Curriculum Project: X Academy Chelsea Clarke Megan Esper Mary Milchen Cari Radziewicz Cleary Williams Miami University

1. TEAM ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE (EDT 252 Focus) BELIEF STATEMENT ³At X Academy, we believe in recognizing the diversity in our students, instilling the love of life-long learning, and understanding the ability of students in order to reach their highest potential.´ TEAM EXPECTATIONS We expect that our teachers and students will be active participants in the growth of the school and surrounding community. We plan to have students and teachers engage in team activities within our school and also with the surrounding community as a way to connect with one another and contribute to the communities¶ development. We expect teachers to provide learning opportunities that create excitement for their students. The students will be motivated learners and cooperate with the teachers and fellow students. In addition, the students will be responsible and reflective learners. The teachers will foster a healthy and safe environment that promotes knowledge and diversity. ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE TEAM Our set up is a block schedule that reflects our democratic, flexible teaching approach. Our schedule is based off of our curriculum integration concept, which is self-concept. We have divided self-concept into four sub-categories that include diversity, body image, future plans, and social concepts. We will begin the year focusing on diversity in the classroom, which will last for the first quarter. Our weekly schedule is made up of two different days of block scheduling. In each day, there is a homeroom period followed by physical education and foreign language, as well as the µspecial¶ that changes quarterly. There are four periods between these two days of block scheduling devoted to our curricular objectives. For example, during the first quarter we will focus on diversity, and the students will do a project pertaining to diversity that will have imbedded our sub-topics of economic status, family life, culture, and gender roles. We understand the connections between these four sub-topics therefore the periods will not explicitly teach one of the sub-topics they will incorporate all into the lessons and planning. In addition, teachers will have individual planning time while the students are participating in non-team classes such as physical education, foreign language, and specials.

STUDENT SCHEDULE Day 1 Day 2 Homeroom Homeroom Passing Period Passing Period Period 1 Period 3 Passing Period Passing Period Phys Ed/ PT Phys Ed/ PT Passing Period Passing Period Foreign Language/ Foreign Language/

8:00 AM 8:30 AM 8:35 AM 10:10 AM 10:15 AM 11:00 AM 11:05 AM

11:50 AM 11:55 AM 12:45 PM 12:50 PM 2:25 PM 2:30 PM 3:20 PM

PT Passing Period Recess/Lunch Passing Period Period 2 Passing Period Quarter Special/ PT Schools Out

PT Passing Period Recess/Lunch Passing Period Period 4 Passing Period Quarter Special/ PT Schools Out

Programs and policies that foster health, wellness and safety y Nurse on staff- (2) y Bully prevention programs- Each school district will be trained in implementing bully prevention programs (Anti-bullying rules, signs in rooms and hallways) and newsletters about no bullying will be sent home. y Paraprofessionals- 5 paraprofessionals will be on staff patrolling the hallways and lunchrooms throughout the day. y Nutrition programs- One nutritionist will be hired to be make sure that all school meals are nutritious for students. y Fire escape maps posted throughout the school- Maps will be put around the school to guide people about what to do in the event of a fire. y Scholastic book fair- Will occur once every quarter to provide fun and educational reading materials to students and teachers. y Emergency plans in each classroom- Teachers and students will receive instruction on proper protocol in the event of an emergency at the beginning of each year. y Various disaster drills throughout the year- This will make sure that teachers, students and administrators are up to date on the proper procedures in the event of a disaster. y Recess and physical education programs- Will allow students to remain in good physical shape and teach them about healthy lifestyles. y Project SPARK- Teaches teachers how to integrate physical education into the classroom with academic aspects. y Extracurricular organizations- sports, drama, choir, band, pen pals, debate team, mathlete, spelling bees, creative writing club, student council, honor roll, student of the week y After school care y Tutors and peer mentoring programs: The older students will help out in younger student¶s classrooms upon request of teacher. Also, at the beginning of the year an eighth grade student will be paired with a fifth grade student to be his or her mentor. This eighth grade student will support his or her mentee throughout the course of the year with any problems or questions he or she encounters. y Junior Achievement y Diversity Day

