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Education 479

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Week 1 Reflection

Week 1- I really enjoyed the activity we did in class with the handout about the different nursey rhymes and stories. For me, growing up, I heard a lot of these such stories. I actually took this paper home and asked my mom and step dad to guess what a lot of them were and they enjoyed it as well. It was also just nice to hear some stories about what we thought it meant to teach early literacy and post some questions to ask of the class and of Fran to set us up for the quarter. Great link related to nursery rhymes and their link with literacy Why choose nursery rhymes to teach literacy

Brianna's Reflection of my page

I liked your protopage. I believe that it was organized well. I liked how you had all the resources on one side of the page. The resources that you had were very helpful and will be very useful. Overall a wonderful protopage. Brianna Matson

Week 2 Reflection

Week 2- Can't remember at the moment....

Ashley's Reflection of my page

Andrea! Your page is so well organized it looks fantabulous! way to go! Ashley

Week 3 Reflection

Week 3- I was very appreciative of all the handouts we were given about setting up a literacy area in our classrooms. I have always thought that reading was extremely important. I think that this is largely thanks to the fact that my parents read to me every single night and it is something that brings me back to my childhood. I have always enjoyed reading, and have had a lot of experience sharing my love of books with others. I worked in a kindergarten classroom that was largely focused on literacy, as they should be, and I read to the kids every single day. This was a classroom that had a nice cozy reading area and the children actually enjoyed spending their free time there! I loved the field trip, but was a little bit saddened to see the lack of focus on literacy in the classrooms at the children's center. I understand that this is a program that has little funding. I just found it sad that they had about 5 books for the children to look at, and a lot of books that only the teacher had access to! When looking at my notes from our trip, and comparing them to the Early literacy checklists it was sad to see the amount of things that were not available to the children in the classrooms. According to the Ontario Early Literacy checklist we were given in class children should have access to many different kinds of books which include books about rhyming, patterns, great picture books, read aloud books, circle time books (which may be the ones the teacher's had hidden away where children couldn't get to them), Fairy tale books, etc... The children should have more than 10 books at most to looks at. Things in the classroom should be labeled, and the students should have different kinds of paper and writing untensils for journal time and summaries of things they may have read. awesome website of carpets for classrooms guided reading in the elementary classroom Ideas for reading corners and bulletin boards

Early Literacy Facts

Early Literacy Facts: (Ontario Early Learning Website • Literacy skills begin early in life and are critical to a child’s health, behaviour and school success. (The Early Years Study, 1998) • Reading to children more than once a day increases their future school skills and children who are exposed earlier to books have better math skills. (National Longitudinal Survey of children and Youth, Statistics Canada, 1996-1997) • Children who are read to several times a day at ages 2-3 yrs., do better in kindergarten than those who are read to only a few times a week or less. (National Longitudinal Survey of children and Youth, Statistics Canada, 1996-1997) • Simple things like reading and telling stories to a child 18 months stimulate brain development in the early years. (The Early Years Study, 1998) • Children need to hear 1000 stories read aloud before they begin to learn to read to themselves. (Mem Fox) • A child who knows 8 nursery rhymes by the time they are 4yrs. old, will learn to read easier. (Mem Fox) • Research has documented the vocabulary of children at the age of 3. Findings indicate that the children with larger vocabularies were better readers and performed better at school. • By grade 8, average Canadian children will have spent 12,000 hours in front of the television. They will have seen 300,000 commercials and more than 8,000 murders. • Children spend an average of 500 hours a year in a car. • Children learn listening skills, vocabulary and language skills, as well as develop imagination and creativity, when read to by a caring person. (Family Literacy Foundation, 2001) • It is extra important to read to children at the “reading slump times” that occur when a child enters kindergarten, at grade 4 and when a child enters high school. • In an average Canadian Community only 25% of children visit their local library. • When children enter school ready to learn, major social problems such as low literacy skills, poverty, unemployment, crime and abuse can be substantially reduced. (The Early Years Study, 1998)

Week 4 Reflection

Week 4- Honestly, this has been my favorite class so far! I got to share the story of Ms Suzy Squirell. She lives in an oak tree where she cooks, and cleans and makes acorn pudding in her little acorn cups. One day her house gets torn apart by a group of squirell bandits, and ms suzy is pushed out of her cozy home. She goes and finds a home in a dollhouse, that she cleans up. It is there that she befriends a group of toy soldiers, that live with her, and take her back to her house to kick out the squirells that took over. This has been my favorite story as long as I can remember and my mom still reads it to me to this day :) How fun to make a memorable childhood story into a new story using dinosaur characters!! Really made me think! I had to think about names of dinosaurs and things that they did and tie it into a story about a squirell. I had a ton of fun doing it. While googling this story to re-fresh my memory I came across some great lesson ideas for this book and will keep them close so that I may use them one day.

Week 5 Reflection

Today was interesting. It was great to learn about all the different ways to teach literacy in the classroom. I specifically remember celebrating the 100th day of kindergarten when I was in school. I thought that the book "Miss Bindergarten celebrates the 100th day of kindergarten" was great. The book had a lot of great pictures and colors. It has a lot of ideas that children could look at for things that they could bring 100 of. I also loved that all the names matched the animal... like Adam the Aligator, Brenda the Beaver, Chris the cat, etc... I liked the idea with the picture on the large paper and writing words to match the pictures. I thought it would have been fun to do as groups and then share with the class. We have been doing a lot of group activities which help us to get to know the way that each other think. Seemed that the class was very quiet today and not willing to talk alot.. maybe the weather played a role on people's moods. We also discussed writing on note cards to get the children thinking and learn to recognize letters. We discussed reflective vs expressive language which reminded me of linquistics (competance vs performance)... or what you know vs how you communicate. Some questions that I came up with to get the children thinking were 1. Fav Food 2. Fav Show 3. Fav Animal 4. Fav Character 5. Fav Movie 6. Fav Holiday 7. Fav Season 8. Fav Game 9. Fav Toy 10. Fav Color 11. Fav Book 12. Fav day of the week 13. Fav Thing to do 14. Fav Flower 15. Fav Insect 16. Fav Place for Vacation 17. Fav Animal at the zoo 18. Fav Summer activity 19. How many siblings do you have 20. Fav Subject

