Saturday, August 31, 2019

Edible Self-Portraits

One of our first themes is All About Me and we do self-portraits in a number of different ways. The hands-down favorite of my students is the edible version. :) I use a tortilla with things I can find for them to make hair and eyes, nose, mouth. This year I accidentally left the chocolate chips in the car and they melted (gotta love Texas). But they still were able to be creative and make their faces.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Travel Theme This Year

Heading into Year 18! I decided to do a theme all about travel this year. We haven't had a lot of time to work on our classrooms but I finally have it presentable. :) 

My library.

I know-I don't agree with Data Walls either but it's a requirement. Every time another student can read all their letters or count to 100 we'll add a car.

I think this came out too "busy"but this is my interactive word wall.

My tables and workstation materials.

LOVE this area! Our Makerspace materials and some posters for inspiration.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Books About Accepting Other Cultures

It's just horrifying to watch the news today. People are expressing divisiveness simply about cultural differences. There is rhetoric being expressed every day by our elected officials that is sowing seeds of hate and fear. As an educator, my thought always is how can I combat this in my classroom. I truly believe in having a library where every student can find books with characters that look like themselves, but also that represent all cultures. We do read-alouds about students who learn to value the differences in their friends.

Here are some examples:

Two friends bond over everything except their packed lunches. In the end they try each other's foods and decide it's better to be open-minded. When I read this to my students we try hummus (which many of them have never tried before).

Wonderful story for the first week of school! All about how everyone is different in some way and that is our strength.

Comparing cultures around the world-a great way to compare and contrast. We find so many similarities between what kids and schools across the globe. 

A beautiful story about one woman's journey to our country and her efforts to give her child a better life than she had. She learned English by checking books out of the library!

We don't always like our names, but Alma learns that her name has a long history going back into her family tree.

A book report assignment helps a student learn more about the country she came from.

A great message that everyone needs to hear.

There are a lot of books about social activists and how they made changes. I didn't want to focus on those in this post, however I think this is an amazing story that my students-who are mostly Hispanic can really relate to. Silvia Mendez and her family made the government change the law to end the segregation of Hispanic students in public schools.

I love to help the students see that there are similarities between cultures. We may live in different kinds of homes, but we all have a home where our family lives. This story also exposes students to different countries and what the typical house looks like.

I have a lot of trouble finding stories about Indian characters. This is a story that I even learned from about a celebration in the Indian community.

She goes from house to house and sees the differences in cultures but the fact that everybody does cook rice. Again finding similarities among our differences.

We might not be changing the world but maybe we can be planting the seeds of understanding and open-mindedness. Maybe these students will fight against prejudices and fear of our differences.