Guidance and support services y Speech Pathologist (1) y Special Ed intervention specialist (8) y Foreign Language (4) y Nurse (2) y Custodian (3) y Cafeteria workers (5) y Child nutrition services (1) y Bus drivers y Secretary (2) y ESOL Specialist y Academic coach y Psychologist y Guidance counselor y Gifted and talented teachers y School Police officer (1) 2. BACKGROUND OF STUDENTS AND COMMUNITY Location- Chicago Suburb Grades 5-8 Students Enrolled- 400 Gender Male- 48% Female- 52% School Demographics Caucasian- 60% Asian/ Pacific Islander- 4% African American- 21% Hispanic-13% Indian-2% Social Economic Status Free Lunch-7% Reduced Lunch-25% Pay-68% ELL Students Pull out teacher 8% Special Ed 2 Special educators per grade for pull out program IEP Students- 18 per grade Gifted/ Enrichment- 6-8 per grade Learning Modalities/ Multiple Intelligences Visual- 50% Auditory-15%

Kinesthetic-15% Tactile-20% Interpersonal- 8% Intrapersonal- 30% Mathematical- 5% Bodily kinesthetic- 25% Natural- 5% Existentialist-5% Musical-5% Linguistic- 15% Spatial- 2%

Community Due to the community¶s large socio-economic status gap there are tensions between the wealthy and the poor. This is due to the recent redistricting that has moved students from higher socioeconomic status into schools with students of lower socioeconomic status. Also, due to the large diversity of the community and school there are tensions seen both through interracial conflicts and conflicts within the same race. Due to the economic crisis in our country, there is conflict within the family because fear of losing a job, and not having support to keep children in school and provide for family. The pressure of society for each student¶s success leads to tensions as well. Furthermore, there are tensions between teachers and parents over involvement with student progress. Based on these tensions seen throughout the school and the community, we believe it is important for our school to show we support the community as a way to ease the tensions. We believe that through community service and external school projects, the tensions will decrease and the community as a whole will bond. A few examples of these service projects include: cleaning up the community such as painting over graffiti, picking up trash on the local roads, and re-landscaping run-down parks. Another way our school will service the community is through projects aimed to assist diverse groups people in the community. We want our community to know that we care about each individual not only our students. Some of the out of school service activities will include: caroling to the nursing home, after school tutoring to younger children, volunteering at shelters and food pantries, and holiday gift giving and wrapping programs. All of these activities will be effective in bonding the community and the school together while creating more peaceful environment. Connections supported by curriculum Our curriculum will not be biased towards one race or socio-economic group. The curriculum will strive to be democratic allowing the students to express their individuality. We will incorporate activities in the classroom that interconnect home life and community. We plan to introduce this concept in fifth grade through our cultural research project. As introduction to the project, we are asking our students to discuss with their parents about their nationality, heritage, and family traditions. Then, the students will be asked to share with the class what they have learned through discussion format. This will allow the

students the opportunity to learn about the cultural background of their classmates and connect their home life to their academic life. This opportunity allows a community to be created within the classroom, which we believe to be a vital aspect of learning.

3. LESSON PLAN ORGANIZERS Title/Source: Cultural Research Project Standards: Math: Data Analysis and Probability Science: Science and Technology Language Arts: Research Standard, Communications: oral and visual standard Social Studies: History, People in Societies Benchmarks: Data Analysis: E. Collect, organize, display, and interpret data for a specific purpose or need. Science and Technology: A. Describe how technology affects human life. Communications: oral and visual standard: F: Give presentations using a variety of delivery methods, visual materials and technology. Research Standard: D. Acknowledge quoted and paraphrased information and document sources used History: A. Construct time lines to demonstrate an understanding of units of time and chronological order People in Societies: A. Compare practice and products of North American cultural groups. Indicators: Data Collection: 4. Determine appropriate data to be collected to answer questions posed by students or teacher, collect and display data, and clearly communicate findings. Understanding Technology: 1. Investigate positive and negative impacts of human activity and technology on the environment. Speaking Applications: 8. Deliver informational presentations (e.g., expository, research) that: a. demonstrate an understanding of the topic and present events or ideas I n a logical sequence;

