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My "150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address"
11-30-2013, 10:32 PM
Post: #16
RE: My "150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address"
I'm sorry, but I do see an issue here. Without prior knowledge of the Civil War, without knowing that the country was ripped apart, without knowing what these soldiers sacrificed for what they believed in and what was on the line, and without knowing upon what ground this speech was written as a dedication; takes away the very soul of this humble dedication. Reducing this speech to just a few sentences by a talented politician with a talented pen. There is no chill that runs through your body, knowing that these few words are summing up years of carnage; while still respectfully recognizing the sacrifice many have made. The sorrow of leaders ordering men into the fray and still the hope of a peaceful future. How can you gauge anything without context?
Sorry for my rant, I have had a few.

" Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the American Government take care of him; better take a closer look at the American Indian." - Henry Ford
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12-01-2013, 05:01 AM
Post: #17
RE: My "150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address"
Anita, I don't know what Lincoln would say, but I am against it. We used to discuss things like this in faculty meetings. I worked with a relatively small staff, but the arguments over how to teach often divided the staff as almost everyone had their own ideas. If the method in question were discussed, I know some of the teachers would probably have supported it.

The reason this link was sent to me (by a friend who was also my college roommate in 1965) was that he knows me well enough to know I would be shocked and dismayed by this teaching method. I posted the link because I was curious how others would react. I simply cannot imagine myself teaching the Gettysburg Address in this manner; it was always taught in context in my classroom. Not only did I do it that way, every single teacher I had growing up who covered the address did also. Most of my web pages are simply intended to give student the basic idea of something and are not meant to replace the teacher, textbooks, etc. My web page here includes a brief overview of some of the key thoughts I presented to grade school students when I was teaching. That page was originally written in 1996, and over the years I have occasionally added to it, and it now contains more information for students than the title suggests.
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12-01-2013, 08:10 AM
Post: #18
RE: My "150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address"
We must be reading two different things then, because in the document that can be downloaded, on page 15 it says "What are the people who are assembled at Gettysburg there to do? The aim of this discussion is to clarify the situation and context for the speech, specifically, that it is the dedication of a graveyard to soldiers who lost their lives in the civil war." The columnist who wrote this is doing so with an obvious agenda against the Common Core Standards. "Imagine learning about the Gettysburg Address without a mention of the Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg, or why President Abraham Lincoln had traveled to Pennsylvania to make the speech. That’s the way a Common Core State Standards “exemplar for instruction” — from a company founded by three main Core authors — says it should be taught to ninth and 10th graders." She's wrong from the outset. The standards, from the quote I provided, clearly mention the war and the context for the speech.

I'll admit that I haven't paid much attention to this Common Core debate, but I can't help but feel that since many of those opposed to it are conservatives, some more reasonable than others, this is a non-issue. Even Jeb Bush supports them. Has everyone read the entire document?

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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12-01-2013, 08:32 AM (This post was last modified: 12-01-2013 08:36 AM by Eva Elisabeth.)
Post: #19
RE: My "150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address"
Please correct me if I don't understand the purpose of this specific curriculum correctly. If I understand it correctly, this curriculum only refers to a reading/text comprehension exercise in "English Language Arts and Literacy", and it says: "refrain from giving background context...at the OUTSET". If you want to examine students' reading comprehension skills, any previously given background information would sure make it rather difficult to determine whether students answer questions on the text correctly from what they understood from reading or from what they had already known before. I just skimmed the site and didn't read those 29 downloadable pages, but the curriculum doesn't forbid to discuss the historic context after the initial reading for text comprehension, does it? I hope, however, any teacher will do this, and/or that this is part of history education/curriculum elsewhere. Otherwise it would be like teaching spelling by using nonsense words.

The question is, as this address is highly enmeshed in the historic background and proceedings, if it does make much sense at all to use it for this purpose.

What I regard the most objectionable is the advice "to notify students that the short text is thought to be difficult and they are not expected to understand it fully on a first reading -- that they can expect to struggle".

How could you motivate students if you promise them to struggle???
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12-01-2013, 08:49 AM
Post: #20
RE: My "150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address"
Eva,

I think you're absolutely correct. Studying the Gettysburg Address as literature would generally preclude studying the context immediately in favor of the rhythm and cadence and word choice. Later, one could bring in context to see how Lincoln tied various historical events to the speech, and even could compare and contrast Edward Everett's oration compared to Lincoln. As I read the standard, it doesn't forbid historical context, but merely delays it.

