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ayoung06's picture

Focusing in on Identity: A Lesson Plan

jayah's picture

Inquiry Project- Creating a Curriculum


This curriculum is designed for a pre-kindergarten classroom (ages 3-5 years old) with a student population of 23 students. A bilingual literacy curriculum will be designed for immigrants or children of immigrants from Mexico. The students speak predominately Spanish. The parents of these students speak very little English, so the students cannot use their parents as a resource to learn English. The class meets five times per week for five hours. This is the second semester of the school year. By the time the students’ progress to kindergarten, the students will be expected to understand English because in kindergarten, only English will be spoken. In this curriculum, in addition to learning the basics of reading and math, there will be activities that will incorporate two main goals: To have the students understand English without losing their identity and to incorporate culture into the student’s learning.

            In semester one, the teacher spoke both English and Spanish. However, in this semester, there will be a bigger focus on English, since this is the only language that will be spoken in kindergarten.  The average length of a school year is 180 days, so these three units will take place for 30 days during the semester two.



- Learn the letters of the alphabet

- Begin to recognize their sounds

laik012's picture

Guidelines For Gay And Lesbian "Symptoms"

LGBTQ has always been a topic to be avoided and not discussed open publicly from where I'm from. Unfortunately, homophobia and just the idea of it scares many Malaysians away. This is because homosexuals engaging in sex are considered illegal in Malaysia and they continuously face discrimination from government policies such as a law that makes sodomy punishable by 20 years in prison. Just recently in the news, sixty-six Muslim schoolboys in Malaysia identified by teachers as effeminate have been sent to a special camp for counselling on masculine behaviour. As I read Blackburn’s Homophobia in Schools and What Literacy Can Do About It, I try to think of the reasons to promote how schools in Malaysia would be open to discuss about this topic. Could it be part of the core-curriculum of the national exam? If so, who would teach it? Perhaps the biggest obstacle for me is to convince parents. Just to demonstrate how the society views homosexual couples. In an article published in the news two years ago, the Malaysia's Education Ministry has "endorsed guidlines" to help parents identify gay and lesbian "symptoms" in their children. The following are the list of “symptoms” that were listed. From reading this statement alone, I am embarrassed and disgusted by my government’s actions. I can’t think of possible solutions to this especially since homosexuals are being punished legally in law. What would be the first step to tackle this subject and connect it to high school education?


Symptoms of gays:

jayah's picture

How to incorporate LGBTQ-themed books into the classroom?

As I read Blackburn’s reading, I couldn’t help but think: What if LGBTQ themed books were incorporated in every school’s curriculum. How would the school environment change? Would it be a positive or a negative change? I know that this depends on the school, but I was thinking about it in terms of my high school. One of the students spoke about how her middle school teachers forbid LGBTQ, but it is more accepted in high schools. I agree. I believe that it more common that GSA would be in high schools rather than a middle school, but then again, that’s where the limit is drawn. I tried to think of books that I read in high school that included characters from the LGBTQ community, but I could not think of any.

jayah's picture

Thoughts on Delpit

In the beginning of her writing, Delpit talks about how teachers touch students in various ways. Teachers impact the students in ways that they do not even realize. This is the reason that there needs to be teachers present in schools who genuinely care about students and are willing to push students, demanding them to learn.  Students from “disadvantaged backgrounds” particularly, rely on teachers to academically support them because students, often time, do not get this support from home. This whole idea makes me think in depth about my placement. There are specific students who have IEPs and are separated from the rest of the class. While the majority of the class sits on the floor in a circle to listen to stories, these students with IEP have to sit in a chair. In addition, when there is an activity that occurs, like drawing an animal, the teacher pushed some kids to do better, but not the students with an IEP. When one little boy did not draw the animal to her liking the teacher explicitly stated, “He can do better, so I will not accept anything less of him.” But when a student with an IEP drew an animal she stated, “I don’t expect much from him.” When a teacher has low expectations for a student and allows for mediocrity, this goes against Delpit’s idea of pushing students and demanding success. I can’t help but to question how these students with IEP’s will succeed. One, they have an IEP. Two, they are expected to only speak and learn in English in the kindergarten, but only speak and, for the most part, only understand Spanish.

jayah's picture

Placement Story & Implications

I am placed in a preschool for bilingual students. The parents of these students speak mainly Spanish, and very few speak English. The teacher is supposed to be teaching these students English, but seems to speak more Spanish than English. She even speaks to me in Spanish! Although this itself is an implication, I am not going to focus on this. I just wanted to give some context of my placement. I am going to focus one student who is three years old.

