REACH Culturally Responsive Teaching Letter to the Fourth Grade Team Dear Teachers As part of the district‟s efforts to educ by ekf65123

VIEWS: 277 PAGES: 12

More Info
									                            REACH: Culturally Responsive Teaching
                               Letter to the Fourth Grade Team

Dear Teachers,

As part of the district‟s efforts to educate and support culturally responsive teaching, the
following guidelines, templates, and ideas have been compiled to help guide you in this journey.
The ideas attached are to be used to support your teaching and give you guidance in the seven
principles of Culturally Responsive Teaching. Please add to, edit, and revise as you feel
necessary to ensure the needs of all your students are being met. All documents are “working”
documents, which mean they are to be changed and shared as new information and successes are
shared to all!

Principles that are not tied directly to curriculum are addressed as well. You will find ideas and
resources that you can incorporate into your daily teaching that help establish community and
classroom norms. These principles are necessary and vital in providing each student a safe
learning environment where they are encouraged and supported to take the educational risks
needed to become successful life-long learners.

We thank you for all you do for the students in the district and encourage feedback and ideas that
can be shared throughout the district in the spirit of reaching every child and helping them reach
their full potential, hopes and goals.


4th Grade CRT
Traci Frank
Michelle Shula

4th Grade
                        Principle 2: Teachers are Personally Inviting

Principle 2: Teachers are Personally Inviting can start before the school year begins and needs
to be nurtured and fostered each day. Take the time to set up the first six weeks of school will
incorporate several principles that will build upon each other. The ideas below are ways in which
the teacher can continually exhibit Principle #2.

   o   Call families to welcome them to your classroom before the first day of school.

   o   Send postcards to families welcoming them and letting them know you are looking
       forward to seeing them during Open House, etc.

   o   Ask students what name they want to be called by and honor that. (example: Christopher
       wants to be a Christopher not a Chris).

   o   Memorize your student‟s names as soon as possible.

   o   Greet your students by name every morning with a handshake when they enter your
       classroom and give them a high-five or handshake at the end of every day to add closure.

   o   Send home parent and student survey‟s at the beginning of the year asking for additional
       information that might be helpful.

   o   Language!! Remember “how” we say things are sometimes more important that “what”
       we say. A great resource is the book, “The Power of Words”. (refer to reference section)

   o   Attend student events such as ball games, etc. when at all possible.

   o   Send home “thank you” or “You Were Caught” postcards to students highlighting their
       achievements. Acknowledging the positives!

   o   Be a role model. Share part of your life with your students. Dress in your favorite outfit,
       share your own culture, and be involved in the school community.

   o   Participate in Morning Meetings. This concept is explained in more detail under Principle
       3: Learning Environments

4th Grade
             Principle 3: Learning environments are physically and culturally inviting.

Principle 3: Learning environments are physically and culturally inviting begins with how you
arrange your classroom. Some examples include:

o   Display student work throughout the classroom, including work in progress.

o   Have posters that highlight heroes of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

o   Allow for various seating arrangements that allow for group and individual work.

o   Allow students to choose spaces within the classroom to work that help them focus on the

o   Include sharing, whether themed or free, for students to share about their lives.

o   Invite family members and guests to come volunteer or share their special talent, etc.

o   Participate in Morning Meetings. Morning Meeting is where all the students sit in a circle on
    the floor or in chairs each morning. They learn how to greet each other, share, read the
    morning message, and participate in an activity that fosters teamwork and cooperation. A
    great resource is The Morning Meeting Book by Roxann Kriete, 2002, NEFC Responsive
o   Attached you will find PDF files for Morning Meeting activities and greetings that foster a
    physical and culturally inviting environment.

4th Grade
Social Studies – September

Resource: Personality cube

Theme: Getting to Know You/Learning about your own community

Students will create a personality cube detailing their personality through various symbols
including: Full Name, Animal, Season, Sport, Word, Character Trait. Once finished, the students
will share their cubes to the class and the cubes will be on display throughout the month.
Complete directions and template are attached. Cube template can be found at Enlarge as desired.

CRT Principle (s): 1, 2, 5, 7

Social Studies: October

Resource: Discovering Washington Text Book

Theme: Map skills. Sharing personal connection to their culture and heritage.


After reading Chapter 1 in Discovering Washington, students will interview their family about
their cultural history and where their family originates .Students will choose a country where
they have cultural ties to and create a map to share with the classroom.