b. support the main idea with relevant facts, details, examples, quotations, statistics, stories and anecdotes; c. organize information, including a clear introduction, body and conclusion and flow common organizational structures when appropriate (eg., causeeffect, compare ±contrast) d. use appropriate visual materials (e.g., diagrams, charts, illustrations) and available technology; and e. Draw from several sources and identify sources used. Research: 2: Locate sources and gather relevant information from multiple sources (e.g., school library catalogs, online databases, electronic resources and internetbased resources) Chronology: 1. Create time lines and identify possible relationships between events. Cultures: 1. Compare the cultural practices and products of diverse groups in North America including: a. Artistic expressions; b. Religion; c. Language; d. Food; e. Clothing; f. Shelter. Student Performance Standards -Students will learn to create tables, graphs, and charts that represent data. -Students will analyze mathematical data into graphs and charts. -Students will be able to interpret data from charts and apply into real life situations such as with populations over a given time period. -Students will be able to identify reliable and relevant information and data for research. - Students will organize research information into a format that is appropriate for presentation. - Students will understand how to formally present information by using visual aids, organization, and supporting with facts. - Students will be able to explain the order of historical events for their culture. - Students will be able to demonstrate how to work effectively with their peers to complete the project. -Students will understand how technology is used in other countries and the positives and negatives that have come from the countries technological advances. -Students will be able to identify diverse groups in North America and practices and products used by these different cultures, which will relate to the student¶s own culture.

Description of Lesson: Three-Week Plan On the first day of the integrated unit, we will introduce the topic µculture¶ to the class. We will explain to students that µwe are entering a unit in which students will study the cultures shared by different peoples all over the world. Explain to students that today and tomorrow however, we will be discussing the cultural differences and diversity that exists within our own classroom and community. We will read The Black Snowman, written by Phil Mendez out loud to students. Encourage students to share their responses to the story. Ask students what makes the family in the book culturally unique? Ask students how the family in the story is different or similar to their own families. Explain to students that their homework for the night is to discover a little bit about their own culture so that we can discover the diversity that exists within our own classroom. Make sure that students know that the teachers will also complete the assignment. We will provide each student with a list of questions that each child should take home and ask his/her guardian. Make sure that students understand that they need to bring back at least some of the answered questions to school the following day. The questions include the following: µWhat nationality am I?, locate the country/countries on a map, what are some of our family traditions±how and when did they begin?, what are some traditions that are representative of our nationality?¶. On day two, we will gather students for whole-group discussion and encourage them to share their answers that they received at home. The point of this discussion is to teach students that diversity exists in their own classroom, in their neighborhoods, in their communities, and obviously around the world. Next, we will provide students with a plethora of non-fiction books about different countries that are appropriate for the reading levels of the students. Allow students at least an hour to review a number of books. Then,

we will ask students to write down their top three choices of which country they want to research. We will group the students into partner pairs and assign each pair their country according to their lists. We will then teach a mini-lesson will prepare students to be successful working with their partner: Components of mini-lesson: µHow to act as an effective group member¶: Students will be assigned into groups of four and asked to brainstorm ideas together to answer the following questions: µWhat makes a good group member?¶, µWhat do I like about working in a group and what don¶t I like about working in a group?¶, µWhat does it mean to respect your peers while working in a group?¶ µWhat does it mean to respect your peers while working in a group?¶ We will then gather students as a whole group and engage them in a class discussion. We will ask students to share their responses and together we will develop a classroom policy for group behavior. We will write classformulated behavior policy on poster paper and post it in the classroom so that all students know what is expected of them while working in groups throughout this unit and throughout the duration of the year. We will then explicitly teach students the procedures for working in groups and choosing a partner. We will teach students that partners must take turns reading and share the work and help one another and also that partners should ask one another for help and try to figure out a question or problem before asking the teacher. After the mini-lesson, partner pairs will complete a KWL (What I know, What I want to know, What I learned) chart about their individual country. They will fill in the µK¶ and µW¶ portions. On the third day, we will teach the students a mini-lesson about effective research skills and methods. We will take students to the library and expose students to a number of

