Over the spring and summer, we have reexamined all of our curriculum to be sure that we do all we can to emphasize the importance of teachers recognizing the funds of knowledge students and their families bring to schools and communities and to help educators engage students’ strengths and voices. Our work to achieve this continues as we keep equity and inclusion at the forefront of all that we do at the TCRWP. We have a few examples of how this lives in our work.
Supplemental Read Alouds
We have written numerous read-aloud plans for each grade band (K-2; 3-5; 6-8) that make diverse texts prominent and central within reading and writing workshops. These plans are intended to support teachers in reading these books aloud to their students and having conversations about them. A few of these titles we’ve selected include Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora; A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin; Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson; Tía Isa Wants a Car by Meg Medina; Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpre by Anika Aldamuy Denise; Dear Benjamin Banneker by Andrea Davis Pinkney; Indian Shoes by Cynthia Leitich Smith; and Pride by Ibi Zoboi. Below are several examples of our read read-aloud plans.
We reexamined all of our curricular calendars to consider the ways our content and workshop structures—including student partnerships, small group, and whole class conversations—lend themselves to powerful thinking and discussions in classrooms around equity and inclusion. We have also included guidance for teachers in our units on ways to reflect on their biases as well as resources to help them facilitate conversations about race and racism in the classroom. An example of this is an implicit-association test (IAT) by Harvard’s Project Implicit. This tool can help educators to become aware of implicit biases and get support for working to combat them. We also included guidance for educators in our units about honoring the authentic and varied ways in which children speak and write, which can often be deeply connected to their cultural and racial identities. We provided examples from popular children’s writers, such as Sandra Cisneros and Toni Cade Bambara, that can be used to help teachers support students’ writing and use of conventions in ways that promote their authentic identities as writers. An example of this deep and extensive work is the 4th grade Power and Perspective Unit.
Culturally Relevant Scorecard
The Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools (NYU Metro Center) has published a culturally relevant scorecard that has been an important part of our process of reexamining and revising curriculum and instructional practices. The scorecard has helped us to become acutely aware of areas where we’re achieving the goal of culturally relevant curriculum and areas where we need to improve. We invite you as well to make use of this important resource and put into action a plan for equitable educational outcomes in your classrooms and schools.