Week 6 Reflection

Today in class we discussed the many different elements for developing early literacy. We also picked out topics from this list that Fran shared with us and developed groups. My group has been given #2 which is strategies to figure out words. I find this topic to be pretty interesting because I took linguistics last quarter, and I am taking a class on second language aquisition currently. Language and phonetic learning is something that really interests me. I am curious to see what ideas we can find to increase letter learning. I looked up a few ideas while spending class time working in our small groups and found a few great ideas. It will be interesting to see what other members of my group find when they are doing their independent reasearch. Language Aquisition- a whole page showing the development of language in humas and animals... fascinating! free phonics printables Everyone can read.

Elements for Early Literacy

Elements for Early Literacy 1. Language and Vocabulary Development a. Acquisition of Language b. Stages in Language Development c. Strategies for Language Development d. Helping English Language Learners in your classroom. 2. Strategies to Figure out words a. Phonological and Phonemic Awareness b. Learning about the alphabet c. Strategies for Teaching Phonics d. Published materials for Literacy Instruction 3. Developing Comprehension of Text and Concepts about Books. a. Read Alouds b. Activities that Develop concepts about Books. c. Teaching comprehension strategies. 4. Writing, Spelling and Literacy Development a. Strategies for writing Development from birth to age 2 b. Writing in Early Childhood Classrooms c. Appropriate Writing and Spelling Activities. 5. Motivating Reading and Writing a. Preparing a literacy-rich environment b. Features of a well designed literacy centers c. Teachers as a model to motivate interest d. Story Reading and Story Telling e. Reading and Writing Independently f. Use of Technology to Motivate Literacy Development g. Use of Play to Motivate Literacy Development 6. Organizing and Managing the Literacy Program a. Preparation of the Physical Environment b. Integrated Projects for Literacy c. Instruction to meet individual needs: guided reading and center activities d. Home and School Working together to develop family literacy partners e. Family involvement in the literacy program f. Multicultural Perspectives concerning family involvement and family

Week 7 Reflection

we continued today to talk about our final projects. This should be a really fun project to do some research on. There is so much great information both in the curriculum library and in the education department library. I get super excited when it comes to learning about new children's literature and I am also very interested in linguistics.

Philosophy of Literacy

1. Literacy is a child’s ability to read and write. 2. Literacy is a child’s knowledge of their primary spoken language, but a child may also have an opportunity to become literate in more than one language. 3. Literacy is a child’s ability to communicate in writing. 4. Literacy is a child’s ability to read, comprehend and re-tell a story. 5. Literacy is not just a focus on reading, but on reading, writing, and language development. 6. Literacy is important at home and at school. 7. Literacy is an expression, and children should be allowed the freedom to explore literacy through different writing and reading techniques, using different mediums. 8. Literacy is an exploration of a child’s world around them. 9. Literacy should be made available to every child.

How to teach ABC's

1, Stories 2. Poems (Connect words that rhyme in the poem or story) 3. Games/Puzzles (pictures of letters).. matching letters to animals/objects. 4. Pocket Chart Alphabet with stuffed animals 5. Matching Letters in words 6. Real Object Letters 7. Song 8. Environmental Print 9. Color Recognition 10. Alphabet Table (buy everything having to do with letters and put them on a table for exploration. 11. Create an Alphabet book 12. Name/Abc Chart.

Group 1, Final Presentation / week 9

The first group to present talked about language aquisition, which is always fascinating to me. it is important to talk to children in a language that they will understand and use words that will increase their vocab. They discussed the various stages of language development and talked a lot about second language aquisition. All of their information was very helpful. I think that it would have beenmore useful to discuss that there are a variety of language learner programs out there now.. they just spoke about ell... and what if someone in the audience had no idea what ell is? It was never explained. The chart/ activity they did was very cute and fun to interact. This would be a fun activity to do with any grade level and would work for language learners too!! Questions from Fran- Is it good to have a competitive atmosphere? I don't believe that it's good to have your students feel that there is a need to compete with one another. Some students may have that feeling at home. I have seen parents push their children to excell and the students may feel that if they aren't competing they will let their parents down. I think that the classroom should be fair for all students and a fun, learning environment. Should we be using instrinsic motivators in the classroom? i think that the students should feel that they are working for something, sometimes. I don't believe that candy or stickers or other things should be given every time the students do something well but I believe that there is a time and place for it. I remember being able to earn money for perfect assigments and going to a little store at the end of the day. Once something is rewarded I do not believe that it should be taken away... like marbles in a jar... once they are put in the jar, they should not be removed as punishment.

Group 2, Final Presentation / week 9

This group did a great job talking about how to develop comprehension of texts and concepts about books. They also did a great job talking about all sorts of ideas you could do with caterpillars... getting caterpillar kits and watching them grow, vaious activites in every subject area working with caterpillars as the class focus. They even included a snak of apples and talked about the book the very hungry caterpillar with a really cool story board ( It's great to teach kids how to read the front and back of the book and model exactly how to read a book. I specifically remember my mom always reading the author and illustrator and the title and then we would always look at the back of the book too to see if there were any extra little pictures or cute quotes.