different resources that students can use for their research. Then, we will provide students with a checklist of the criteria for what constitutes quality resources to use as references for a research project. These are the sources that have legitimate credentials and are also accurate. We will show the students examples of quality resources and also poor resources. We will model using school databases and other resources. After teaching the µresearch mini-lesson¶, we will provide students with a checklist of what they should look for while they are researching their individual countries. We will make sure to tell students that these are the minimal pieces of information that should be included in their research. Students will have the remainder of the week as well as the following week to complete their research and begin working on an outline for their paper. During this week, we will focus on allowing the students to become acquainted with the research process and working with their group members. Students will use their new skills developed from the mini-lesson and the group behavior policy to guide their group work as they research collaboratively. Research Checklist: · · · · The name of your country The capital of your country The location (what continent it is on) Population of your country

Research the following cultural practices of your assigned country: · Artistic expressions · Religion · Language · Food · Clothing · Shelter Research the technology of your country: (use these components as minimal guidelines for your research) · What different types of technology does your country currently use? · What are some negatives effects of technology use on the people of your country?

· What are some of the positives effects of technology use on the people of your country? · Do you notice any differences between technology use in America and the country you are researching? What are these differences? Research the family life of your country: · What are some of the family traditions in your country? · What do families look like? (i.e; structure, size, etc) Are there many different types or did you notice that one family structure is the most common? Research the economy of your country: Natural Resources Manufacturing Areas Land use (ie. Farming) Major Occupations The currency (type of money) Research gender roles within your country: y Is your country¶s society a matriarchal one or a patriarchal one? Explain. Hint: Research who in the family takes care of the children and the home and who in the family earns the money? y Do more males or more females hold the highest paying jobs in your country¶s society? Do more males or more females hold jobs in general within your society? Research the climate of your country: Discuss the general weather conditions Note the average yearly rainfall/precipitation (Make a graph depicting precipitation for each month. Note the pattern you see. Which month has the most, least?) Note the average yearly temperature (Graph the average temperate by month. Which month that is hottest and coldest?) What effects does the climate have on the country?

· · · · ·

y y y y

Research additional information about your country that you find interesting: · Travel tips or tourist attractions · Modes of transportation · Native animals · Interesting laws · Story behind flag Throughout week two, the students will continue their research in the classroom and in the library. The teachers will circulate from group to group to assist students with any

questions they may have. Also, the partner pairs will be working on their research paper as well as preparing an oral presentation of their choice to present their research findings about their country in an engaging way to their peers. During this week, we will present four different mini-lessons pertaining to the project. On Tuesday, will present a mini-lesson on how to properly cite work. Components of the mini-lesson: How to cite your sources in a bibliography: To begin this mini-lesson, we will show our students a public service announcement about plagiarizing. Since students just learned through a mini-lesson about the different available resources that can be used for research, students are now ready to practice citing these sources. We will provide each student with a µcitation cheat sheet¶ that lists how to cite the following sources MLA style in a bibliography: website, book, newspaper article, encyclopedia, online database, online newspaper and a map/chart. We will explain to students that these are not all of the sources that they may need to cite and also explain to students that they can always ask us for further assistance if needed. The sources listed on the µcheat sheet¶ are the most common sources that students will most likely use frequently while researching. Wednesday, we will teach students how to chart and graph their statistical findings that they researched. For example, students will learn how to graph population changes, income, family size, or any other data that they find interesting. On Thursday, will present a mini-lesson on oral presentations. Components of mini-lesson: µTips on delivering an oral report¶: For this mini-lesson we will walk through the basic structure of an oral presentation. We will explain to students that when they deliver oral presentations in the future they may not need to follow the provided structure; however, because they are now learning how to effectively deliver formal oral presentations, they are required to use this structure for this research project. We will explicitly teach the following outline to students using a µpresentation outline¶ poster: y Title of research topic/paper y Overview of the topics that were covered in the report y Name at least three different sources they used for their research y Choose two categories, ie: geography, or history and explain findings to the class y Make sure to use two visual aids while presenting ± can be a map, a poster, a

PowerPoint presentation, a timeline, or a different visual aid that is approved by the teacher. We will then teach students the specific presentation skills that they should practice prior to presenting. Students will learn that they should always think of their audience for the presentation and make sure that the content is appropriate for the audience. Students will also learn tips about voice fluctuation and how to avoid using a monotone voice. Furthermore, students will learn to avoid nervous presentation habits that include shuffling feet, using fillers such as µum¶ and µlike¶ and students will also learn that it is not good to simply read off of PowerPoint slides or note cards. Overall, we will impress upon students the importance of practicing the presentation in public and in front of other students. Students will understand that practicing will eliminate their nervous habits and will help students to avoid reading off of note cards and/or PowerPoint slides.

