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To write an agenda for a family coffee hour designed to build and promote cultural understandings and to evaluate your agenda.

Scenario:
You are a first-year teacher in a large urban preschool. At your first open house, you meet families who represent a variety of cultural groups. You also meet interracial and biracial families, as well as families led by teenage moms. You seek to gain cultural insights about each family and to promote cultural understandings across families. So, you decide to invite all students’ families to join you again for an informal discussion over coffee. To begin the process of building cultural understanding, you decide to start the coffee hour with what you hope will be a light, fun topic: “Family Traditions for Celebrating Birthdays.” You also bring a special artifact that your family uses for other family celebrations (e.g., a dreidel for celebrating Chanukah). Finally, you also want to invite the families to share their thoughts on ways to continue to learn about one another’s cultures.

Focus Assignment

1. Write a five-item agenda for the coffee hour. For item 1, describe how you will talk about the purpose of your coffee hour. For item 2, write a paragraph that describes your family tradition for celebrating birthdays. Include in item 2 an acknowledgment that not all families celebrate birthdays, so if this is the case, these families should share a celebration that is important to them. For item 3, include the open-ended questions you will ask to engage the families in sharing their stories of family celebrations. For item 4, write a paragraph that describes the significance of your special artifact. For item 5, include the open-ended questions you will ask to engage the families in sharing ideas about how to continue to learn about one another’s cultures.

2. Be sure to read the SELF-EVALUATION section below to guide your thinking. Write your self-evaluation after you have completed your agenda.

Self-evaluation

1. For each item on your agenda:
     a. Explain how this item addresses the issues in the scenario.