My Final Group Presentation/ week 8 / 9 Reflection

We opened our presentation with brianna and katie talking about phonemic awareness and talking about a little project with students, and working with the class. I spoke next about teaching the alphabet and found a great website ( that has lots of little activites for learning/teaching the alphabet. I talked about making an alphabet discovery table and making books available to students that teach to the alphabet. Ashley talked about working with phonics and how to teach to phonics. There is a website below with some great ideas for how to teach phonics and teach children to sound words out and use creative spelling. Theo talked about all the different books there are out there that can be used as references for students and teachers. He didn't discuss the basals but we looked them over in the curiiculm center when we met to pull the project together. We met in the library and used the curriculum center as a resource to pull all of the information we needed to complete this project. We were all having a hard time staying ficused so we split it up and then emailed back and forth to put it all together before we presented. Phonemic Awareness Activity Alphabet Discovery Table Alphabet Name Game Mrs. Alphabet’s Ideas for Teaching the Alphabet Understand Phonics References Britto, Pia Rebello, & Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne. (2001). The Role of family literacy environments in promoting young children's emerging literacy skills. New York, New York: John Wiley and Sons. Hogan, M. (2001). Animal alphabet. 2001. (n.d.). Mrs alphabet . Retrieved from (n.d.). Reading rockets. Retrieved from Routman, Regie. (2003). Reading essentials the specifics you need to teach reading well. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Savage, John F. (2007). Sound it out! phonics in a comprehensive reading program. New York, New York: McGraw-Hill. Sedgwick, F. (1999). Thinking about literacy. 1999-03-16. Seeger, Vaccaro Seeger. (2003). The Hidden alphabet. Brookfield, Connecticut: Roaring Brook Press. Stahl, Katherine A., & McKenna, Michael C. (2006). Reading research at work. New York, New York: The Guilford Press. Wallace, N. E. (2008). Alphabet house. Marshall Cavendish Children.

Group 4, Final Presentation / week 10

This group had an awesome idea that was different than any other group and went around to each individual table to present something different. This group even made a handout to help us follow along what each person would be talking about. They talked about making literacy lists/goals for the students to meet and keeping track of student reading on a reading log. They also talked about having a book swap either between students, or donating books to teachers so that they always have new books. One girl asked us what our ideal reading environment would look like (without any restrictions) and it really made you think... where would I like to sit and read? They also worked at integrating culture and had one team member bring her grandma who read to us in phillipino off of the international children's digital library.

Group 5, Final Presentation / week 10

This group did a great job of presenting ways to integrate literacy into fun activites :) There were examples of charade games for reading and non-reading childrne. When reading aloud to children allow them to pick the books that you read. This makes children more excited to read because they have a choice... even if they choose the same book 400 times in a row! The group also talked about using a colored beach ball to increase comprehension. This was used in a 1st grade class that I worked in. You take a colored beach ball and write a different element on each colored section.. for example.. pink- who are the main characters... blue- what is the main idea?... and you pass the ball to a student announcing "andrea, blue" as you pass and they answer the question about their story on the panel you called out to them.

Group 6, Final Presentation / week 10

I'm not sure what this groups exact topic was but they did a great job presenting. They had us all draw our favorite winter scene using our non dominant hand. They also gave us each a different medium to use. One group had lined paper, one had black construction paper and chalk, my group had white paper and crayons... and so on. They also showed photos on a slide show of one of them working with children (they were a social worker) and using the different mediums to see which one the child liked the best. Drawing is a great way to start introducing a child to writing. Once the child has experience with a crayon, pencil, pen, etc... they can learn how to hold and pencil and start to write.

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Final Evaluation

Everything that I learned this quarter was important. I love learning about new children's literature and when it comes to literacy I honestly thought that just being able to read effectively. I guess that I never thought about the word "literate" as being able to write as well. I have been studying linguistics, phonics, and english language learners through other classes. I am extremely intrigued to learn all the new ways that language is used to develop learning. After this class, and combining it with all my other classes I have become more passionate about literature.

Just the other day at work I was discussing what I was going to school for with some customers. When I told them that I was a reading major they asked me what I thought about the new kindle. The kindle is the new reading device that allows you to download books. I think the best thing about a book for adults or children is being able to see the wear and tear and know just how much love that book has been shown. It would be like having a virtual teddy bear and never seeing the spots where he has been hugged one too many times. The kindle may be great for adults because it’s convenient and can be used to download books, magazines and newspapers. For a child they need to have the book there to hold, and manipulate. They need to experience the turning of the pages, the feel and smell of the book. I cannot even imagine why a parent would give a kindle to their child. There is nothing like getting a new book and opening it and cracking the spine for the first time.

While researching for my final project I learned a lot about how to teach the alphabet. We also discussed in class ways to teach the alphabet without using the letter of the week. I found a great website for my final project with multiple ideas for how to teach the alphabet and get children involved in learning. My favorite idea was using sliced bagels with cream cheese and putting alphabet cereal on them and allowing the students to create whatever they want their bagel to say. When I have my own class, depending on grade level I would definitely use an alphabet discovery table and expose my students to the alphabet from every angle. When I was in school I just remember tracing and re-tracing letters to learn how to correctly write.

For some reason I have never thought about the fact that it takes child a few steps to learn to read. I guess I have been reading for so long that now I don’t think about how I learned to read. I just remember my mom giving me a glass of water every night and asking me to pick out a book that I would like to read. We would read and re-read books. I just recently went to my mom’s to look through all of my old books from childhood that I had saved. It’s so great to smell them and touch them and see how loved they were. Reading was one of my favorite things to do as a child, and it still is something I love now. I distinctly remember wanting to read as many new books as possible so that I could get stickers for  “book it” and get a free personal pan pizza at pizza hut. I currently work at applebees and we offer a similar program for children to come in and get a free meal. This was a fun time for my mom and I to have an excuse to go out and eat, and my meal was free! What could be better than that?

This quarter I am hoping for a 3.5 or better because I have been in class every single week participating and working well with my group members. I feel that there was a little difficulty putting the final project together and I was the one that pulled the team together and started to deligate jobs to each person to make sure that we pulled it together. I also put together a powerpoint of the information that everyone sent to me and I put together the reference page for our final project.

* See articles below to support what I have learned.

Web widgets

International Children's Digital Library

Ontario Early Years Website

Position Paper

Naeyc, Young Children

Early Literacy Checklists

100th Day Suggestions

Mrs. Alphabet

Reading Aloud, Are students ever too old?

N is for Nonsensical

Book It!