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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12-01-2013, 09:25 AM (This post was last modified: 12-01-2013 09:28 AM by brtmchl.)
Post: #21
RE: My "150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address"
Politics aside, this is just a dull exercise. As if children of this age group need further guidance into believing school is boring. Now we have this, a classroom exercise based on 150 year old language and writing, given to children to read without any build up and told that they probably won't understand it the first time. Kids always love boring subjects that make them feel stupid.
Why?
What's the point?
I was lucky enough, when I was in school, to have a History teacher who acted, and taught with emotion. Who would tell the context leading up to this speech that we were about to read in a dramatic fashion. And while we read it, we had a sense of understanding. Then he would break down the speech, as we read, and discuss it.
And we understood it the FIRST time. And we remembered it.

" Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the American Government take care of him; better take a closer look at the American Indian." - Henry Ford
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12-01-2013, 10:05 AM
Post: #22
RE: My "150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address"
Mike,

I'm certainly not saying that there aren't legitimate questions that need to be addressed, but in the admittedly brief searching I've done on the issue, most people who are opposed to it do so for political reasons. The education of our children is too important to be left solely to politicians of either stripe. Educators are the best judge of what works, and it seems to me that the discussion also has to acknowledge that what worked when I was in school may not work now.

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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12-01-2013, 10:16 AM (This post was last modified: 12-01-2013 10:25 AM by irshgrl500.)
Post: #23
RE: My "150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address"
(12-01-2013 05:01 AM)RJNorton Wrote:  Anita, I don't know what Lincoln would say, but I am against it. We used to discuss things like this in faculty meetings. I worked with a relatively small staff, but the arguments over how to teach often divided the staff as almost everyone had their own ideas. If the method in question were discussed, I know some of the teachers would probably have supported it.

The Civil War Trust (http://www.civilwar.org/education/teache...sson.html)
has some interesting Gettysburg Address lesson plans, for various ages, which are designed to follow the standards (the common core)(age specific). The plan and exercises, held my Adult ESL Student's, attention
(at the intermediate level), and it opened up some great questions, and discussions.

[quote='Rob Wick' pid='27401' dateline='1385910323']
Mike,

I'm certainly not saying that there aren't legitimate questions that need to be addressed, but in the admittedly brief searching I've done on the issue, most people who are opposed to it do so for political reasons. The education of our children is too important to be left solely to politicians of either stripe. Educators are the best judge of what works, and it seems to me that the discussion also has to acknowledge that what worked when I was in school may not work now.

Best
Rob
Agreed!
The National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) led the development of the Common Core State Standards; Teachers, Educators, Parents, and School Administrators merely provided input, into developing the Common Core.

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12-01-2013, 10:27 AM
Post: #24
RE: My "150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address"
(12-01-2013 10:05 AM)Rob Wick Wrote:  Mike,

I'm certainly not saying that there aren't legitimate questions that need to be addressed, but in the admittedly brief searching I've done on the issue, most people who are opposed to it do so for political reasons. The education of our children is too important to be left solely to politicians of either stripe. Educators are the best judge of what works, and it seems to me that the discussion also has to acknowledge that what worked when I was in school may not work now.

Best
Rob

I agree with you to an extent Rob, and I'm really not trying to be politically motivated. I live with a teacher and speak with many and a growing consensus is that common core standards handcuff the teachers. Not on every issue. Some complain that the new lessons hamper their teaching style, and makes for boring school days.
As far as politics go. I believe it is about the children and the teachers. I don't care if Dems created it. I never agreed with " No child left behind" either.
There are many teachers on this forum, what is their overall opinion?

It is also political to blindly support and criticize skeptics. Im not saying that you blindly support this, but you have made political assumptions about those who have not supported this.
Gifted children will always do well in the classroom, but some children need that spark that only a dedicated and creative teacher can provide.

" Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the American Government take care of him; better take a closer look at the American Indian." - Henry Ford
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12-01-2013, 10:35 AM
Post: #25
RE: My "150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address"
Quote:you have made political assumptions about those who have not supported this.

Based on what I've read, which I again admit is limited to Google. It's possible that the stories which appear in the top are weighted, but when Glenn Beck gets behind those opposed to it, a red flag goes up. Also, a close friend from college who is to the right of Genghis Khan doesn't support them, and personal experience has told me when he is opposed to something, I generally will be in favor of it. Smile

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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12-01-2013, 10:54 AM
Post: #26
RE: My "150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address"
Rob, we all understand that you are a liberal's liberal, but that does not mean that everything in this world revolves around politics (or as you see it, liberal vs. conservative). Have you ever stood in front of thirty eighth or ninth graders, or even fourth or fifth graders, or better yet - senior high students and discussed history with them? Your dogma wouldn't last five minutes.

