I teach in a rural, public elementary school with 400 students, grades 4K-6. Many students choose to participate in sports, Destination Imagination, music, and band. We keep our class sizes small, with 16-20 students in each classroom in grades K-3. In this way, we can offer as much personal attention to each child’s needs as possible.
My students are sweet and full of potential, but the poverty level is high with a 52% free and reduced-price lunch population.
Nonetheless, my school tries very hard to afford all students the same opportunities, no matter what social or economic situation may exist in their lives. All students are offered free breakfast, and we have a peer mentoring program run by our high school students that attends to the primary students' socio-emotional needs and offers free supper as well.
Personally, I take time to get to know each child in my classroom as a whole person. My goal throughout the year is to understand their academic strengths and weaknesses as well as their character strengths and weakness. I love being their friend, teacher, and hopefully a role model.
My second grade students enter school with little knowledge about other countries. They are very aware of what customs and traditions exist in America, but they are amazed when we start discussing and comparing these customs to other countries.
One of the avenues we use to compare different cultures is fairy tales and folktales.
These stories have been written and told in many different cultures. Comparing and understanding why different cultures use specific characters but follow the same story line is intriguing and eye opening. My students love to learn about different cultures and comparing fairy tales is a great starting point because they can all relate to these stories.
We will use the stories from this project to compare tales from Africa, Europe, America, France and South America. We will compare character, settings and plots... and this will pave the path for discussing even more about these cultures!
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