How can I supplement the existing OUSD Language Arts curriculum to engage multiple perspectives (Framework 2) and have the ability to incorporate and draw on student's self and community love and knowledge (Framework 1)? Will supplementing prescribed curriclum with culturally relevant Ethnic Studies curriculum show increased student growth/academic success by mid-year?
In my own experience as a student, I don't remember seeing myself reflected in curriculum until an elective Ethnic Studies course in college. I remember that my Latino History class was where I had many aha-moments and felt, for one of the first times, a real connection and passion for what I was studying-- and paying for. I feel like this experience could/should have happened earlier in my education-- in elementary school. Now as a teacher, I recognize that our prescribed dual language curriculum lacks cultural representation, therefore, making it less likely that students connect to it. While the curriculum features characters of color and some stories of Latinx origin, it is still quite difficult for our first generation and newcomer students, who are overwhelmingly from Central American countries, to contextualize materials.
In order to make standards and curriculum more accessible for all my students, I have dedicated myself to using/creating alternate materials that I feel would make more sense in our classroom. It has been relatively simple to substitute my own choice of books for that of the curriculum, but the work is not just about substitution. So, I use the CCSS for Kindergarten as my guide to help me modify and create materials.
I am teaching the English side of a Kindergarten dual language program within Oakland Unified. I completed my credential in 2017 and will be finishing my MA at Mills College this coming year 2019.