When I began teaching over forty years ago, the nationwide fear was that one day we would be teaching to "the test," and the evil that was always pointed to was the New York example. I believe it was termed the State Regency Exam? Even the New York teachers were complaining that it turned education into a memorization process - not a learning experience. At that time, in Maryland's junior high history curriculum, we were actually teaching to the CORE process. However, it stood for Collect, Organize, Relate, and Evaluate. It also stressed the need for students to learn backgrounds to events: what came before; causes and effects; lessons for the future, etc.

Since I left the teaching field, I have watched my own daughter progress through the Maryland system and now my grandson. The Maryland system is now based on teaching to the test. My daughter has her Master's in education and is qualified to teach newborn through high school and is now mentoring high school teachers who are having problems adapting to these new systems that get thrown at them every 3-4 years (liberals have a habit of doing that). My grandson is in the eighth grade and a straight-A student, but he comes to me to discuss history because there is no time for in-depth classroom discussion - the class time is built around teaching to the test. I might also add that my daughter dislikes history to this day because it was boring memorization to her in school.

And, we won't even discuss the students whose classes visit Surratt House, who have no background on Lincoln, the Civil War, or the many issues surrounding the first hundred years of U.S. history. When you have twenty students sitting in front of you who do not know who Abraham Lincoln is - and who have to have the answer coaxed out of them by referring to "the dude on a $5 bill" - there is trouble in Camelot! And there is even more trouble when the teachers of those students leave the museum and thank you and the guides for teaching them "so many things they had never heard of."

Good educators are the best judges of what works. However, much of today's curriculum choices have been thrown into think tanks - people who often have no practical experience. Reading and espousing educational theory and trying to make it the "law of the land" doesn't mean that those responsible for preaching these theories can cut it in the actual classroom. You need to walk the walk before you talk the talk. Sitting behind a computer and searching for scholarly words to throw out to make one appear all-knowing doesn't cut it.
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12-01-2013, 11:14 AM
Post: #27
RE: My "150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address"
As a matter of fact, I have. After student teaching American and World History classes for three months, I realized teaching wasn't for me, and never tried to find a job in it. As for the question of politics, it wasn't the left who started complaining about the common core standards, it was the right. That is fact whether you want to believe it or not.

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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12-01-2013, 11:25 AM (This post was last modified: 12-01-2013 11:28 AM by brtmchl.)
Post: #28
RE: My "150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address"
(12-01-2013 10:35 AM)Rob Wick Wrote:  
Quote:you have made political assumptions about those who have not supported this.

Based on what I've read, which I again admit is limited to Google. It's possible that the stories which appear in the top are weighted, but when Glenn Beck gets behind those opposed to it, a red flag goes up. Also, a close friend from college who is to the right of Genghis Khan doesn't support them, and personal experience has told me when he is opposed to something, I generally will be in favor of it. Smile

Best
Rob

I like the Genghis Khan reference Rob, but let's not forget those who are to the left of Stalin and Mao. There are extremists on all sides.

Sure there are people who will oppose Common Core, and people who will accept it based on political ideology alone. But let's not forget the parents that want the best for their children in the classroom. To some it is personal. Teachers give everything to their students, and a great teacher has an everlasting effect on a person. A computer can teach, but it takes a teacher to craft. We cannot dismiss a child's need for creativeness.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PprP5TCZB...detailpage

" Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the American Government take care of him; better take a closer look at the American Indian." - Henry Ford
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12-01-2013, 11:32 AM
Post: #29
RE: My "150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address"
Quote:Sure there are people who will oppose Common Core, and people who will accept it based on political ideology alone. But let's not forget the parents that want the best for their children in the classroom. To some it is personal. Teachers give everything to their students, and a great teacher has an everlasting effect on a person. A computer can teach, but it takes a teacher to craft. We cannot dismiss a child's need for creativeness.

I don't disagree with anything you've said here, Mike.

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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12-01-2013, 11:42 AM
Post: #30
RE: My "150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address"
(12-01-2013 11:14 AM)Rob Wick Wrote:  As a matter of fact, I have. After student teaching American and World History classes for three months, I realized teaching wasn't for me, and never tried to find a job in it. As for the question of politics, it wasn't the left who started complaining about the common core standards, it was the right. That is fact whether you want to believe it or not.

Best
Rob

The conservative right complained because they realized that those standards would not serve the common good. And, like Mike, I did not like No Child Left Behind either.

P.S. I think you made a wise choice, and I commend you for it, in deciding that you were not cut out to be a teacher. We have too many ineffective teachers now because those people did not understand their own weaknesses.
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