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Valuing Students' Funds of Knowledge

Teachers Value the Cultural, Social, and Intellectual Funds that Students Bring to School. 


Progressive Era Project 

At the end of their unit on the Progressive Era, students were asked to create some sort of pamphlet, collage, or poster exploring an activist, organization, or movement that worked to improve the lives of individuals in the wake of America’s industrialization. I provided a list for students to choose from, but I also allowed students to connect this project to contemporary movements and activists if they were interested in exploring that. This student chose to focus on Muslim-American activist Amani Al-Khatahtbeh. By being flexible with this project, this allowed my student to explore activists that reflect their own identity and movements/ideas that are meaningful to them. Additionally, this gave me the opportunity to learn more about my students and what they care about, which better informs my own practice moving forward.  

How students feel about being in school helps me to better understand my students and how I can connect with and motivate them. For this assignment, students practiced writing summary paragraphs based on the prompt, "I enjoy being in school" where students could either agree or disagree with the prompt. For many students, school provides them a safe space where they feel loved and accepted by their teachers and peers, and that is demonstrated by this student's example. While school is a place of learning, it is also a community that can bring students comfort and acceptance despite the challenges they may face outside of a class environment. This helps inform my practice in being responsive to my students' needs while also reminding me that my role as a teacher goes beyond classroom instruction.

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