Early Elementary teacher, Namrata Kulkarni, gives details about how UCDS uses focus groups as a tool to increase small group work between students, their peers and teachers. She talks specifically about some work the early elementary classrooms levels are doing related to the study of celebrations around the world. -Ed
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Recently, the Early Elementary teachers dived into a big discussion about focus groups for this year of REACH. Focus groups are a time that teachers get to work with smaller number of student groups and focus on one topic to dig deeper and do a study on. The EE teachers started the conversation by asking ourselves what we wanted to Reach out to this year? Did we want to Reach beyond our community, did we want to Reach beyond our classrooms, or did we want to reach beyond our roots and culture? The teachers talked deeply about how communities and religion are important. We also talked about how our culture and ethnicity shape each one of us and how we really want to talk about each other but also want to learn how to do it respectfully and successfully in a group setting. We finally decided to grab this golden opportunity and do a EE wide study on Celebrations around the world. We chose 6 common themes that surround all celebrations like food, decorations and stories to dig deep into and learn more about. We took risks and are learning to be comfortable as we have some uncomfortable conversations. We are learning to embrace these conversations and REACH beyond ourselves to build a stronger, cohesive and more informed community. Come CELEBRATE with us at Theme Fair!