By Elizabeth PencavaThere are several different methods and techniques to be used when teaching a fifth grade diverse classroom. An elementary teacher can use the intrinsic verses extrinsic motivation method. He/she will need to be able to distinguish which method works best for each of the students in the classroom. Once the teacher is aware of every student’s academic level, their personalities, and their cultural backgrounds, the knowledge to know what method works best for each individual student will come easily. The techniques and methods for motivating the students must coincide with the students’ cultural backgrounds.The classroom should be carefully structured. Each class should begin with repetitious routines and a good lesson plan. Cultural differences and cultural similarities must be measured. The Jigsaw classroom method could be used to promote self-esteem. This Jigsaw method will assist students in the concept of working together and in groups. Group project is a good way to promote cooperative learning. This method of Jigsaw classroom will let every student know that his/ her contribution is needed and valued. All students will feel they play an important role in the success to complete the project.The only problem I can foresee at the beginning of the year would be communication. Always speak clear and slow. Repeating an assignment, directions, and instruction must be part of the strategies in assuring that everyone understands. Since there are so many cultural differences in non-verbal communication, hand gestures, facial expression, and head movements, limit the use of them in order to avoid creating confusion. Every student in the class will feel that he/she is just as important as the next student.Since it is said that teaching language is common in all cultures, but the language emphasized is its own, the focus on American cultures and language to give knowledge to the culturally diverse group not familiar with the American culture must be encouraged. Last week, I visited a culturally diverse classroom. The classroom has thirteen Haitians. According to the teacher, these students are aural learners, and they usually have a high-developed auditory ability. The teacher uses a tape-recorded lesson’s where the students read along with the tape recorder. This will assure full comprehension for the students.This classroom has also four Cubans, five Guatemalans Mayans, and two Russians. They tend to be more interested in obtaining their teachers’ directions and feedback. There are three Chinese students whose learning styles are those of moral issue. The Chinese culture teaches moral education and how to work in group settings and teamwork. This is good for the Jigsaw method of group projects.In conclusion, the elementary process is the foundation by which education is built. The stronger is the foundation, the easier is the long process in giving our children the gift of success in life. Remember, knowledge is power.
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