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Posted on November 25, 2012 4:29 am
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Yasar Bodur
Yasar Bodur
Reps: 614
Food and Holidays
My school principal told all the teachers at my school at the beginning of the school year that because of the recent changes in the demographics of the school, we had to develop and implement lessons that were Culturally Responsive. I had heard of the term “Culturally Responsive”, but I am not the most knowledgeable person about it. So, I did lessons on holidays and traditions in different cultures. I had some lessons on food favored by different cultures. When appropriate, I brought guest speakers to my classroom. The other day I was having a casual conversation with the school principal and she asked me about how the culturally responsive teaching was going. I told her about the things I have done. She said I got it all wrong. I was shocked and hurt by her comment. How am I going to develop and implement culturally responsive lessons? I really do not know. What is wrong with my holidays, traditions, and foods? I thought I was doing a great job. By the way, I teach 4th grade and I have mostly Black and Hispanic children.
 
     
     
 
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Solution 1
Posted December 7, 2012 8:38 pm

Art Buff
Art Buff
Reps: 111
Your intentions were good but you were just a little off the mark. Teaching students about the holidays and food preferences of other cultures is nice but it is not the real point of cultural responsiveness. Teaching different cultures that are represented in your school and more specifically your classroom is the main point. To open you should brake down some predominant cultures in your school. Teach them about one another. Don't forget about your minority cultures within the classes. Minorities are a very important part of American society and history. My African-Americans have made significant contributions not only in civil rights but in science, medicine and literature. It does take some extra effort to snoop around and find important and interesting cultural topics relative to your classes but it is always worth it when you find something that really engages the students.
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Solution 2
Posted February 11, 2013 2:09 pm

Mallory Stewart
Mallory Stewart
Reps: 26
I think this is a great way to get the students interactive and familiar with other traditions and cultures. However, maybe you should start with there own cultures and build on that. Have them do a presentation or bring something in that is a tradition in their family or represent their own cultures. Then as each student presents their culture projects the other students will learn about diversity. This is their way of exploring and putting building blocks together to figure out their heritage and their culture differences.
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Solution 3
Posted December 7, 2012 4:43 pm

Laine Vilardi
Laine Vilardi
Reps: 119
I think you did a great job. I don't think you did it all wrong, but perhaps you could have added to what you were already doing. What about having students who have a different cultural background in your class do a fun presentation of their culture and what they do during the holiday time? That way students are getting involved, and they are taking part in educating others about different cultures. You could also have students pick a country they want to research to find out what they do to celebrate the holidays. Then they can do a presentation and learn something new about 20+ different cultures!
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apened
apened
Reps: 100
If I were in this situation, I would exactly do this because that gives students a hands on approach to learning cultures that differ.
  Posted on: October 19, 2014 9:21 pm

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Solution 4
Posted December 5, 2012 8:10 pm

Ashley Williams
Ashley Williams
Reps: 118
As I was reading this I imagined culturally responsive teaching being exactly what you were doing. However, when I researched culturally responsive it was more than making sure the students were exposed to different lessons about cultures. Culturally responsive teaching is more about including all of the students in each lesson. Inclusion is important. Group projects that allow all students to interact and participate ensures that each student can make decisions based on their own experiences, values, etc. and at the same time learn from each other in the process. So while you were doing well talking about the different cultures the students should be more active in the lessons. I think that by talking about one culture at a time and leaving another culture out doesn't really make it culturally responsive. Attempt comparing and contrasting the different cultures so that everyone can participate at the same time.
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uJabaz
uJabaz
Reps: 100
Exposing children to different cultures is very important. He got it halfway right but he needed to focus more on factual information for the children.
  Posted on: February 26, 2015 6:13 pm

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Solution 5
Posted December 4, 2012 11:29 am

Jessica DeLaigle
Jessica DeLaigle
Reps: 110
I believe as a teacher, I would have been doing the same thing you are. You were introducing your class to things that were culturally responsive. You were teaching them about things they might not have known about. You even brought in people from the community to help it be more real to your students instead of abtract learning. If she didn't like what you were doing, she needs to sit down with you in a professional setting, not in a casual conversation. I would have invited her to your classroom to show her what you were teaching instead of just letting her base her decision and opinion off of what you were saying, let her SEE what you are teaching and what your children are learning. With that being said, I would have then asked her what she was expecting from you and what you could do to improve and teach more of what she was wanting. Also, speak with your co-teachers, I'm sure they feel the same way or have been doing the same thing. Ask them what they are doing and maybe you could work together to come up with a great curriculum for our young ones.
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Solution 6
Posted December 7, 2012 10:31 pm

Kristine Morris
Kristine Morris
Reps: 153
What I have been told is to allow students to research in real-world context. Students need to be able to experience what they are surrounded by. You can incorporate what foods and holidays they experience; however, allow them to discover it on their own. Allow them to create a presentation by picking a culture that they would like to learn about and provide opportunities to bring in items to share, which may include: food, holidays ideas, clothing, and other stuff.
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Solution 7
Posted December 8, 2012 9:08 pm

John Buxton
John Buxton
Reps: 114
I would focus more on the children's own experiences than on facts about other cultures. For example, I would allow each student to share some of there own holiday traditions with the class. Then I would base my lessons on what each student shared. When teaching young children about culture, the goal is to enrich their lives by it, not simply educate them on it.
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Solution 8
Posted November 29, 2012 10:09 pm

