Unfortunately, many of the resources surrounding Thanksgiving are from the perspective of the Pilgrims. By celebrating only one holiday that aligns with the dominant group, it perpetuates bias by representing an... Unreality. Each card contains a description of the activity and an example of how to use it in your classroom. This can be done in a multitude of ways such as telling, writing, or recording a personal story, making a video, building a collage, or drawing a picture to name a few. … These more nuanced differences might include how we understand and define concepts like family, responsibility, education, and success. We currently live in a world where our knowledge about other cultures, languages, and traditions is extremely important to foster understanding and mutual respect, and we are now expecting teachers to be our first responders on the front line in this complex task. The first step is recognizing how our own cultural conditioning is reflected in our teaching: how we set up our classroom, establish relationships with students, even how we design and deliver our lessons. It’s almost impossible to ignore that K-12 classrooms in the U.S. are filled with students from increasingly diverse cultural backgrounds: race, nationality, religion, economic, etc. Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically. Classroom environment, Culturally Responsive Classroom Merry Christmas and happy culture-centered holiday season! These hidden aspects of culture can cause misunderstandings and cross-group conflicts; they can impact teacher-student and student-student relationships, and create hard-to-identify barriers to academic content matter. Culturally responsive teaching allows us to tap into the diverse backgrounds, experiences and learning preferences of our students. As I learned from my experience with Lana, discovering our students’ beliefs and customs creates the opportunity for us to celebrate with them in culturally appropriate ways. Along with these we also observe and recognize Martin Luther King Day, St. Patrick's Day, Cinco de Mayo, Kwanzaa, Labor Day, the Jewish holidays, and many others. Culturally Responsive/Relevant Pedagogy. Culturally Responsive Schools: Observing Cultural Holidays at Your School. Challenge everyone to make a recipe and plan a time where everyone can bake together via video so that each student can share their favorite recipe (and their memories) and has the opportunity to experience other families’ recipes and stories that come along with them. Resources: Culturally Responsive Approach to Holidays. Soon, many of the children enrolled in our public schools had come from such faraway places as Italy, Poland, Greece, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, and China. How Are You Approaching Holidays with Sensitivity in the Classroom? Whether nationally recognized or not, holidays and special events offer great opportunities to infuse cultural significance in the classroom. You must have JavaScript enabled to use this form. Homepage illustrations ©2009 by Rafael López originally appeared in "Book Fiesta" by Pat Mora and used with permission from HarperCollins. *chuckle* Maybe that sounds silly, but it is important to think about. Those who study culturally responsive pedagogy acknowledge the work of Lev Vygotsky (1978) who explained that in addition to making meaning, communication also effects the ways in which an individual learns and expresses that learning, as well as how one interprets and analyzes new information and experiences (Gay, 2010; Grant & Sleeter, 2011). Lines and paragraphs break automatically. A medley of approaches can be taken to celebrate holidays; however, rendering a culturally competent and inclusive environment is imperative. In schools, we find many different cultures and religions, all of them observing celebrations with deep meaning for them and their families. Teaching Elementary-Age ELLs the Hidden Curriculum, Migrant Students: What We Need to Know to Help Them Succeed, Getting to Know Your ELLs: Six Steps for Success, A warm welcome for immigrant families in the front office, Professional development activity: Identifying our cultural groups, Supporting ELLs in the Mainstream Classroom: Language Tips, 8 Strategies for Building Relationships with ELLs in Any Learning Environment, Language Objectives: The Key to Effective Content Area Instruction for English Learners, Essential Actions: 15 Research-based Practices to Increase ELL Student Achievement, Culturally Responsive Instruction for Holiday and Religious Celebrations. Here are 25 culturally responsive teaching activity cards that will help you engage and involve all students in your classroom. Topic summary Culturally responsive pedagogy can validate children’s cultural identities and enable them to access and engage with the cultural practices of their homes and communities. Hightlight Holidays and Special Events That Appeal to All Learners The second way teachers can build a culturally responsive classroom is to highlight holidays and special events consistently. Another approach is to ask questions that may tend to elicit responses that reflect cultural beliefs and attitudes. This is a great follow-up post to my post about teaching religion in schools. Sponsor study about religion, not the practice of religion. For some, it will trigger sugarplum-coated childhood Christmas memories; for others, it will trigger a feeling of exclusion. 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