Promoting Social Inclusion for ALL Learners, Especially Chinese and Venezuelan English Language L...

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Promoting Social Inclusion for ALL Learners, Especially Chinese and Venezuelan English Language Learners at QSI El Tigre by Mind Map: Promoting Social Inclusion for ALL Learners, Especially Chinese and Venezuelan English Language Learners at QSI El Tigre

1. 2. Pi Day Celebration

1.1. WHAT: A group mini-project that culminates in short presentations on the history of the number pi as it was discovered and used by past civilizations, with an emphasis on the very accurate approximation of pi used by the Chinese. I will also bring in pies for the students to enjoy as they present.

1.2. WHY: To understand and appreciate the contributions of past civilizations to human progress; to recognize that great advances in mathematics have come from many different sources; to develop a deeper understanding of pi; to build classroom community and to share in the joy of discovery in an amiable setting.

1.3. WHO: This activity could involve all of my high school mathematics classes, but it may be most suitable for the Geometry and Algebra class, which has 8 students.

1.4. WHEN: This activity would be introduced and groups would be assigned tasks on March 7; students would have one week to research and summarize their particular topic on a Wikispace created for this activity. Projects would be presented on Pi Day, March 14.

1.5. HOW: Students will work in pairs; each group will have to investigate an ancient civilization's discovery and approximation of pi. Final written drafts and visuals will be gathered together on a Wikispace that I create for this activity.

1.6. WHERE: Students will work in my classroom under my guidance.

2. A Five Step Action Plan

3. I'm a high school mathematics teacher at an international school in Venezuela. None of my students are American; very few are fluent in English. My action plan is meant to promote respect and understanding among all students, especially Chinese and Venezuelan students, to whom I teach mathematics. Along the way I hope to improve their English language skills. All of my steps were developed with the goal of being able to put them into practice this year under the very restrictive conditions that limit our school community (like that we can't do activities outside of school grounds because of safety concerns).

4. 1. Scrutinizing Stereotypes with Statistics

4.1. WHAT: The class will have a thoughtful and honest discussion of stereotypes and identify common stereotypes of Hispanics and Chinese. Students will then find data that disproves or supports quantifiable stereotypes and do a basic statistical analysis of the data.

4.2. WHY: To demonstrate the false and harmful depictions created by stereotypes and thus to see beyond them; to promote understanding and respect; to build community in the classroom; to connect mathematical content knowledge with real-life applications

4.3. WHO: The whole class, which includes both Chinese and Venezuelan students. Students will work in small groups of 2 to 3 per group.

4.4. WHEN: This activity would be most suitable for a statistics class but could also work for a pre-Algebra course or an Algebra II unit on statistical modeling. Focus would be on depth of content as well as understanding of the dangers of stereotypes

4.5. HOW: Data on populations; the diversity of population groups; the percentages of the educated, literate, and employed; income levels; and other measures of population groups can be found online and quantifiably compared against statements that make claims about such populations

4.5.1. For example, the stereotype that "Hispanics are lazy" can be compared against data shows how many hours per year people in the Hispanic world work, compared to other countries and regions.

4.6. WHERE: Students will conduct research and gather and analyze data in class and at home; findings will be presented in class

5. 3. Exploring the World of Fractals and Symmetries in Borges' Fiction

5.1. WHAT: Students will read the short stories "The Library of Babel," "The Garden of Forking Paths," and "The Aleph," by Jorge Luis Borges, in Spanish and English, and create posters advertising those stories by incorporating the mathematics found within them.

5.2. WHY: To encourage a love of learning and an appreciation of sophisticated prose in Spanish and English; to know the importance of translation and therefore of other languages; to make connections between mathematics and other subjects; to promote respect for languages that are not one's own.

5.3. WHO: The Advanced Mathematics class with the help of the Spanish teacher, who also teaches art and therefore could assist in making the posters.

5.4. WHEN: This interdisciplinary activity may align with the art or literature curriculums and therefore could be done in those classes; or it could be done at the end of the year after we have completed the Advanced Math curriculum.

5.5. HOW: Individually, students will read the three stories listed above, in Spanish and then in English, and remark on the differences and the craft of translation. Then students will work in small groups to create visual illustrations of the mathematics--symmetries, fractals, iterations, infinities--found in those stories.

5.6. WHERE: At the school, in my classroom, the Spanish room, or the art room.

6. 4. School Community Center

6.1. WHAT: An area of the school where students can freely socialize, share ideas, and collaborate on assignments before class, after class, or during any available free time. It would be a student-designed, student-operated, comfortable space with classroom resources, computers, and games. It could be managed by the student council group. Lessons and activities could be developed around the use of this space.

6.2. WHY: To promote inclusion among all members of the school community, especially students; to provide students with a space that is theirs to manage and be responsible for; to encourage collaboration on assignments; to motivate them in their school work.

6.3. WHO: The school would designate a space and resources for the students, but the students would be responsible for its management. It could be run by student council.

6.4. WHEN: This could be a year long initiative that would begin as soon as permission is granted and the details of how it would work are determined. It could last the whole year and evolve and grow as the year progresses.

6.5. HOW: Rules would have to be established about how to keep this student space welcoming for everyone and how to maintain and organize it, and when it could be used by students.

6.6. WHERE: Preferably in the library where our school has ample room for a student space like this.

7. 5. Concern for Others Video Project

7.1. WHAT: Students in all grade levels would be a part of a month long project that culminates in a video about the harm caused by bullying and the need to be kind and friendly to everyone. Students would choose a popular song and write their own lyrics for the song. The school community would discuss concern for others and watch the video at the end of the month.

7.2. WHY: In our school bullying isn't a major problem, but spreading rumors and exclusion of individuals and groups is a problem. This video project would attempt to bring the students together to engage them in these issues, while having fun making the video. Furthermore, to promote respect of all individuals and to ensure that everyone feels like the school is a safe and welcoming place for them.

7.3. WHO: A group of secondary students could be in charge of planning the month-long project and deciding how the primary and middle school students would participate. A teacher would supervise this group of students to ensure that the video is completed on time, and to convey information to other teachers about it.

7.4. WHEN: QSI schools have 10 success orientations, of which "Concern for Others" is one. At our school we focus on Concern for Others in March or April. This activity would take place during the whole month in stages. Teachers could align their lessons with Concern for Others

7.5. HOW: A core group of secondary students would discuss how we can use this activity to improve respect and friendliness at our school; they would brainstorm ideas for creating a video and select a song to accompany it; they would write their own lyrics to the song that reflected the theme of concern for others; they would decide how to include the younger kids; the would film and then show the video to the school community.

7.6. WHERE: At our school and on school grounds.