Jessica Oglesby
Jessica Oglesby
Reps: 110
Oh no, it sounds like you were trying really hard. I believe that maybe you were researching different cultures, but just not the right ones. I think you need to do some research within your own school and find out exactly who the students at your school are. I think your principal's term "culturally responsive" means being aware of the diversity of cultures that exists within your school. As a teacher I would conduct surveys and interest inventories, find out what your students like and what their traditions are. I would adapt my classroom to meet the needs of my individual students. I would allow students to share their information about their culture and ethnicity by presenting projects or writing essays. I would also invite parents to get involved at school and within my classroom. Responding to your students and their needs is what "culturally responsive" means to me.
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Solution 9
Posted December 7, 2012 10:43 am

Sarah Hogan Johnson
Sarah Hogan Johnson
Reps: 163
It sounds like you have put a lot of effort into teaching holidays, traditions, and foods. If your principal is unhappy, I would request a meeting with her. I would ask her to explain what she means by "Culturally Responsive" lessons and see if she has any ideas on how you could better implement this into your classroom. I would also talk to other teachers and share ideas. Maybe she means that she wants you to implement Culturally responsive material into your usual lessons. I would try to make connections from your current curriculum to the cultures in your school. For example, if you are doing a lesson on American Folktales, you could incorporate folktales from other cultures and discuss the similarities and differences with your students. You can discuss how different folktales helped to shape different cultures. I think it would help to focus on the cultures represented in your school but I wouldn't only relate material to those specific cultures. I think it is important for students to learn about a variety of cultures even if they aren't necessarily represented in their immediate environment.
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Solution 10
Posted December 8, 2012 9:47 am

Ariane Anderson
Ariane Anderson
Reps: 114
Instead of using your holidays, traditions, and foods you should use the students, traditions, and foods. It is important for the students to express their family holidays, traditions, and food. Have each student to bring a dish from how that they eat for the holidays. Or have the students to write a paper about their family traditions.
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ezaDyR
ezaDyR
Reps: 100
I like that idea, it is a little more personable for the students too, they can share some fun traditions in their family and they can also share a delicious plate that is a regular food in their home.
  Posted on: October 19, 2014 12:32 pm

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Solution 11
Posted December 9, 2012 10:46 am

Suzi Hancock
Suzi Hancock
Reps: 134
I like what you've done. I think that you can honestly say that you gave it your best effort, and if your principal doesn't like what you've done, ask what needs to change. You may not have done what she envisioned, but you have introduced a culturally responsive outlook on the holidays. Don't give up! Find a happy medium with the principal. I'm sure the students will remember what you've taught. I remember a luau that my fourth grade teacher threw for my class. While all of the other classes simply had a party with leis and pineapples, we researched Hawaiian culture and presented it to each other at the party. To this day, I remember things I learned at that party whenever I see Hawaiian Sweet Rolls at the grocery store.
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Solution 12
Posted February 15, 2013 10:30 am

Lauren Turner
Lauren Turner
Reps: 26
It sounds like you did a great job of planning for the traditions and holidays. If I was in your class, I think I would have really enjoyed these lessons. But I think the principal was referring to teacher the demographics of your school. She wants you to do research about the student in your class and school and accommodate them but bringing lessons from their culture. Students like it a lot more when they can relate to your lesson culturally. It holds their attention and they feel a special bond. So the holidays and traditions of cultures are great too, I would still try to have those but also be mindful to use the culture in your classroom in your lessons as well. An example might be when you are doing vocabulary with the students, post the words in english and spanish as well.
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Solution 13
Posted November 30, 2012 8:56 pm

Selena W Farmer
Selena W Farmer
Reps: 121
I disagree with the principal and would try to respectfully dispute her comment and try to explain your perspective about why you took the approach you took. In discussing the traditions of various cultures, I would definitely begin with the cultures present within the school, especially within the classroom. But I also agree with your approach and discussing other cultures that may have not been represented. Though it is very important to recognize and try our best to understand the cultures we go to school and later work with, it is also important (I believe) to be as culturally educated as we can. Living in America, and as students progress throughout school and then life, they will come into contact with people from various cultural backgrounds other than those who they are in class with right now.
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Solution 14
Posted December 6, 2012 7:38 pm

Jessica Jacobs Graham
Jessica Jacobs Graham
Reps: 116
It sounds like your principal needs to implement more teacher training to explain exactly what she meant by "Culturally Responsive" lessons. I think that it is commendable that you have made an effort to try and bring new cultures into your classroom. However, I believe that the direction that your Principal wanted you to take is more geared specifically toward your students. Look at the specific students that you teach. How do their specific cultures affect the way that they learn or "see" things in your classroom. Then, adapt your lessons so that your students will use these "presets" of their culture to respond in such a way that will allow them optimum learning.
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Solution 15
Posted December 8, 2012 3:32 pm

Anna Washinger
Anna Washinger
Reps: 121
I think you were doing a good job of implementing Culturally Responsive lessons. If I were you, I would have probably done the same thing. Maybe if you were to invite the principal to your classroom and let her see the actual lesson and listen to the speakers, she would see the students enjoying it and how they were becoming more culturally aware. Also, you could have the students get in groups and do a project or a poster on some of the foods, cultures, and people they had learned about throughout these lessons. They could then display them in the classroom or the halls and your principal could see how much they have learned by your method of teaching Culturally Responsive lessons.
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Solution 16
Posted December 9, 2012 4:45 pm

sierra h
sierra h
Reps: 47
I feel like you really dedicated your self to being culturally responsible. i think your ideas and work ethic are spot on my only answer could be that your principals expectations are for you to be aware that your students have different cultural holidays perhaps thats all you need to do.Sorry i couldn't be more helpful i think you have done the right thing here.
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Solution 17
Posted December 9, 2012 8:00 pm

Linda Swinson
Linda Swinson
Reps: 107
If I was in that discussion and didn't understand, I have learned that you should ask about things first hand because your interpetation may be different from others. Maybe talking to the principal would have save this stress.
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