Education 480

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Cultural Framework/Reflection #1

If everyone moves about within a cultural framework, what is your cultural framework? Who am I in my culture? I am a student and a bartender. I am a daughter, friend, girlfriend, grandchild, aunt, niece. I am a teacher who wants to make a difference in the world. Reflection- The lesson plan that I chose was actually used as a lesson in my kindergarten classroom this last quarter. They really enjoyed learning about clouds and creating their own using cottonballs. What a great activity! I had a really hard time thinking about my cultural framework and who I am. I just had to write the same sort of thing for another class. I listed who I am briefly above but there are so many other things that make me who I am! I love to bake, cook, be creative. I cannot wait to be a teacher. I love living in Spokane although I really enjoyed escaping for awhile. I am very close to my family (being an only child) and I love to be outdoors.

Lesson Plan

Title - Clouds By - Julie Gatz Primary Subject - Science Secondary Subjects - Art Grade Level - K Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills Standards: 112.2.b.K2: The student devlopes abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry in the field and the classroom. Learning Objectives: The students will be able to determine the difference between a stormy cloud and a fluffy cloud. The students will be able to describe a stormy cloud or fluffy cloud without error. The students will have fun in their Cloud 9 activity. List of Materials: 22 sheets of paper Glue (liquid) Cotton Balls (400) Pencil Crayons Pre-Activity: An example should be shown, but is not completely necessary. Make sure that you have supplies ready at their tables, so that they can begin as soon as you are done giving instructions. Transition: Students can do this activity individually. They can share with their neighbors what they are doing, but must create on their own. Establishing Set/Motovation/Introduction: "Does anyone remember what clouds are?" Procedure: Make sure ALL supplies are put at each table There should be two liquid glues at each table, either three or four pieces of paper, and a hand full of cotton balls for each student. Read It Looks like Spilled Milk by Gerald G. Shaw. Make a T-chart about stormy and fluffy clouds. Make a compare and contrast chart about the different types of clouds. Have students walk back to their tables and create their "Cloud 9" cloud. The saying for the glue is "one drop will make it stick." Once all the students are finished with their clouds, have them leave them on the table to dry. Have all students return to the carpet and discuss what kind of cloud they made and why they chose that type. After discussing the different types of clouds, have the students put the clouds in their cubbies. Closure: Ask about difference between stormy and fluffy clouds. "Is a cloud that is white going to rain?" "What does a stormy cloud look like?" "What is the difference in size between stormy and white clouds?" E-Mail Julie Gatz!


Diversity- –noun,plural-ties. 1.the state or fact of being diverse; difference; unlikeness. 2.variety; multiformity. 3.a point of difference. Integration-–noun act or instance of combining into an integral whole. act or instance of integrating a racial, religious, or ethnic group. act or instance of integrating an organization, place of business, school, etc. 4.Mathematics. the operation of finding the integral of a function or equation, esp. solving a differential equation. 5.behavior, as of an individual, that is in harmony with the environment. 6.Psychology. the organization of the constituent elements of the personality into a coordinated, harmonious whole. Collaboration- –noun 1.the act or process of collaborating. 2.a product resulting from collaboration: This dictionary is a collaboration of many minds. Reflection- –noun 1.the act of reflecting or the state of being reflected. image; representation; counterpart. 3.a fixing of the thoughts on something; careful consideration. 4.a thought occurring in consideration or meditation. unfavorable remark or observation. 6.the casting of some imputation or reproach. 7.Physics, Optics. a.the return of light, heat, sound, etc., after striking a surface. b.something so reflected, as heat or esp. light. 8.Mathematics. a.(in a plane) the replacement of each point on one side of a line by the point symmetrically placed on the other side of the line. b.(in space) the replacement of each point on one side of a plane by the symmetric point on the other side of the plane. 9.Anatomy. the bending or folding back of a part upon itself. Ethnicity-

Reflection #2/Books for Parent/Teacher communication

-Using a log to communicate is always helpful -Sending leveled books home for children to read TO their parents -We send little paper books home every day with a specific word for that day highlighted and the children take time and color them. They are to share them with their parents and then report back. I really thought alot about what it means to be from a culturally diverse family! It's so much more than simply being from another country. Each family has their own unique culture that they follow and that is what makes us all different. We all have different traditions, values, beliefs, religious outlooks. We are all who we are because of our families. My family has a lot of traditions that have been passed down, but we have also adapted new ones as I have grown and done my own research and living, and when my mother was remarried in 2005 we brought on some new traditions from my step-dad's family. Parent/teacher communication is one of those things that will always be difficult within the classroom because some parents are always calling, writing, emailng, while others simply don't care. I have experienced both sides of this and plan to be a teacher that is keeping the parents informed and always sending things home

Video\ Article Reflection

Ronan a little boy with down syndrom is placed in a classroom with typically developing students. The teachers are hoping to watch him develop into an active member of society because he is experiencing working with other children. The students are able to learn from him and he is able to learn about the world around him. The teacher keeps reinforcing the children to use their words and ask for things from one another. All education is social!! No matter what your age or prior education you must first learn to work with others. I think that with inclusion of special education children it can also be the same kind of work with ELL students. I do not have special needs children in my Kindergarten class but we have many children that do not have English as a first language! This video was great at showing how to make children feel welcome in the classroom and like they are a part of the class even though they are different. I believe that with inclusion is is very

Acceptance/Tolerance/Peace Reflection

Song- Earth Song- Michael Jackson Book- What Does Peace Feel Like? by Vladimir Radunsky Movie- How will I teach this in the classroom? I will be sure that all children are treated equally. Although this is not always immediatetly attainable I will make sure to teach the children that they are all there to celebrate the differences of what another. I chose the song on here because it is one that makes me feel a little bit sad that there is not more peace in the world and that we don't take care of the things that we have been blessed with here on earth as we should. The book 'What Does Peace Feel Like" is a beautiful book about the different languages of peace and how it could look, feel, taste, smell. There is a complete list of how to say PEACE in various languages and makes children think about what peace could be within their life. I hope to promote peace and acceptance in my classroom. I am not sure that a classroom environment can survive without these two very large components.

Diversity Reflection

Where am I with Diversity?? I believe that growing up in Spokane I had not been exposed to a lot with diversity growing up. I moved to Bellingham for college when I was 19 and it was much more diverse with different people that I had never before seen. I later moved to Detroit when I was 23 and that was an extreme culture shock because of the extreme change in diversity. I believe that I have a wide range of diversity in my life now. I have met a lot of people from different backgrounds, different lifestyles, different cultural upbringings, etc... What was once not rich, is now growing each and every day. KISS- Keep it Simple Stupid What is simple for some, may not be simple for others. Our words impact what is going on in the classroom and how many relate to us. I feel that I am learning new things daily in my kindergarten placement. I would love to see some speakers and learn from people that have experienced new cultures, speak other languages or have experiences that I have not lived through. I feel that I have learned alot about culture and diversity from my Education 323 class with Dr. Carpenter. I have lived in Detroit and experienced a new culture in several ways. When I moved there it was a HUGE culture shock!! I lived with a Jewish family and lived where I was the minority... this is something that I have never experienced before... It was very hard for me. I am learning to connect with my kinders because they are sometimes experiences the same thing. They are in kindergarten for the first time, away from their families, and many of them are in a new country, some in a new neighborhood.

Final Presentation/ Reflection

Education 480 Final Project I am unsure how to make a powerpoint show up on here... I was unable to figure out after a few different attempts so here it is posted in it's 'outline' format for you to take another look at. Andrea McClanahan Ben Cogdill Calendar/Start of Day The Beauty of Diversity What would it be like To walk down the street And have everybody look like you? What would it be like To walk into an ice cream parlor And only see vanilla flavors? What would it be like To look at a meadow And see only one type of flower? What would it be like... Science We're All the Same on the Inside Grade Level(s): Preschool, 1-2, 3-5 By: Renee, preschool teacher This is a simple look at how we can look different on the outside, yet be the same on the inside. We use this activity around Martin Luther King day after a discussion about prejudice. Materials: one or more brown eggs one or more white eggs a bowl Plan: Following a discussion with the children about how people are alike (we all have two eyes, we all have hair) and how we differ (blue eyes vs. brown eyes-long hair vs. short) show them a brown egg and a white egg. Discuss the similarities and differences in the eggs. (They are oval, they are different colors.) Break each egg into the bowl and dispose of shell. (Hint: this is best done above their eye level because if they see which yolk came from which egg, they will be able to make a distinction). Can they tell which is which? No--because just like people,even though we may LOOK different on the outside, we're all the same on the inside! Math Conducting a class census… Reading Students will read a wide range of books about different cultures and children of diverse backgrounds. Students will be asked prior to this day to bring things that they would like to share with the class from other cultures/their own culture. Reading/Writing Once the children have read the books in their text set they will share with their class mates what they have learned and answer questions on a worksheet What culture did you learn about? Where were the characters in your books from? What is something interesting you learned that you didn’t know before? Children may also illustrate to show what they learned in a picture. Read Aloud What I Like About Me! ~ Allia Zobel Nolan Read Aloud If the World Were a Village: A Book about the Worlds People ~ David J Smith Read Aloud Whoever You Are ~ Mem Fox Reflection- This project proved to be much more difficult than I orginally thought it would be. I was placed with a group of 4 others and myself. When I showed up to class the next week and we were given time to work in groups no one showed up. I was partnered with another girl who was asked to work with me but she never sent me any of the information for the final project and failed to meet me on multiple attempts to get together. Sick of doing the work for someone else I contacted Ben, because I had another class with him and asked if he wanted to work with me. I wrote Chris Booth telling her that my partner I was given (Shawna) would be turning a project in on her own because she had no sent anything to me at the time that we were supposed to meet to present our final presentations in class. Ben and I did all the work with no assistance with her. I believe that in college there should be no such thing as group projects because they just never work out with everyones busy lives.

Final Reflection

I always have a really hard time reflecting on what I have learned in any of the early childhood classes. In all honesty I feel that I didn't learn very much from this class. I was taking this class along with 'Education 323, A global view of children's literature' and I feel that I learned a lot more about diversity and culture than I did in this class. I feel that with all early childhood classes they are preachy and not about DOING.... I would like to see these classes be taken to the next level and have some more group interactions, projects, sharing, speakers... I was told by a friend that when she took this particular class with Darcy that it was the best ECE class that she had ever taken, and honestly I am sad to say that I cannot say that about any of the ECE classes, I have honestly felt that these classes were a waste of time, and unorganized at times. I appreciate other classes that give a syllabus with all the dates and when things will be due. This classes list of expectations and homework was very poor. I also find it frustrating that when you write a professor that they don't get back to you, especially when it is important. I have found that with the ECE program that there is a completely different attitude than with the rest of the Education department, and that is a little embarssing to be a part of! I hope that the classes will become more organized for the next students that choose this as a major/minor and that the classes will be a lot more insightful. As someone that has worked in childcare, has nephews and nieces, worked in classrooms I may speak from the experience of knowing information, but I feel that sometimes these classes are dumbed down and are not revealing anything 'NEW'. I came to class, I learned sometimes, and I found that the best days were hearing presentations and listening to heated debates and arguments... we need more discussion and presenters!!! This is a diversity and culture class, let's bring some into it!

Rich sticky notes

Family Diversity Reflection

Family diversity is booming according to the article posted above. Many families are now mixed. Now days mixed can mean a variety of things. There are families with two mothers, two fathers, multiple parents living under the same roof, Family members that are older, friends that live and act as parents.


I have experienced friends that lived in thsese family situations. Step-familes are huge in my generation. My parents were divorced when I was 16 and my dad re-married shortly after giving me a step-mother and a step-sister. My mom later re-married giving me a step-dad. My dad later divroced and I now have a new step-sister and mom. I have had friends that have gone through this same experience. My boyfriend also comes from a diverse family. He has one sister from the same parents, two sisters from his mother and step-dad, and two sisters and one brother from his dad and step-mom. Talk about a confusing family!


This kind of family living is so common these days that I honestly cannot imagine my parents' still being together. I know that as a teacher I will experience this more and more and I plan on being the best support I can be for my students.

Land Before Time Reflec

                When we were first told that we were to watch The land Before Time and analyze it for diversity, I was thinking we were being given an unachievable job. Ever since watching the movie for about the 100th time last week in class I have been talking to friends. What about that movie made it diverse?

                The greatest thing about children, no matter what their age is that they don’t know what discrimination means. Most children grow up loving everyone. It all depends on their upbringing. Cera made it very clear in the movie that she was taught not to play with longnecks like Littlefoot. Most children are blind to race, color, disability. Children can usually identify when someone is different than themselves, but isn’t that what draws us to each other?

                There are many different types of families. Families are not just a mom, dad and siblings, pets, etc… I grew up with my two parents being divorced at a young age and I was an only child. Both parents taught me very different life lessons attempting to, in a way, compete with one another. In the movie Ducky’s family adopts Spike. We don’t often see parents of friends that adopt us as their own. I also find it interesting that Littlefoot went to live with his grandparent’s when his parents were killed. The 5 small dinosaurs were on a journey together to find the great valley. They became a family, and although they were each a different species they became like one.

                For some we recognize our families as those that we love. I have a family that I belong to by blood, but half of them I never talk to and rarely see. I do not necessarily claim them as my family because they don’t even know me. My friends are my family. Family, as said in the movie is recognized by site and love. “Some things you see with your eyes, others with your heart”.

                My family is very important to me, but to me my family is mostly my mom and dad. I have one grandfather left, and a few cousins that I am close to. I am also close to my aunts and uncles on my mom’s side, but on my father’s side they are more acquaintances that share DNA.

                I can’t believe the response I got when asking friends about this movie and how they felt it connected to family and diversity. A lot of people were asking me why I was looking into something so deeply and why I couldn’t just let it be a cute movie about 5 little dinosaurs. I guess when you are asked to look deeper than that it ruins the fact that it was once something simple.

All about ME Reflection

I was really excited when we were asked to bring in things that represented who we are. I was only able to carry in a few items since I learned about this project at the very last minute due to miscommunication between the teacher and myself. These are all the things that I would bring in and that represent who i am as a person and my culture.


E is for Evergreen- Spokane, Washington- This is where I call my home. I grew up in Spokane where I attended Adams Elementary, Chase Middle School and Ferris High school. I have always loved this city because of its small town feeling. I am an only child, and although it was lonely growing up I have learned to love the bond that I have with my parents.

Bellingham- Once I finished college I decided that I wanted to follow my best friend over to Bellingham. She and I got an apartment all set up, and coincidentally lived next door to some friends from High School. I went to Whatcom Community College and got my AA. I spent 4 years in this city making friends that are still some of the closest I will ever have, and learning who I truly was. The first 4 years of my 20’s was truly a time of learning. I was away from home for the first time and had a chance to be free.  I would move back in a heartbeat. I really miss studying by the water and the beauty of the city.

 M is for Mitten Book- Michigan- I moved to Michigan in Oct of 2005. I had just finished up my AA degree and felt the need to escape to somewhere where I knew no one. I got a job as a nanny (and also transferred with Applebee’s) and moved! It was one of the best adventures of my life. The friends that I made in Michigan will remain friends for a long time to come!

Applebee’s- I moved to Bellingham with a horrible job in a rehabilitation center. It was extremely depressing and I saw a new store opening up right next to my house. I jumped on the opportunity to get a new job. I applied, got the interview, got the job, and was in such shock when they hired me that I called to make sure it wasn’t a dream! I worked at a trainer for Applebee’s in Bellingham and Burlington, WA and later transferred to Spokane, and then onto a few stores in Michigan and back to Spokane. It had been a wild ride! I started as a host, and I now work as a bartender/server! Almost everyone that I know in my life is somehow connected with Applebee’s. We are a family and I love each and every one of them. 8 years later I love the company, but can’t wait to be able to leave J

Grandparent’s frame- I was incredibly close to my maternal grandparents. My grandmother suffered from a server stroke in 1991, when I was just 9 years old. I cherish the memories that I have of her and her zest for life. She ran Bloomsday every single year and loved to dance and ride bikes. My grandpa passed in Dec of 1999 and he was truly amazing! He created a lot of neon signs around Spokane, including the little bobbing chicken on the sign at Dick’s Drive In. I enjoyed every activity imaginable with my grandma. She loved to dress me up; she made almost all of my dresses, and volunteered whenever possible. My paternal grandparents were also a large part of my life. My grandmother (as she demanded to be called) was Mexican and very hot-tempered, and we never had the bond that I had with my other grandma. She passed away in Sept of 2006. My grandpa (pictured in center of frame with my maternal grandpa is amazing, he is my only living grandparent and is actually getting married in two weeks at the age of 82!!

I love my mommy frame- my mother is my rock! She is truly amazing and beautiful and I love everything about her. She is my best friend and I am truly blessed to have her in my life! My favorite memory of my mother is our weekly Michael Jackson dance parties… hence the sequin glove, which we wore to the MJ movie ‘This is It’.

Music- the concert ticket represents the thousands of concerts I went to growing up. My best friend Grace and I went to concerts every single weekend in downtown Spokane at either the “Howard Street Underground” (Central United Methodist Church on 3rd and Howard), or the Big Dipper (now the Empyrean coffee shop). We enjoyed going camping and checking out week long music festivals in the Columbia River gorge. Most of the music we saw was in the “Christian Punk Scene” as strange as that sounds. I still enjoy punk rock shows!

Grace- She has been my best friend since 7th grade, not only did we go to shows together all the time, we were inseparable. We share the same birthday, we lived together in Bellingham, and we both ended up back in Spokane. She now has 15 month old twins that are my life and I couldn’t be more pleased to have them in my life!

Melanie Anne- Melanie was born when I was 9 years old. Her parents lived across the street from us growing up. I consider her parents like my second parents. We are both technically only children and have always been a large part of each other’s lives. She is truly beautiful, amazing and inspiring. She is now a senior in high school and I am so proud of who she has become.

Pets- Oatmeal is my part Siamese very obese cat that I adopted while living in Bellingham, Otto is my little Detroit rescue kitty because I felt that Oatmeal needed a friend.  My boyfriend has two dogs (that I live with) Brodie, an all white malamute mix and Princess the pure breed Siberian Husky.  I have always been a cat person, but am learning to love having dogs as well. I just wish that I could take them for walks, yet instead they attempt to walk me since their combined weight is more than me!


Chris- My boyfriend Chris and I have been dating for almost two years. He is absolutely wonderful and we have a lot of fun together. This picture was taken by my best friend on our way to Phantom of The Opera last fall.

Big Brothers Big Sisters- I’m a Big- Big Brothers Big Sisters has changed my life. I have been a ‘Big’ for a year and my ‘little’, Bre is an 8th grader. We spend our time shopping, going to movies, baking, and talking. It is an amazing experience and I recommend that anyone that has an extra 10 hours a month get involved in changing the life of a special child.

Cooking- I have always loved to bake but have found a new love for cooking. I cook almost every single day thanks to inspiration from Rachael Ray. I have become very fond of a crock pot being a student and am always trying new recipes.

Friends- My friends are my life! I have a group of 10 extremely close girlfriends that carry me through life. I have met each of them at a different stage in my life. We all now lives in different parts of the state/country and keep in close touch through phone, email, and skype-gotta love it!

Reading- I was read to every single day as a young child. I still love to read every single day!

Squirrel- I know this may seem very random, but it does tie in. My grandma and I used to gather acorns every fall for the squirrels and store them in a large bin in her garage so that she could feed them through the winter. She had several ‘pet’ squirrels that would come to the door, and she even had a few that would come inside! I have always loved squirrels and every time my mom and I see one, we can’t help but smile because they remind me that my grandma is watching me from heaven.


Hello Kitty- I have strange obsession with Hello Kitty- Don’t ask me why? There is something that is hard to resist about a cute white cat in clothing…

Kiss me I’m Irish- With a last name like McClanahan how could I not be? This always comes as a shock to people that I am also Mexican!

Family- My family is especially important to me being an only child. I grew up being very close to cousins and friends’ families.  My parents were separated when I was 9, and divorced when I was 16. My mom got re-married in 2005.

 Applebee’s is also my family; we all have an extremely close bond.

Dress- This is the dress that I wore my first day of kindergarten, made by my grandma!













Web widgets

Understanding Family Diversity


Family Stats

Culturally Diverse Families

Has inclusion gone too far?

Tips for teachers working diverse settings

Inclusion in the Classroom

6 Tips for Teaching Diversity in the Classroom

Teacher-Parent Collaboration

Promoting Tolerance

Creating Acceptance


Education 411

Rich sticky notes

Week 1 Reflection

                I have found this first week of class to be quite interesting. The various topics that we have discussed have really made me think about my life and just how fortunate I am. I am of Hispanic decent, but never did I have to endure the heartache of being taken away from my native country and forced to fit in somewhere that I was culturally and linguistically lost! I only have one small experience that left me feeling lost and with a sense of culture shock. At the age of twenty-three I left my comfortable home life in Spokane, WA and moved to Detroit, MI. The landscape was run-down, the economy was failing, and I was left questioning my choices. I had a sense of culture shock for the first time in my life when I walked into a grocery store late at night to see that I was the only white person in an entire warehouse size store! It was not a specialty store of any kind just your typical, everyday, grocery store. I was also living in a Jewish community, where I was the only person that was not Jewish, and I never even realized it until I was later informed that I was naïve. How was I to know? I had known one Jewish person in my entire life, maybe two, and it’s not as though they were walking around speaking Hebrew to me!

                The articles that I chose to read through struck a chord with me because of the details surrounding the idea that children being put into these Indian boarding schools which existed, and may still exist are raising the chances of a child committing suicide. How can this be stopped?

                I also chose two articles posing similar questions… How can we make immigrant and refugee children feel welcome in our culture? Is there a way to ever truly understand what they are living through if we have not experienced something similar? I have heard their stories, and I have moved away from everything I have ever known, but I have never been to another country surrounded by the unfamiliar… I can only imagine!        



Here is a very interesting and sad photo gallery I found of Indian boarding schools while searching for articles.


Risk Factors for Suicide among Adolescent Indians at Boarding Schools



The Mental Health of Refugee Children and their Cultural Development


Norms for Experiencing Emotions in Different Cultures

Week 2 Reflection

This week I had a hard time understanding alot of the discussions in class due to the fact that many of the ideas given in the article 'Working with Young Children who are Learning English as a New Language' conflict with ideas that I have been given in previous classes.
The story of Genie, a young girl who was locked away and left with no social access, was one that truly touched my heart. Her story was real, yet not common. When she was found, at the age of 13, she had no language. Many people worked with her for several years and found it near impossible for her to develop language. I understand that this is rare, but it does happen. This language develop refers to L1 language development, and we are discussing L2 language development with young children learning English, or English Speaking children learning any other language for that matter.

I have witnessed the silent period with children, first hand. A child that is learning English likes to just sit and soak it all in and not say very much. I had a few children from the Marshall Islands in my placement last quarter and they would often say very little to other classmates but would talk to each other a lot in their home language. I think it's beautiful that they are able to communicate and creat a bond with one another based on the fact that they are all in an unfamiliar place with something in common.