The students will have Friday and Monday of the following week to finish their projects. During these two days, the teachers will meet with each group for a short conference to check their progress and to tie up lose ends of the project.

During week three, the students will present their projects to the class. The presentations will be Tuesday through Friday. Since we have twelve pairs, we will have three groups present each day. Each group will have thirty minutes to present what they have learned to the class. The end of the presentation will allow for students to ask questions and give positive feedback to their peers. Each student will verbally say a few positives they saw in project and something the group can work on in the future. The students will be filmed during their projects, and they will have to evaluate their presentation as well as their effectiveness as a group member. They will base their

presentation elevations on the concepts they learned in the mini-lesson for effective presentation strategies. Also, the other students in the class will evaluate their peers based upon their presentation. Following the evaluations, the students will complete the µL¶ portion of their KWL as a class, allowing all the students to contribute.

Curriculum Development (EDL 318 Focus) 6. CURRICULUM RATIONALE FOR THE COURSE At X Academy, our goal as teachers is to be facilitators for student learning. We feel that the education provided should teach students how to work together in groups as well as be a valuable member of any given community. These are valuable lessons because working well in groups gives students the confidence it takes to speak in front of an audience and articulate their ideas clearly and comfortably. Group work also teaches students how to be respectful of other¶s ideas, listen to what others have to say, and formulate their own opinions based on new ideas. Responsibility and accountability are also two important factors that play into group work, which students need to learn at a young age and develop throughout their lives. The education we provide our students should teach them how to generate their own ideas, gain knowledge that will allow them to be functioning members of society and understand that learning is a continuing and lifelong process. By allowing our students to be more involved in the process of their own learning, we hope to generate interest and excitement. Because our teachers are the facilitators, students have more say in what and how they are learning and it gives them the independence and opportunity to learn things that are interesting to them, which we feel is more valuable than any other type of learning. Through our idea of self-concept, we hope that students develop a strong sense of individuality and pride about their families, cultures, and lifestyles. We also hope that our students leave the classroom as more well rounded individuals who are aware of their surroundings and accepting of others differences. By teaching about other cultures and lifestyles students are able to learn that being different isn¶t a bad thing, and it should be embraced.

Our school feels that a democratic teaching system is an effective way to teach students because it allows them to feel more involved in their own learning, which in turn generates more interest and excitement. By having students have more of a say in their own learning, they are learning topics that are relevant and important to them, which fosters a sense of pride in learning. It also allows them to see what a democratic process can look like which is important because we live in a democratic society. Teaching students earlier about the democratic way empowers them to have a better understanding of the way our society works and allows them to go out and make the changes they want to see in the world. Another goal we have with our curriculum is to foster positive self-images among our students. In teaching ours students about healthy lifestyles, we hope that once they leave X Academy they are able to make positive, healthy and good choices in their lives. Having a positive self-image is important because without that, students don¶t have the confidence it takes to realize their goals and dreams. Our goal at X Academy is to instill in our students that they can achieve all they want in life. The goal of our curriculum is to expand their horizons so that they are learning about things they might not normally have been exposed time. Lastly our goal at X Academy is create a community within our classroom we want our students feel comfortable expressing their feelings and beliefs with their classmates. We feel it is important to connect our student¶s home life to school. We plan on doing this by encouraging students to incorporate previous knowledge into classroom projects. We understand that each of students come with diverse, valuable backgrounds that will contribute to the success of all the learners, and at X Academy we want to embrace these

opportunities. Through these goals we believe our students will reach the self-confidence, democratic thinking, and cultural competence to be successful upon leaving X Academy.

