President Barack Obama’s address today to the nation’s school children will be recorded by Harford County Public Schools and then delivered to each school “for appropriate instructional use”. Teachers will decide whether and how the speech will be presented to their students, according to a message on the school system’s website dated yesterday (Labor Day – September 7).
A message sent out by HCPS at just after 10 a.m. Tuesday indicated the school system “will provide its students the opportunity to view President Barack Obama’s address by the end of the school day, Thursday, September 10.”
Questions about the president’s speech and the accompanying classroom activities planned by the U.S. Department of Education prompted HCPS to announce late last week that the speech would not be aired live. School officials cited internal instructional guidelines preventing the streaming of live broadcasts, but left open the possibility that the address would be shown at a later date.
According to the messages from HCPS, parents will be given advanced notice if the speech is to be used in their child’s classroom, including information about related classroom activities. Teachers will prepare these activities after previewing the speech and reviewing the suggested lessons from the federal education department.
Parents will also be able to opt their children out entirely and “other appropriate supervised activities will be provided”.
Here’s the full text of Tuesday morning’s statement from HCPS:
Presidential Address Update – September 8, 2009
Harford County Public Schools will provide it’s students the opportunity to view President Barack Obama’s address by the end of the school day, Thursday, September 10. Schools will make use of materials from both Harford County Public Schools and the U.S. Department of Education to conduct conversations of an instructional and motivational nature regarding the address.
The links to the transcript of the speech are provided below for parents to review.
Any parent/guardian may choose to opt his/her child out of viewing the Presidential address by sending a note to school. Other appropriate activities will be provided.
Here is the text from Monday’s HCPS message:
Presidential Address Update 9-7-09
As previously noted, Harford County Public Schools will record President Barack Obama’s national address to students, which will be broadcast live on the White House website, as well as C-SPAN, at noon, Tuesday, September 8. A copy of the address will be delivered to each school for appropriate instructional use.
We recognize the significance and importance of the President’s address to students. The decision is based on allowing teachers ample time to prepare meaningful follow-up viewing and discussion activities by first having the opportunity to preview the address and suggested activities for pre-viewing, viewing, and post-viewing. This will provide teachers the opportunity to make the most informed and appropriate decisions regarding how to use the address in their classrooms.
Fortunately, the President’s message to the students of taking responsibility for their education, challenging them to set goals, and doing everything they can to succeed, is a timeless one. As such, we believe that this message will be better transmitted via a well-planned lesson rather than seeing it specifically on September 8th.
Teachers who will use the address in their classrooms will provide notice to parents which will include the nature of the lesson plan. Any parent/guardian may choose to opt his/her child out of viewing the Presidential address. Other appropriate supervised activities will be provided.
Should you choose to view the address, we have provided the link to the White house website below for parents, students, and others to access the Presidential address at home.
Here aret the internal instructional guidelines HCPS cited as preventing the streaming of live broadcasts:
Scaffolding: Viewing Video in a PreK-12 Classroom
Scaffolding is a temporary and adjustable structure that allows the accomplishment of a task that would be impossible without the scaffold’s support and framework. It allows students to access information and achieve proficiency in specific content and skills utilizing videos in the classroom.
There are two phases of scaffolding:
1. Planning and Preparation: In this phase, the teacher must address specific questions and considerations. These are:
a. Is this an approved video for use in the classroom?
b. Why is showing a video clip the preferred medium for conveying this content?
c. What is the objective for showing this video?
d. How will this experience enhance and develop student proficiency in the standards?
e. How much of the video needs to be shown to achieve the above goals?
f. What pre-viewing, during viewing, and post-viewing activities will accompany the use of a video selection?
In the planning for using a video, it is imperative that the teacher views the selected segments prior to showing them to students.
Depending on the length, content, vocabulary, and depth of information covered by a given video segment, more or less scaffolding may be necessary.
2. Implementation: The actual implementation of a video segment requires 3 steps.
a. Pre-viewing activities prepare students for the video segment that they will view. These activities 1) provide motivation for viewing a video segment; 2) review and access prior knowledge that will place the information from the video into context; and 3) preteach aspects of the selection that students may be unfamiliar with.
b. During viewing activities transform the student from a passive observer to an active processor of information. These types of activities include strategies for acquiring, processing, and retaining the information from the video segment. During viewing activities in corporates the viewing of the video segment once without any organizer, and a second time with some data collection organizer.
c. Post-viewing activities debrief the students on the information presented to them in the video segment. The synthesis and evaluation of information, along with the reteaching of key concepts occurs in these structured activities. Assessment activities are embedded. Post-viewing activities incorporate a textual or pictorial reference in which to link the video.
Components of the Scaffolded Video Experience
Motivation: Activities that motivate provide students with a reason to be interested in the video segment. They can help connect the video segment to the lives and interests of students.
Establish Setting: The time, location, culture, and environment of the video should be established before viewing the movie.
Building Content Specific Knowledge: These activities introduce students to the significance of the film as it directly correlates to a given unit of study.
Preteaching Vocabulary: Introduces and highlights specific vocabulary that may arise during the video.
Preteaching Concepts: The presentation of major concepts in the video may need to be introduced or reviewed.
Relating Prior Knowledge: Activities such as these link the film to the unit of study.
Prequestioning: Models and reviews suggested strategies for viewing and learning from the video segment.
Prediction/Brainstorming: Allows for introductory activities that ‘set the stage’ for showing a video clip. These activities also provide connection to post-viewing activities.
During Viewing Activities: (One observed viewing, One active viewing)
Post-Viewing Activities: (Linked to another source)
– Questioning: Questions that review specific information from the video segment.
– Writing Assignments: Brief and Extended writing responses, journal entries, speeches, news articles, etc.
– Dramatic Interpretation
– Artistic, Graphic, and Nonverbal Activities: Posters, displays, museum style backboards, illustrations, etc.
– Application and Outreach Activities
– Reteaching of Concepts