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Ravyn DeWitt

Education 302/303


Professional Literature Content Article

Family is extremely important in the classroom, and this article helps represent the importance of family content within the educational setting. Tschida and Buchanan (2017) focus on how, “As educators, we are challenged to consider how our students feel when their classroom or school library perpetuate a single story about family. The dominant narrative does not mirror the increasingly diverse student and family population in elementary schools, creating a gap between what is portrayed and students’ reality” (pg. 3). The article focuses on how the family dynamic in the U nited S tates is constantly changing, and how there is no single definition of what a true “American family” should look like. I really appreciate the viewpoint in this article that supports the dynamic of students and the diversity of their families. I think it’s important to focus on this point more, because many times educators disregard the various background s their students come from. Tschida and Buchanan discuss the importance of understanding one’s family tree, and accepting how not every child’s family history is the same (20 17 , pg. 3). In today’s society , children come from families of divorce, adoption, same gender parents , and it’s necessary to value the students regardless of their origin. I think this article resonated with me because within my lesson plan I want my students to be able to share and compare their lives and situations together. I believe this will create feelings of acceptance when there are differences, but also emotions of compassion when students find similarities between their situations. Tschida and Buchanan (2017) state, “There are ways to ensure the inclusion and celebration of all families. Assess templates carefully for language that reflects the single story. Broaden the ways your students can share who they are, the significant people in their lives, and the things important to them(pg. 5). The content of the lesson needs to follow a specific direction, with guides where all students will be included. Participation and the willingness to discuss various backgrounds is important, but teachers can’t go in with a blind eye. Every situation must be assessed in advanced and the teacher must be prepared for the possible outcomes. The article goes on to discuss how families are not always perfect, and not every student may feel comfortable sharing their history (Tschida & Buchanan, 2017, pg. 5). I think family lesson plans may be the most difficult to confront head on because of the diversity, but

these are specific instances where the teacher shouldn’t avoid heavy subjects simply for the fear of discomfort. I appreciate how this article brings in multiple points of view in sharing how to face the topic of family in the classroom and create achievable content.


Tschida, C. M., & Buchanan, L. B. (2017, November). What Makes a Family? Sharing Multiple Perspectives through an Inclusive Text Set. Social Studies and the Young Learner , 2 , 3 - 5.

Professional Literature Teaching Strategy Article

Teaching strategies can define the educational setting for the entire year, they have the ability to make or break a classroom. My article highlights the best possible strategies for facing lesson plans head on and engaging students on a daily basis. Awang, Ahmad, Wahab & Mamat (2013) state, “Good set- induction is essential as it motivates pupils in lesson activities, simultaneously making the teaching and learning process interesting and meaningful” (pg. 35). I think that how a teacher introduces a unit has a large effect on the student response and engagement level. It is the first- time students are presented with material on a new subject, and if it is not approached in a meaningful way, students may not get as much out of the lesson as preferred by the teacher and themselves . An important teaching strategy that I took away is the communication approach. Awang et. al (2013) define it as, “ learning that occurs through communication and is facilitated when pupils responsibly participate in learning process. This approach also emphasises the importance of teacher s’ professionalism such as responding to pupils’ query in productive ways and also listen sensitively to pupils’ voice” (pg. 35). I believe this would be an efficient teaching strategy not only for myself , but for my students. Communication is key in the classroom in order to create a firm foundation for discussion and probing questions. Peer based discussion can push for student directed learning as well as inquisition among groups. It’s necessary for students to respond themselves, and for there to be equal participation between students and educator. If the educator is the only one instructing, students may become distracted and their engagement will decrease, because there is no way for them to take part (Awang et. al, 2013, pg. 37). In my lesson, the teacher must stand back to allow the students to place the spotlight on their own families. Students need to feel valued, and when a student has the ability to share a piece of his/her life to the entire class , it can change the dynamic. It’s an important moment when an individual student has the whole focus of their peers and teacher on him/her. Communication will create productivity in my classroom where I hope students will feel comfortable enough to share a piece of themselves with the group . Awang et. al (2013) focus on the educator’s role in the classroom when they state, “At a group level, teachers with good teaching skills are essential. Effective teaching requires knowledge in subject - matters and teaching skills” (pg. 36). At the end of the day, the teacher is the one who guides the classroom, and teachers must be fully prepared to lead their students. Their knowledge of subject matter and material is crucial. The teaching strategies discussed in this article give me more

confidence in how to instruct as well as the best ways to do so. My family unit will be filled with a solid introduction to the material, student discussion and collaboration, and well preparation on my part in order to achieve the most success from my students .

Reference s

Awang, M. M., Ahmad, A. R., Wahab, J. L., & Mamat, N. (2013, January). Effective Teaching Strategies to Encourage Learning Behaviour. Journal of Humanities and Social Science , 8 (2), 35 - 40.