Strategies for School Educators and Administrators

FOR ELS

Weekly Focus Word: Students are most challenged by Tier II words, which are those that are nonspecialized academic because they function across all content areas. Providing students with a weekly Tier II focus word helps students work toward grasping words they will encounter throughout their academic careers, e.g. compare, exemplify, therefore, and arguably. 1

Sentence Frameworks: ELs need to be provided with tools to participate and collaborate with peers at all levels of language proficiency, beginning, intermediate, and advanced.

           Example:       Beginning     "I predict that __________ will __________."
                                   Intermediate     "I predict that __________ will ___________."
                                   Advanced     "I predict that __________ will __________ because __________."

FOR DIVERSITY IN THE CURRICULUM

Multiple Viewpoints: Students need to be provided opportunities to encounter curriculum presented from multiple points of view. This practice incorporates using diverse cultural viewpoints.

Social Studies/English Example: Teaching Native American History
  • Teachers distribute short stories of different perspectives of history
  • Students are provided 10 minutes to read on their own
  • Assemble classroom into small groups (2-3 students)
  • Students summarize the information read and present each of their different stories and perspectives at the end of class
  • View points could include: Tribal Elders, Native American Children, Early European Settlers, Children of Settlers, and African Americans (history shows that those who could pass as Native Americans preferred to be perceived as such than to be African American).

Resources:

Math Example: Comparing different methods of learning multiplication.
  • There are Vedic, Egyptian, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, and American methods for multiplying.
  • Students can explore each method, there’s no need to master, and compare and present to their classmates what they learned, liked, and disliked.

TO CREATE A CULTURALLY CONSCIOUS CAMPUS

Community Outreach: Engaging in conversations, building relationships, and getting to understand and connect with families outside of the school environment is a means for educators and administrators to better understand their student population. Constructing moments to learn about one another and sharing experiences further builds a sense of community.

Examples:

·         Neighborhood walks that are student led can help teachers and administrators better understand who their students are and what their lives are like outside of the school day. This practice can also help form better relationships between students, teachers and the community.

·         Club Collaboration: it is not uncommon for student clubs to work in isolation from each other. Encourage clubs at your school to work together on a given project, so that they get to work with people they don’t generally/voluntarily encounter. Clubs can be places for cultural segregation to occur, e.g. the Latin/Spanish Club, Dance Club/Step Club…etc. As an additional means of diverse collaboration, consider pairing with clubs from different schools, as schools in and of themselves are often segregated due to socio-economic status of families. 

·         Mix-It-Up Lunch: encourage students to each lunch with different peer(s) than their usual, as cafeterias are one of the most segregated areas on school campuses.

 

·         Monthly Teacher Lunch Day: encourage a monthly day where teachers and students eat together so that they can interact socially and build a relationship. Do this on a voluntary basis and help teachers consider how to initiate social and appropriate conversation, e.g. Are you going to the basketball game this Friday? How did Debate go this last weekend? Did you decide on a topic for your English paper?

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