Diversity in DC
Ms. Swift's Biology Classroom
The second visual I have in my classroom, which has been a work-in-progress all year, is a "Current Events in Science" bulletin board. Once every few weeks (with varying success thus far), I try to post new articles or news blurbs about exciting and varied findings in science. With this, I have been able to highlight the range of scientists, as well as fields, trying to focus on topics my students are interested in.
Diversity Through Curriculum Planning
So far this year, I have received an analyses ranging from explaining why camel milk is such a lucrative business (related to biomes) to a detailed description of how rats present altruism even with extra familial individuals.
This is an assignment I really like because while being a highly scaffolded literacy exercise it still allows the flexibility for my students to highlight their personal interests in my classroom, as well as discover how diverse the scientific field can be.
Relating to Students
One of the biggest struggles I have had, given I do not already know the intricate relationships they may have with each other, has been coming up with seating charts and groups that will be functional and productive. In some of my classes, it comes down to breaking up cliques, while in others it is about more of a gender balance - getting the group of girls and the group of boys to work with each other.
The more open I am with my students, from discussion bands to favorite camping spots in West Virginia, the easier I find it to work with my students. I get to know their quirks while they are getting to know mine, and that alone helps reinforce how much I enjoy teaching them.