7. DEVELOP A COURSE DESCRIPTION We have chosen to design our curriculum around the topic of self-concept because middle school students are very curious about their changing bodies, personal identities, and future. Embracing this model in the classroom is very relevant to the students¶ growth. The concepts we have chosen to address pertaining to self-concept are body image, socialization, future personal goals, and diversity. We plan to spending each quarter studying, analyzing, and reflecting upon one of these four topics. In the first quarter, we will introduce the concept of diversity in the classroom because we want to ensure the students feel comfortable and welcomed. Also, we feel as though it¶s important for students to be introduced to cultures, races, and lifestyles different from their own. Next, we will spend the second quarter on the topic of socialization. We chose to address this topic following diversity because we found many linkages between the two concepts. In addition, we want to address this topic early in the year because our curriculum involves having a strong understanding of cooperating with one another to complete tasks. During the third quarter, we will introduce the concept of body image. We chose to address this topic during the second half of the year because we wanted to ensure the students were comfortable with one another and themselves before talking about body types. In the fourth quarter, we will introduce the topic of future goals. We chose to introduce this topic last because we want the students to apply what they have learned throughout the year to this concept. The students will be assessed on portfolios that they will submit and the end of each quarter that will contain the mini projects done throughout the quarter and on self, peer, and teacher evaluations.

The students are able to construct their own understanding of the material given to them through research. This will enable the students to discover knowledge for themselves and formulate their own understanding based on the research they do. Although the topic and research questions are given to the students, they are able to choose the direction they want to go with their topic and presentation format as long as their final portfolio reflects the knowledge and understanding they have acquired. For example, during the first quarter the students will be studying the topic of culture. During this time, they will be assigned a research project based upon a country they choose. The students will work in pairs to complete the project. They will be given research questions such as ³what are the country¶s cultural practices and geography´, to assist them in the research process, however, they have the option to include additional information about the country they find to be interesting. Students will present their project to the class using whichever media they deem appropriate. The portfolios they submit will be graded based on a rubric that the teacher will handout when the project is introduced to the students. Evaluations done by the students themselves, peers, and teacher will count toward the final assessment grade as well. As a result of the country cultural projects, our students will gain a stronger understanding of themselves, peers, and their surrounding environment. Our other courses of study for the year, which include: socialization, body image, future goals, will also involve interactive projects that are relevant to the student¶s lives. We have designed our curriculum with the intent to develop student¶s critical thinking skills, knowledge base, and interaction with peers. We understand that these three factors are important skills to obtain, and we plan to instill these skills in the minds of our students.

Our school views student¶s learning such that students decide what they learn and teachers are the facilitators. The student learning is fostered and created by the students themselves. Students are to be active members of the classroom and learning environment. We understand that each student brings individual, valuable experiences into the classroom; therefore, we give students the opportunity to showcase their background knowledge and learn from their peers through group work. Also, our student body is connected closely to the surrounding community. We want to ensure that our community understands our commitment to forming well-rounded, civic-minded people, and prepare our students for their lives outside of the classroom. As we are a culturally diverse school we will incorporate different cultures and stray away from biases. We will allow the students to experience self-learning and utilize their different learning styles. We will welcome diversity and encourage students to bring forth different views to the classroom. With the assistance of our special needs aids and ELL aids, the students will be able to receive additional help outside the classroom and experience immersion within the classroom. The student¶s IEP will determine their amount of pull out time. In addition, we understand that each student is not at the same academic level; however, we are fully confident each student will reach individual success. For this reason, we feel it is important to grade our students based upon their progress and recognize students who make progression throughout the year. For the students who are struggling in any particular aspect of the curriculum, we will focus our assessment not upon solely the portfolio itself, but the student¶s progression from the beginning of the year. We will make this assessment by conversing with aids and coming to a consensus on the student progress.