            This little boy, KJ, is a very bright three-year old. He can do everything that the other students in the class can do; however, the teacher does not treat him this way. There was one time KJ went to the teacher to tell her something and she did not know what he was trying to say. She thought that he was telling her that someone hit him, but he was not. She picked him up, made the class sit down, and told him to point to whoever hit him. KJ did not point to anyone because no one hit him. I thought that this was interesting that she went through all of the trouble to do this, when there were plenty of times that she could not understand what other students in the class were talking about. She did not stop the class to find out what was going on, but instead, she essentially “brushed” them off.

jayah's picture

Response to Sleeter's Students as Curriculum

When reading Students as Curriculum, I thought, "ahhh, the problem with urban public schools." I went to urban public schools my whole life, and many aspects that Sleeter mentions is absent in them. For example, in the very beginning of the reading, Sleeter states, "There's a rich resource right in your own classroom... what are their perspectives about being taught, so as often as possible, you know having discussions, hearing their input.” I think that many teachers, who teach in urban public schools, from personal experience and observing in my placement, do not communicate enough with their students. They have these preconceived notions of urban students, and approach them with the banking model. Teachers “treat students as empty vessels into which knowledge is poured for retrieval,” but this is not teaching. Too often, students are not being taught to think critically. Instead, they are given information to remember.  In my placement, I do not see much critical thinking. When the students were learning about animals in the aquarium, the teacher would just tell them, “This is a fish and they live in water.” Although the students are in pre-k, I thought they should have been pushed a little more. The teacher could have asked, “How do you think they breathe? We humans breathe, so don’t fish need to breathe too?” Although the students may not have been able to answer the question, it would have gotten them to begin to think of critical questions, instead of simply transferring information.

jayah's picture

Inquiry Proposal

For my inquiry project, I would like to focus on bilingual education for students in pre-k-kindergarten. I do not have much knowledge about bilingual education; however, doing field research at a bilingual school this semester makes me think of many challenges with bilingual education, that I want to learn more about. For example, in my placement, the teacher speaks in both English and Spanish; however, when the students move on to the next grade, the teacher will speak only English. I notice that the students respond better to Spanish, especially when they do not understand in English.

In addition to this, the students have no outside resources because many of their parents only speak Spanish. The parents ate learning with the students to recognize letters and numbers in English. My main two questions are: How can teachers better prepare students for the “English only” environment and how can teachers engage students without making them feel like they have to assimilate to the “dominant culture,” loosing a piece of themselves? I want to learn more theories behind bilingual education and expand my knowledge beyond my observations in the classroom. 

jayah's picture

First Praxis

            Walking in the building, I see a classroom full of Latino children sitting at the table looking at the pictures in the book. The teacher is speaking with one of the student’s mother about an upcoming fieldtrip to the aquarium. The teacher looks to be Latina, but she is speaking in English to the mother, who is Latina. There is also a teacher’s aide in the classroom, who is also Latina. I am the only black person in the classroom, and another student from Bryn Mawr, who is the only white person. I was anxious to see how the students would respond to us since we were clearly outsiders. I thought that this would be the first challenge, however it was not. The students were only 3-5 years old, so they did not really pay attention to color. This reminded me of the fishbowl activity where a question was posed of when should students learn about race. I do not think that 3-5 years old is that age.

igavigan's picture

First Praxis Visit

Last week I had my first praxis placement at a public middle school in Philadelphia. My role is to participate in a weekly enrichment session for around a dozen students from fifth through eighth grade classes. I basically received the program/role from another Haverford student who has been developing and growing it over the past two years. Their focus has been, roughly, on discussing issues like civics and politics while working on building argumentation skills. My working goal for the semester in general is to work with this group of students who have already spent a lot of time learning about "leadership" and politics to think about how to build power and organize toward something as a group.

Originally, I was supposed to come and observe the class while another person led them in some kind of lesson/activity. It turned out that the person who was supposed to come couldn't make it and five minutes to ten I was told I'd be leading the class. "Oy," I thought to myself. I didn't have a lesson plan or any plan really. I had been excited to observe the students and the adult in the room to get a sense of how they functioned together, what the group dynamics were like, what kinds of things they were interested in. But I had to improvise--and it ended up being fine.

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