stupid and similar statements seemed to catch their ears as well. The more Ďadvancedí students seemed to listen most intently to the Presidentís encouragement about what todayís students might contribute to the future. Others seemed amazed to learn that J.K. Rowling was rejected numerous times before Harry Potter was published and listened with interest to how many times Michael Jordan failed before making good.

    Considering that this was a speech, not a movie or an animation, the degree of interest and attentiveness was pretty high. As they finished up their notes, many of the students, and not always the ones I might expect, showed me one, even two pages of tightly written notes. One of the fourth graders asks me to xerox his notes so he could take them home to show to his mom. I glanced over his words, and found he had accurately captured many of the significant statements, the overall tone and theme. Not bad for one of the kids who is always on the edge of trouble.

    The degree of writing by third grade students was a bit less, but sometimes more creative, tending to a smattering of writing intermingled with drawings and sketches. One of our third grade students in particular is almost always distracted and distracting. Seemingly operating under a whole other reality, he often wanders around the room at the oddest times, tuned into his own sense of what is appropriate behavior. During Obamaís speech he and a couple of other boys his age occupied their time by drawing pictures of Obama at the lectern giving his speech. At my suggestion, my wanderer did a second picture depicting Obama at the moment of one of his signature hand gestures. The drawings werenít exactly the type of notetaking I had in mind, but the attention to the subject matter was complete. At the moment that the class was ending, my wandering student surprised me. As the class prepared to leave, and the video was ending as Obama was shown shaking hands in the crowd, I see my young friend, poised next to the screen in an attitude of concentration. Pencil in hand he faithfully records the words on the screen which gave the location of the speech and other pertinent information. It was time for the kids to line up and leave, but I am grateful that I realize what he is doing before interrupting his moment of concentrated effort. Not bad for a little guy who doesnít seem to be paying attention, he definitely knows how to locate relevant details. It might be worth noting that my young friend is from one of our familes whose parents have immigrated from Africa.

    In the weeks to come we will continue to talk about our goals, a theme I had adopted before any knowledge of the Presidentís speech. Even with the follow up and continuation of the theme, I may never know what impact the speech may have on the future of our students. I do know that in the days that I watched the studentsí engaged faces listening to someone significant talk about succeeding in school and putting it in the context of things they often experience for themselves, I saw a series of small miracles. Somehow I feel a little more confident about how well our students will do this year.
    The Mudflats Ľ Voices from the Flats Ė Thoughts on the Presidentís Speech from a Title One School

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