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Preschool Cultural Understanding

 To write an agenda for a family coffee hour designed to build and promote cultural understandings and to evaluate your agenda. 

Scenario:
You are a first-year teacher in a large urban preschool.  At your first open house, you meet families who represent a variety of  cultural groups. You also meet interracial and biracial families, as  well as families led by teenage moms. You seek to gain cultural insights  about each family and to promote cultural understandings across  families. So, you decide to invite all students’ families to join you  again for an informal discussion over coffee. To begin the process of  building cultural understanding, you decide to start the coffee hour  with what you hope will be a light, fun topic: “Family Traditions for  Celebrating Birthdays.” You also bring a special artifact that your  family uses for other family celebrations (e.g., a dreidel for  celebrating Chanukah). Finally, you also want to invite the families to  share their thoughts on ways to continue to learn about one another’s  cultures.

Focus Assignment

1. Write a five-item  agenda for the coffee hour. For item 1, describe how you will talk about  the purpose of your coffee hour. For item 2, write a paragraph that  describes your family tradition for celebrating birthdays. Include in  item 2 an acknowledgment that not all families celebrate birthdays, so  if this is the case, these families should share a celebration that is  important to them. For item 3, include the open-ended questions you will  ask to engage the families in sharing their stories of family  celebrations. For item 4, write a paragraph that describes the  significance of your special artifact. For item 5, include the  open-ended questions you will ask to engage the families in sharing  ideas about how to continue to learn about one another’s cultures.

2.  Be sure to read the SELF-EVALUATION section below to guide your  thinking. Write your self-evaluation after you have completed your  agenda.

Self-evaluation

1. For each item on your agenda:
     a. Explain how this item addresses the issues in the scenario.  

2. Describe and justify how your agenda would improve teaching and learning in the scenario.

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