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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Back to School- Creating a Culturally Responsive Classroom

With so many ELLs (English Language Learners) in my classroom, it's important for me to create an inviting environment for all of my students and their families, especially those who come from a different cultural background than me. I'm sharing a few tips to help make your classroom welcoming to all students:

Label classroom objects in English/Spanish (or another language spoken by students):
Any classroom item I label in English, I also label in Spanish. It will help my ELLs to learn English, but it can also help my English-speaking students to learn Spanish words.

Decorate your classroom with maps:
Although I don't have a picture of it, you can label all the places on a map that students have traveled, where students were born, or where they have family living.

Display classroom rules/ school values in a variety of ways to reach all students (pictures, English, Spanish, etc.). If you're having trouble developing classroom rules, check out this post for tips.
You can purchase a set of classroom rules in English and Spanish and with picture supports here.

International Cooking:
An easy and fun way to incorporate international learning is through cooking. Students love to cook (and eat!) and it is a great opportunity to teach students important functional skills. Before each cooking lesson, we find the country where the dish is from and label it on our map, which ties in social studies and geography. Sometimes we even look at different pictures of that country and people from the country. We cook an international dish at least once a month. Coming soon: I will post an entire adapted cookbook of international recipes! 

Let me know if you have any tips for creating a culturally responsive classroom!
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