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Obama, Biden launch initiative for military kids

By Stacy A. Anderson

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 3 2012 10:30 a.m. MDT

Robert Morris University, located in Moon Township, Pa., near Pittsburgh, serves a large community of the military children with the nearby Air Force Reserve base. All education majors at Robert Morris attend weekly seminars to discuss the challenges of student teaching with their school faculty. Starting this semester, one of the sessions will be devoted to discussing the needs of children with parents in the military who are deployed, state-side or veterans.

Rafoth, who will lead the session, said the constant moving can cause "holes in instruction," rather than cognitive issues for the student.

"This especially happens with math instruction because math curricula vary place to place, and it's possible you can go around and never get fractions because those are taught in a discrete place in the curriculum," she said. "Then, boy, are you up a creek when you meet algebra."

Almost 10 percent of the 24,000 students at Kansas State University are military-connected since there are three military bases in the state.

The university's College of Education will hold a special session on the needs of the military-connected families at its educational symposium, an annual career day for about 500 students. The school also will incorporate information about military children into a required teaching course, Core Teaching Skills, about effective teaching and learning.

Debbie Mercer, the college's dean, said military children deal with anxiety and fear of the unknown. Those issues can manifest in the classroom with a student becoming withdrawn or acting out, she said.

"Being able to reach that child where they are, help figure out exactly what is going on and then come up with a plan for that child is important," she said.

Mercer said these students need more focused-teaching techniques, such as one-on-one attention from the teacher and lessons with physical activity for a child that is acting out, or more collaborative learning situations for a child who is reserved.

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