Students will use large white construction paper to draw longitude and latitude lines that
accurately represent where their country is located. They will draw their country appropriately
between the correct coordinates. Students will appropriately label a compass rose on their map
and identify the capitol, major cities, and share an interesting fact of their choice about their
country. Students will share supplies. Projects will be on display throughout the room with a
picture of the student next to the map. (Integrates math & art).

CRT Principle (s): 1, 3, 4, 5, 7

4th Grade
Social Studies: November

Resource: Personal Timeline Activity

Theme: Sharing personal connection to their culture and heritage, creating a timeline of their
personal importance to the world around them.


Students will build upon their information from their map and create a personal cultural timeline.
Students will interview their family asking for five family facts or important events that are
responsible for shaping their current family dynamics. (ex. Grandfather came across on the
Mayflower). These five events occurred before the student was born. The student then creates a
timeline beginning with the above facts and adds 15-20 events that have been significant to the
student since their birth to present day. The timelines will be on display and will culminate with
a family cultural feast before Thanksgiving for students to share. This activity will give students
experience in creating timelines that the will revisit as part of the Social Studies EALRs

CRT Principle(s): 1, 3, 4, 5, 7


Social Studies: December

Resource: Discovering Washington Text Book/REACH SEED Curriculum Grade 4 (The Great
Trade Fair & Feast)

Theme: Studying Washington‟s History

Activities/Strategies: Chapters 2& 3 and 16-20 in Discovering Washington/REACH Lesson
One: Looking at the Environment of Your Region.

Students will read Chapter 2 & 3 and then read Chapters 16-20 in Discovering Washington to
dive deeper into the five regions of Washington State. After reading and discussing the chapters,
student will identify similarities and differences between regions and understand how people are
influenced by their environment.

Complete activity Lessons 1-3 from the REACH SEED curriculum Grade 4 (The Great Trade
Fair & Feast).

CRT Principle (s): 3, 4, 5, 7

4th Grade
Social Studies: January & February
(Due to the multiple chapters dealing with the coastal people, the plateau people, explorers, and
trade allow for two months for this “unit”.

Resource: Discovering Washington Text Book/REACH SEED Curriculum Grade 4 (The Great
Trade Fair & Feast)

Theme: Studying Washington‟s History

Activities/Strategies: Chapters 4-7

Using the SEED curriculum in conjunction with Chapters 4-7 in Discovering Washington,
students will understand how people of different geographical regions adapted to their
environment and compare the adaptations of various American Indian groups to diverse
geographical locations. They will also learn about trade routes and explorers who were vital to
the creation of the Pacific Northwest and understand the significance of trade and the global
market. Students will create a puppet show, cultural mobile of the plateau and coastal Native
Americans and participate in a trade fair.

Since the students have already participated in a cultural feast, feel free to focus on the trade
activities and skip the feast. The students will be able to have a “market” trade as a culminating
activity working in groups. Peruse the REACH SEED curriculum lessons and focus on the
lessons that are specific to your classroom needs.

CRT Principle(s): 3, 4, 5, 7

Social Studies: March

Resource: Discovering Washington Text Book

Theme: Studying Washington‟s History/Across the Oregon Trail

Activities/Strategies: Chapters 8-9

Students will read and learn about the journey on the Oregon Trail focusing on hardships and
sacrifices taken by the early pioneers. After reading the two chapters, students will complete
journal entries from the perspective of a pioneer child and a Native American Leader.

Guided questions can include such prompts as, “You have just found out that you must leave
your home and travel to a new land. What items would you take and why? These items need to
be „necessities‟ not „wants‟.” “Pretend you are a Native American leader when pioneers started
coming in large numbers. How would you recommend your tribe act toward settlers? Make up a
speech to give your opinion.” Compare and contrast the day of a pioneer child to a day in
modern times. What are some similarities and differences?

CRT Principle (s): 1, 3, 4, 5, 7

4th Grade
Social Studies: April

Resource Title: Discovering Washington Text Book

Theme: Washington Becomes a State

Activities/Strategies: Chapters 11

Students will read and discuss chapter 11 focusing on the immigrants that came to Washington.
Students will list at least ten nations or ethnic groups from which people came to Washington
and give at least one reason why the people came here. Using a world map, mark where the
immigrants originated from to provide a visual of a global state.

