Characteristics of Culturally Responsive Teaching

After hearing the elders speak this week I have learned about the power that they feel with the connection with nature, as well as how much respect elders get. I loved hearing David talk about how the trees are the lungs of the earth, and how all people need to eat. Eating, in most cases was referred to in more of a spiritual and knowledgable way as opposed to eating physical food. I loved hearing this and I believe it really gave a good look into the his culture. The thing however, that most resonated with me was when David said that the best speech, was just the words ,”thank you”. That simple statement said so much, and is a powerful statement.

One example of culturally responsive teaching I enjoyed in the last few days was the diaper experiment. It was a great way to not only show how much one object could absorb compared to another, but it also allowed for a teaching moment in native american culture with how diapers used to be made. It also taught us one of the many things moss can be used for. The lesson we did earlier in the day with the various math problems was another example because we learned about native alaskan artwork, the animals in Alaska, and the occasional salmon berry while completing math problems. This was useful because math is a universal language, so everyone can understand it, and we learned about the area while doing the scavenger hunt too.

Some ways I could use CRT in my classroom (English) were said in the class today. I loved the idea of incorporating learning about mosses or tree leaves into poems, I thought that would be a great way to connect ideas form multiple disciplines into one cohesive unit. I also liked the idea of sitting outside in nature to write either a poem, a story, or just to describe the area. I can remember when I was a student, we would have to sit in nature sometimes and it really helped me describe nature because I felt more of a connection to it, because I was in it. Which is also something that elders kept telling us, how we should be in nature, and experiencing nature. If I was a science teacher I would use stories of the past, to explain and help the students learn about something such as the wilderness, or local wildlife. The history of the land would be a great tool to utilize in a science class in order to help teach. Such as mapping or where some books/historical events took place.

Scotts lesson:

I really enjoyed Scotts lesson because it gave us a chance to talk to each other, get to know each other a little better, and it made us think. By making us think too, it showed me what we knew and didn’t know, and how we all differed in that. For instance, one person in my group knew everything about their great grandparents, and I couldn’t even give you a first name for any of my great grand parents. However, there were other parts where I knew a lot more than other people in the group such as about the water, and the heritage of where I am from. This showed me that we all bring something different to the table, and it also showed why it is so important to talk to people and get ideas from them because we all know something different from each other.


While I did not get to see Alberta give her presentation, I watched Angie give an incredibly presentation on it. I loved it because it taught me a lot about having elders be invited into the classroom. I thought this was important because we need to know how to respect our resource, and how to get the class prepared. For an example, I would not have thought to bring a gift like salmon, or a jam as a gift, knowing this I definitely will now.


This is a strong woman, who knows how to hold an audience. She said some very powerful words, and words that a lot of people do not like to hear. I enjoyed it because it was a way to get us to change, to get us to be the best educators that we could be for all of our students, and to help end the racial divide that occurs in schools here in Alaska. It was impossible to sit there and not take away that powerful message that she shared with us.

SLAM Artifact


The object that I took an interest in as I was jaunting my way through the SLAM was the mask which was made by Nathan Jackson. This mask was made in 1973, is from the Tlingit tribe, and is from Ketchikan. What drew me most to this object was the coloring and the hair that was coming out of the back. The colors accented each other beautifully and the secondary designs on it were also amazing. This was an artifact that immediately caught my attention. When I read the description I thought it was interesting that the mask was made from human hair, bear hide and buckskin. I found that to be incredibly cool that the architect of the mask used actual human hair in his artwork. I would love to know if this a mask that Nathan himself used, or who he made it for.

After talking to some classmates who were also looking at the mask I learned how masks such as this are worn, for what purpose they are worn, and what happens to them when the owner of the mask dies. I thought it was really interesting that the person who wears this mask sees out of the mouth, and not the eyes. This mask has a rich, deep history, and I would love to know more about it and its roots. IMG_0090

“Mask” Nathan Jackson, II-B-1683

Wisdom of our elders, what I learned

Hearing the three guests talked was extremely interesting and I found it incredibly informative and moving. The part that resonated with me was something they all talked about, which was them not being able to use their own language. You could tell as they spoke, that they were all deeply hurt by it and as if they felt an enourmous disconnect between them and their culture. Language is incredibly important to feeling part of a culture, and if it is taken away from you, and if you are told not to use it, then it can create a bit of a disconnect. I cannot imagine what it would feel like if when grown up, I was unable to speak English because it was banned. This was incredible to hear and is something that I would not want to see happen to anyone.

I also felt as though the love that is within the community, and the respect that they have for one another is something that I definitely want to implement in my classroom. Every teacher wants all of their students to respect each other, and that is something that I will try to achieve. The care that they all showed too is something that I want to show my students because I believe the respect will follow that. Overall this was an incredibly moving talk and I feel lucky to have been able to participate and listen to it.


Reign, Matt Smith

During this assignment, I learned how easy it can be for students to design a power point that looks professional in an easy manner. When I was in school, I had a tough time trying to write dialogue while implementing photos in the same slide. That is something that Haiku Deck basically eliminates. I want my students to become familiar with a product such as this because it should help them in the future whether it be for another class or in a more professional environment. This website coud be used in an individual and a group project setting. I liked how we were given the chance to use it too with a lot of freedom because it was not only allowed them to express themselves, but also to play with the website.

Haiku Deck teaches problem solving as they should learn how to use it on their own, just as we did today. I would most likely use this website to have kids give a report on a reading, or with their own poetry. I will be in a high school english class for my placement  and so I want students to be able to use it to describe what they learned about a story or a character, and explain it to the class. I would also like for them to use the pictures to show what they imagine, and what they feel about the story, character, or poem. Overall it is a great website and I will definitely use it to expose them to a tool they could use for projects and presentations as well as to help them practice problem solving and troubleshooting something that are not familiar with.

Reign – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires