Setting the Stage (Unit 1)

Weeks 1-2

Before we can successfully integrate culturally relevant teaching as a school wide initiative, we must first ensure that each student is engaged and using a common scaffold. The first unit, or first two weeks of instruction focus primarily on team building and creating a respectful classroom culture and climate. It is our intention to provide as much support as possible to ensure that the classroom climate is conducive to culturally responsive instruction and is framed in a manner that appeals to our students.

This Unit begins with an interactive lesson which focuses on providing common language instruction to develop a professional code of conduct. DC-21 integrates a culture of Professionalism, but we seldom show students concrete examples of how language and actions can be viewed as unprofessional. This approach confuses students because they only hear how they should act, instead of being taught how those actions affect others.

The first lesson in this Unit places students in a vulnerable position, and takes an extended amount of time to complete (between three and four lessons). Immediately following this activity, students will develop a set of norms regarding the advisory curriculum and how it connects to our school culture and climate.

The Unit will conclude with a lesson about character and building culture which will extend into the second Unit: Define Self.

Further Directions:
Once this Unit is complete, your students will have a basic understanding of how to discuss culturally relevant material in a classroom/professional setting. They will also have several short experiences with integrating culturally relevant material into the classroom. If you would like to continue to engage your students past the initial two week time frame, you can begin a book focus (see appendix for more information). This unit focuses on tying together lessons on professional conduct and identity. We recommend using:
  1. Sunrise over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers
  2. Monster by Walter Dean Myers
  3. Accidental Love by Gary Soto

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