The first culturally thematic unit I ever created was based on the language of the fan. I remember how I struggled to come up with a theme. At first, I went with the regular ideas: traveling, food and clothing. As I wondered how to narrow down the theme, while seating in an extremely warm library in the middle of winter, I found myself taking the Spanish fan I always carry in my pocketbook and using it. It was my AHA moment! It was my cultural practice to carry this cultural product in case I needed it, because it was the cultural perspective I grew up in.
Once I became a certified K-12 teacher and started working, I was able to teach using my thematic unit. This video was a warm-up activity to introduce the lesson. I purposely planned it for a Character Day activity so that I could dress in traditional Spanish attire. Today, so many years later, I know better not to perpetuate stereotypical images through my lessons. However, the method of including elements such as audiovisuals, humor, characterization and culturally authentic props, works every single time.
For more information on this unit and resources go to: El Lenguaje del Abanico
¡Feliz Año Nuevo!
As a teacher, my new year starts in September. I never think of educational goals in January. But I cannot help to join colleagues who have been sharing their plans for 2019, through social media. As I reflect upon my practice, I realize that there are three things that I want to focus on this year.
#1 Keep going back to the BASIC strategies – To me this means using puppets, culturally authentic props, playing games, making crafts, using crayons to color, and paper-pencil word puzzles, just to name a few examples.
#2 Use technology with a PURPOSE – If the tech tool saves me time, fosters independence, helps me spend more one-on-one time with students, and creates culturally authentic learning experiences that otherwise wouldn’t be possible, then let’s use technology.
#3 NETWORK! – This year, I want to continue growing my professional learning network (PLN) and enjoy being a student whenever possible by attending conferences, and connecting with colleagues around the globe through social media.
What are your reminders for 2019?