Fostering Diversity IN THe CLASSROOM
by Anders Templeton

I chose Diversity because I wanted to discover ways to include students of all backgrounds in the classroom environment. I feel the concept of diversity often stops at skin color and culture, however, diversity encompasses a large range of students, including those with different genders, families, sexualities, multiple races, learning styles, and special needs and abilities. This wiki serves as a guide of resources and curriculum ideas to teach students equality and create a truly diverse classroom.

5 THINGS I LEARNED:FACT #1:After age 9, racial attitudes tend to stay the same unless the child has a life-changing experience. Educators must take this in account to effectively teach kids equality. (From reference #1)FACT #2:QUOTE: "If no one talks about it, that means it's a secret, and children think secrets are bad. They feel something is wrong with them." From the video interviewing the panel on teaching LGBT issues to elementary students.This puts perspective on excluding a students particular diverse situation. If educators flat out ignore or refuse to talk about LGBT families, gender, cultures, skin color, even learning styles and gifted and talented kids, it will negatively effect those students.FACT #3:I discovered that LGBT history is now a legal requirement to teach in California public schools. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill last month making California the first state ever to require inclusion of LGBT historical contributions to America. The belief was, just like heterosexual Americans, LGBT people have helped shaped the America we know today, and need to be studied, just like everybody elseFACT #4:
Using the tactic of DIFFERENTIATION is vital for SPED students.
1-Giving your class CHOICES of learning activities as well as choices in their assessment (how the student will demonstrate understanding).

2- Take Multiple Intelligences into account. Always consider the students' strengths/weaknesses. Visual learners will have visual cues, auditory learners will have auditory cues etc.

3- Use Project and problem based learning
“In classrooms that are highly differentiated,” says Peterson, “high-achieving kids may be comfortable, happy, eager learners. Where there isn’t sufficient differentiation, there can be bad habits, frustration, and depression, because learning matters that much.”
FACT #5:
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson has been the nation’s top banned book for 5 consecutive years, 2006-2010. It is a sweet short story about two gay penguins who love each other. What does this say about our current education system? Are we really discouraging our children from the most harmful things out there?

All of my references focus on a different subject or target audience. But if I had to choose just one for you to check out, i feel the most helpful would be reference number 8, the Ready, Set, Respect! Toolkit. It is a manual that helps teachers teach students of all ages to respect diversity in all shapes and sizes. This is a free PDF guide. Check out the link and info down below!

#1-And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson

DESCRIPTION: This is a video recording of the picture book And Tango Makes Three. This little book is about the true story of two male penguins that fall in love and yearn to adopt a baby chick. This story teaches kids that families come in all shapes and sizes, all are right as long as they love each other. This is the sweetest story I have ever read that teaches children about sexuality.
SCORE: 5 out of 5! This is such a cute story. It makes a controversial and potentially inappropriate topic completely suitable and enjoyable for children. Also, the guy who made this video did an awesome job. If you can’t find the book to read to your class, this video is perfect to use!
LINK: You can find this on YouTube at:

#2-How Do We Teach Kids About Sexual Orientation?DESCRIPTION: This is a TV segment asking a panel of professionals how to talk to elementary school students about sexual orientation and its importance.
SCORE: 5 of 5. This information is really interesting and absolutely vital for teachers to be aware of.

#3-ACTIVITIES THAT PROMOTE RACIAL AND CULTURAL AWARENESSDESCRIPTION: This is an article as well as a guide that provides ideas and basic information to teachers on teaching equality and acceptance to young students. These activities range for serving kids aged 4 through 9.
SCORE: 4 out of 5. Great ideas, but dense and could be easier to sort through.
LINK: This article is found on

#4-It’s Elementary
DESCRIPTION: This is the movie trailer of a documentary showing how to teach LGBT equality in the public school system.
Even though this is just the trailer, this video contains important information regarding why equality should be taught. It also shows young children from the early 90’s handling this conversation, catching each other’s hate speech, and telling each other that gay people deserve respect.

SCORE: 5 of 5. This is hands down a powerful and well made resource for teachers. I am planning of watching the entire documentary in hopes to find ways to incorperate LGBT equality in my future classroom.


DESCRIPTION: This is a short video informational video describing how teachers can reach students of different Learning Styles.
SCORE: 4 out of 5. This is an informative little video, however it’s a tad cheesy and I wish it included more than just the basics.
LINK: This video can be found on YouTube at:

DESCRIPTION: This article is jam packed with valuable wisdom and strategies to help, understand, and properly structure your classroom to meet the needs of gifted learners.
SCORE: Five out of Five. It was very informative in a really painless way.


DESCRIPTION: How can teachers create an understanding and accepting environment for Multi-Racial Students?
This article discusses the importance of including multi-racial students’ needs. Either discussing or including their race is avoided, or are boxed into a single race or identity.

SCORE: 4 out of 5.

#8- Ready, Set, Respect! Toolkit for Educators.

DESCRIPTION: GLSEN just created a new toolkit called Ready, Set, Respect! This helps elementary educators ensure that ALL students feel safe, respected and develop respectful attitudes and behaviors.This tool kit contains lesson plans that focus on name-calling, bullying and bias, as well as LGBT-inclusive family diversity and gender roles.
SCORE: 5. Hands down. This is legit to the max.
LINK: This links to the webpage that has the Free PDF version of this tool kit.

#9- Cultural Responsive Teaching

DESCRIPTION: This is a slideshow from slide share which focuses on the basics of creating a Cultural Responsive classroom. This includes useful information as well as ideas for teachers to include all students and meet their sensitivities.
SCORE: 4 out of 5