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From:  Lorraine Crespin
Date:  Mon Sep 4, 2000  7:54 pm
Subject:  Re: Pledge Alligiance in SW

Wow, lots of conversation about the pledge of alligiance.
When I yaught younger children in past years i did not bother to teach them
the pledge of allegiance. Why? Because it is such an abstract concept for the
young ones and really requires the teaching of what it means. I basically
decided to let the teachers of the older classes deal with it. But about two
years ago either the Board of Education or the State Dept. decided it was now
manditory for all students, in all classes, to recite the pledge. It is part
of the school's morning announcements and done over the school's loud
Well, when I returned from a year's absence I was teaching a 4th/5th grade
class. The teacher before me had taught the pledge in English Sign. I myself
do not sign the pledge in English but rather in ASL. The students signed it
how they chose to. and I agree with Nancy, that the majority of students do
not understand it. There are many underlying concepts and signs used that the
students do not have an understanding of. Also some of them did not even know
what the United States of America was and so there was lots to teach and
learn. If I think back to my own childhood, I can recall reciting the pledge
daily by rote, without much meaning. However as I learned more of the
nation's history and through personal life experiences the pledge became
understandable and more meaningful. I would think (perhaps I am assuming so)
that this is true for most people and we each as individuals decide on our on
personal belief about it.
But now, getting back to the children. This year I am again working with 5-6
year olds in a public school. Each morning we are expected to sign the
pledge. So, I am in the process of teaching that, in ASL. I will also teach
what I think is appropriate for their age, in helping them understand what we
are doing.
Well, that's just my point of view.

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