Writing Activity: Have students imagine that they are moving to a foreign county. What problem
might they face? How might they solve these problems? Invite students who have traveled to
share their experiences about moving.

CRT Principle (s): 1, 3, 4, 5, 7

Social Studies: May

Resource: Discovering Washington Text Book

Theme: Washington: WWII, Civil Rights, World‟s Fair, Economy

Activities/Strategies Chapters 13

Students will read and discuss chapters 13 discussing Washington‟s role in WWII (including
how the Puyallup Fair grounds was used as a Japanese internment camp) and how various
cultures helped Washington State be economically stable.

Students will explain the impact on WWII on Japanese Americans, and list at least five
contributions of Washington citizens to the war effort.

Students will work cooperatively creating a business that they would like to open in Washington
taking into account the regions, climate, cultures, and previous learning from the year, to create a
business plan. Contact BECU and they will provide a free economics lesson that focuses on
wants vs. needs.

CRT Principle(s): 1, 3, 4, 5, 7

4th Grade
Social Studies: June

Resource: End of the year reflection - The Last Six Weeks.

Theme: Reflecting on the Year acknowledging their personal gains and challenges.

Activities/Strategies: Create an end of the year reflection book celebrating their individual

Students will spend the month of June reflecting on their year of learning. Students will create a
reflection book detailing their learning, including their successes, goals, and challenges. Students
will create a page from each subject stating what they feel was their most important learning and
then they will reflect on each subject detailing their successes and continued challenges. Students
will list at least three positive gains in each subject and one „wish‟ or area to continue to work

The following ideas were taken directly from

Closure activities help wrap up the year on a positive note and provide children with many

      A sense of accomplishment and pride in themselves, their class, and their school.
      A sense of belonging and an affirmation of their significance within the group.
      An opportunity to reflect upon their own learning process and to know themselves as
       learners: Here is where I (or we) began and here is where I (or we) have gotten to. This
       was easy for me to do; that was hard for me to do. This is enjoyable work for me; that is
       work I do not really like.
      A sense of satisfaction from having worked hard to learn something; a recognition that
       hard work can be a positive experience.
      A recognition of the fun and excitement that are part of learning.
      A feeling of ownership of individual and group learning, which leads to a sense of
      An opportunity to think about next year‟s work—to set goals as a reflective learner.

CRT Principle (s): 1, 2, 5, 6

4th Grade
                    Personality Cube
   To get to know you better, please follow the directions
        below to make your own personality cube!

                 DISPLAY IN THE HALLWAY.

1. Use colored pencils or markers to complete each of the six sides of this paper
   cube. Use the entire space of each square.

2. On the top, write your FULL name in a decorative fashion.

3. On one side, draw an ANIMAL that best represents your personality. (This is
   not necessarily your favorite animal.)

4. On one side, draw the SEASON that best represents your personality.

5. On one side, draw the SPORT that best represents your personality.

6. On one side, write and decorate a WORD that best describes your personality.

7. On one side, write the CHARACTER TRAIT that best describes your

8. Carefully cut out the cube on the solid lines and fold it precisely on the dashed

9. Glue or tape your cube into a 3-D Box.

10. You will share your cube with the class, explaining your cube and the
    reasoning behind the choices you made that highlight your personality.

            Due Date: __________________ _________

4th Grade
Cube Template found at

4th Grade

Creating Culturally Responsive Classrooms, Shade, Kelly, Oberg A.P.A. 1997
Compiled by: N. Harper, C. Kelly, B. Owens 2003

Bright Ribbons, Lotus Linton Howard, PhD

The First 6-Weeks of School, Paula Denton, Roxann Kriete, 2000 NEFC

Learning Through Academic Choice, Paula Denton, 2005, NEFC

The Power of Words: Teacher Language that helps Students Learn, Paula Denton, 2007 NEFC

The Morning Meeting Book, Roxann Kriete, 2002, NEFC

Classroom Spaces that Work, Marlynn K. Clayton and Mary Beth Forton, 2001, NEFC

Rules in Schools, Kathryn Brady, Mary beth Forton, Deborah Porter, Chip Wood, 2003, NEFC

A Framework for Understanding Poverty, Ruby K. Payne, 1996, Aha! Process, Inc

Discovering Washington, Ruth Pelz, 1992, Gibbs Smith

4th Grade
4th Grade

To top