Working with Young Children who are Learning English as a New Language

Kirova, A., Dacyshyn, D., Paradis, J. (2009). Working with Young Children who are Learning English as a
      New Language. Retrieved from :

The Story of Genie- from

Pines, M. (1997) The Civilizing of Genie. Teaching English through the Disciplines: Psychology.    
     Retrieved from :

Text Analogue

1. Why did you chose this person?

I chose to talk to my grandma because I have always been fascinated in not only learning my own family background, but where she comes from. My grandma had an interesting life and I was always intrigued that she spoke both perfect English and Spanish.


2. Background on the Spanish/Mexican Language and Culture.


A History of the Spanish Language- Ralph Penny

Don Quixote Spanish Culture-

Mexico- Language, Culture, Customs, Etiquette.


Spain- Language, Culture, Customs, Etiquette


The two above mentioned websites gave me great insight on these two beautiful countries!



3. Jot down notes-

4. Reflection-

I learned during this conversation that my grandma had a pretty privelaged life. She didn't want to talk a lot about how she learned the language because she has now spoke English for almost 75 years and doesn't remember a lot about how she learned it. She remembers translating a lot and that she took classes where they showed a lot of pictures. The sad thing for me is that I never really learned a lot about my Hispanic background. Although she was born in New Mexico, her parents were from Spain. I never knew a lot about my culture or where my family came from. I learned more about my Irish family growing up. I am now intrigued, and have been learning more about my family history throughout the years as I get older. I have never been to Mexico or Spain and hope to one day visit both.

While looking up information on both Spain and Mexico I found some startling facts from



I found the populations to be quite intresting. Spain has a population of 40,280,780 as of July of 2004. Mexico has a population of 104,959,594 also from July of 2004. Quite a difference in size!


5. What are the implications for me-

I think the thing that caught me in the conversation was the fact that she said she was a translator for her parents. That is so often the case with children in the classes here. It was hard for her to reflect on her past, but she can't remember learning a language being a bad experience. I can only hope to make learning English an easy transition for any student that comes into my classroom. I never want them to feel left out or scared. I know that will not always come true, but I hope to make English fun, and my classroom environment full of compassion and support.

Week 4 Reflection

This week in class I really enjoyed watching each group present the information that they found on their different areas of research.

·         Group 1- ELL books and corresponding audiotapes.

o   I loved the comprehensible input video that was shown about Stephen Krashen. I found it interesting that if students don’t understand what you are trying to tell them then they can’t learn at all. I loved that when Stephen Krashen was speaking in Russian no one understood him, and then when he started pointing more people understood him.

·         Group 2- Ours J



§  Our group had a lot of fun putting together various pieces to use for teaching shared reading, paired reading and contextual clues. We decided to use the story of the 3 little pigs since everyone was familiar with the story and decided that with all the different versions of the story it would be fun to have a whole unit about pigs, and different pig things. Most children, even E.S.L, know what a pig is. To have crafts with pigs, stories with pigs, make pig cupcakes, and even get a stuffed pig as a reading buddy would be pretty fun for almost any child J

·         Group 3-Relatable books and bringing multicultural books into the classroom.

o   When bringing books from other cultures into the classroom library it is most important to make sure that the books are authentic. I loved that each person in this group shared a different culture and the good and bad example of Chinese culture helped too.

·         Group 4- Language experience approach (LEA), Interactive Writing

o   This group did a great job of teaching the class to choose a focus, demonstrate print concepts, record children’s own languages and vary the type of record keeping that we, as teachers keep. They also did a great job of making it a point to establish a meaningful topic with the children. Having children write letters or write lists is also helpful to get the writing moving along.

·         Group 5- I am unsure of this groups focus overall but they did a great job of discussing TPR (Total Physical Response). Labeling the classroom is important, especially for younger children, even when they know English. It would be great to teach the whole classroom some American Sign Language so that every student can communicate no matter what their first language.


Final Assessment

I believe that the most important thing I have learned when it comes to working with E.L.L students is that they need to all be treated as equals. Younger children do not see color; they only see a new opportunity to make a new friend.

I have learned how important it is to make sure that every child feels that they are welcome within my classroom. I want to make sure that each child feels included and special.

I will make it my personal goal to make sure that no child feels ‘invisible’. I feel that I will be able to empathize with the children in my classroom because I, myself, have experienced culture shock in moving to a completely new place.

In understanding that our reality is not the only one that exists I would hope to teach every child within my classroom that they are living in a whole world of culture. I want to make sure that each child has a chance to share their ‘culture’, traditions, families, rituals. I believe it is extremely important for every student within the classroom environment to become a family while they are at school. I experienced sharing of our cultures within a college course and really enjoyed seeing all my peers’ worlds and where they come from. It opened my eyes and made me look at some people in a whole new light, one that I may not have been aware of otherwise.

In being able to develop a child’s literacy with an E. L.L child I believe that it is extremely important to first develop their vocabulary. As a stated in a previous reflection; it is so important to label the classroom, share read-alouds and make sure that every single child has the same chance to succeed and is given every opportunity to do so.

From experience within my placement I have seen examples of good and bad multicultural experiences. It is necessary to open children’s eyes to more than one culture. In my placement last year the teacher (in kindergarten) only talked to the children about the Japanese culture, because that is all he knew. He had traveled the world and had wonderful stories to tell me, but yet never shared them with the children. We had children from all different family dynamics and cultures within our own class. It’s unfortunate that he chose to keep those wonderful stories that he had to share from the children simply because he felt they were too young to connect. The classroom was not labeled, which seemed a shame to me, and the walls were very drab, his whole classroom library was books that I read when I was in kindergarten. I believe that it’s time for an update!

The most wonderful thing I can offer a child is a look into my mind, my knowledge, my culture, my joy for learning. I will make my classroom diverse and full of the wonder of cultures from around the world and within our own classroom environment.


My Grade

Grade: 4.0


I missed one day of class due to an emergency with a co-worker but I came to class every other day and participated. I informed the teacher ahead of time and made sure that I had notes from a classmate. I had all of my reflections done on time and put forth effort on the group presentation.