The educational theory modeled in our school is the progressivism theory. Our classrooms are student-centered and focus on real life situations for students to learn from (Abowitz 2006). We believe it is important for students to have experiences that can be applicable to their lives as they grow and mature. Our students will be apart of our integrated curriculum and focus their attention on our thematic sequence of self-concept. Progressive classrooms foster an environment where ³students learn by doing...and are exposed a more diverse curriculum´ (Abowitz 2006). In addition, our students are encouraged to work together and develop social skills such as ³cooperation and tolerance for different points of view´ (Abowitz 2006). We want to ensure our students become culturally competent individuals with a strong understanding of critical thinking skills. Our students will learn about content that is truly relatable to their own lives. We have adapted our curriculum to reflect Beane¶s concept of social, personal, explanatory, and technical knowledge. We have done so by formulating a curriculum that is representative and relevant to the lives of our students. According to Beane, social knowledge is ³addressing social and world issues, from peer to global relationships, and ways of critically examining these´ (Beane 1997). We have included social knowledge by having students work collaboratively with peers to complete projects. In addition, we will explicitly teach students how to work effectively and responsibly with peers. We have incorporated Beane¶s definition of personal knowledge, which is, ³addressing self-concerns and ways of knowing about self´ (Beane 1997). Our curriculum reflects this concept through the main objective of the course, which is self-concept. The students will be exploring their selves through culture, body image, and future personal goals. We have integrated Beane¶s explanatory knowledge concept, which is, ³content that names,

describes, explains, and interprets, including that involved in the disciplines of knowledge as well as common sense or popular knowledge´ (Beane 1997). Explanatory knowledge is shown in our curriculum throughout the year through the projects the students present because they will have to research information, analyze it, and then explain what they have learned to the class. Lastly, we have utilized Beane¶s definition of technical knowledge, which is ³ways of investigating, communicating, analyzing and expressing, including many skills promoted in schools´ (Beane 1997). We have implemented this concept into our classroom through our mini-lesson, which explains to our students the steps of oral communication. The students will practice this skill through their presentation. Questions explored by course, teachers, and students: - What are some of the different cultures of North America? What are the traditions, language, clothes, religion, artistic symbols, and rituals of these cultures? - What are steps to oral communication? - How do you know if a source is reliable? Where can you find reliable sources? - What are good tips to remember when working in groups such as respect, responsibility, and open-mindedness? - What is a good way to organize information that is appropriate for the presentation? - What is the difference between pie charts, line graphs, and step charts? How are these graphs used to depict information? - How is technology helpful in other cultures? What are the positives and negatives of technological advances in culture?

- What are some ways that we can increase cultural diversity awareness in the classroom and community?

8. STUDENT ASSESSMENT Throughout each quarter students will complete projects within their classroom pertaining to the content they are learning about. For example, we will spend the first three weeks of the first quarter on a cultural research project. This project will include a research paper as well as a presentation of the material. The students will work in pairs and have the liberty to choose their presentation format. This project will be assessed on three different criteria: evaluations by teachers, students, and peers, presentations, and paper. The selfevaluations will be based off of a video that will be taken of them during their presentation so that they can see how they did and how they could improve if they had another chance. During the presentation, peers will be assigned to assess the student¶s project and those assessments will count for 5% of the final project grade. Teacher evaluation will account for 80% and self-evaluation will account for 15%. This allows the student to be accountable and honest about their effort. There will be a final due date for each assessments; however, it will be tentative because our curriculum allows for flexibility. The paper will be graded with a rubric provided to the students at the beginning of the research process. The presentation will be graded upon the students use and understanding of the communication tools taught during the mini-lesson; this will also have a rubric for assessment. The culmination of these three criteria will account for the student¶s final grade of the project. The student pairs will meet with the teacher in a conference to discuss their portfolio assessment. During this time, the teacher and students will discuss the positives of the project, areas in need of improvement, and goals. We feel peers, students, and teachers should assess student learning through the use of portfolios, reflections, and evaluations. The portfolio will encompass all the work the

student has done throughout the semester including all of the projects, evaluations and feedback. At the end of each quarter, students will participate in a project fair where they will present a project to all their peers and other teachers in the cafeteria. Throughout the quarter the students will have done 3-4 projects and will have the choice to pick the one they thought they did the best on to present. Our assessment of the portfolio will not only be based on what is inside but also on how much progression is made from the beginning of the quarter to the end. We understand students can struggle in certain areas so if they can prove they are trying and showing improvement that will go into their final grade.

Sources Abowitz, K. (2006). Sociocultural studies in education. Boston: McGraw HIll Learning Solutions. Beane, J. (1997). Curriculum integration. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

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