• Professional Learning & Lesson Plan Resources


    Our department is dedicated to supporting the development of teacher pedagogy and practice. This page provides information about our district-wide PD initiatives and shares a group of powerful resources that can aid any educator's journey toward making their classroom more equitable.


    Please use the information below to supplement your work in the classroom. We offer the following content:

    • lesson plans,
    • curriculum guides,
    • video links,
    • book suggestions,
    • websites/blogs, and
    • articles.


    Take your time to engage with the resources on the page, contact Dr. Banks if you have any questions, and keep coming back! New resources will be added regularly.


    Courageous Conversations About Race



    The District has embarked on a multi-year professional development program for the entire system. From students to administrators and Board members our anti-racism work is being guided by the Pacific Education Group (PEG). Pacific Educational Group’s (PEG) theory of change states, Courageous conversation precedes courageous action, and courageous action leads to racial equity transformation in our district, resulting in the elimination of racial achievement disparities (Singleton, 2014). For more information about CCAR, click the link below.



    Culturally-Responsive Teaching & The Brain



    Culturally responsive pedagogy can be a game-changer in a school’s pursuit of educational equity, but. CRT is more than just a set of activities, social justice lessons, or kinesthetic learning strategies. CSD educators studying CRT are building the capacity to discover the critical connections between student learning, culturally responsive practices, and neuroscience - thereby allowing them to customize CRT strategies, identify current mindsets that need to change in classrooms or schools, and practice Hammond's Ready for Rigor framework. for more information about CRT & The Brain, click the link below.



    Curriculum Resources and Lesson Plans


    Election Day Resources

    As educators, we are often faced with navigating the choppy waters of real life. If you would like some assistance discussing the election with your students, or just want to escape the trauma of the election shenanigans, the resources below should help. 


    How to Heal From/What to Say About the Election - TEACHING RESOURCES

    There are multiple resources on this page that will be helpful for your teachers as well as resources that inform their work with students (K-12).


    Election Trauma Repair - VIDEOS

    Don’t want to hear what anyone has to say right now? Watch one of these.

    Healing from Emotional Trauma

    Random Acts of Kindness

    Ideas to Heal from Trauma

    The Importance of Dancing Like an Idiot


    How to Heal From the Election - ACTIONS

    See below for some suggestions from a blog that might be helpful . . . The Blog also links to an article here that provides a list of acts for folks to think about doing for each other. Let's get back to our normal sense of self. 

    Suspend the snark.

    Looking at my social media feeds, over 90% of what I see posted is not intelligent political discourse, but rather sarcastic, snarky, and seething commentary on politics. Did you know the origin of the word, “sarcasm” means to “tear flesh”? Ouch.

    The momentary sense of satisfaction you get from posting snarky memes is quickly replaced by anger, despair, and hopelessness. Stop sharing sarcasm and snark.

    Create a container.

    Your feelings are important and it’s just as important to create a safe container for your feelings. Emotions can be overwhelming if we let them overrun our experience. Those same emotions are damaging if we project them outward on the people closest to us.

    Write about your thoughts and feelings in your journal, or share them in conversation with a trusted mentor or friend. Create a safe container to express and hold space for your feelings.

    Be the boss of you.

    Over the last several weeks I’ve seen a lot of people telling other people how to behave and feel. Putting yourself in charge of other people’s actions and emotions is a great way to distance yourself from others and feel really miserable about it.

    Be the boss of you. Work on managing yourself and your feelings. Put on your oxygen mask. Take care of your emotional well-being. Be a leader and example for those same people you just can’t change.

    Practice self-care.

    Pay attention to your mental, emotional, and physical health. Take good care of you first and foremost.

    Self-care includes getting a good night’s sleep, eating nutritious and healthy food, and some form of physical activity.

    Nurture your relationships.

    We are social creatures, designed to live and work together. Now is the time to nurture our relationships and strengthen our connections.

    Invite a co-worker to lunch or connect with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Call your mom, just to say hello.

    Be kind.

    Treating others with kindness will naturally improve your relationships, your outlook, and your mood. Besides, we can accomplish so much more together than alone.

    Practicing kindness is a great start.

    Accept before you act.

    Anytime you’re faced with a problem it’s important to accept before you act. Acceptance doesn’t equal approval but rather understanding. Do you fully understand the problem? If not, ask yourself, “what happened? Why? What can I learn from this?”

    When you accept before you act, your actions are more thoughtful and intentional, and often yield better results.

    Do something important.

    The best way to counter feelings of hopelessness is to take action. Instead of focusing on the problem, take a small step to create change.

    Do something productive.

    Do something meaningful. Do something important that will get you one step closer to a personal, professional, or political goal.

    If you’re going to share something about politics on social media, why not share this post? Begin to heal and encourage others to do the same. Do what you need to do and do it in a way that inspires, uplifts, and creates positive change.



    Teaching Resources Addressing Race


    Stop Hiding in Your Classroom - It's Time to Talk About Race

    As educators, we (sometimes unknowingly) step into roles of advocate, caretaker, guide, and even mother or father to students. Students pay attention to everything we say and do. They particularly pay attention to our silence. We may be uncomfortable talking about race, but we can no longer afford to be silent. We have chosen a profession, which—like parenting—requires that our comforts come second to those of children. Uncomfortable with this? This article from Teaching Tolerance will help you start the conversation.



    Say Their Names!

    An excellent and extensive toolkit from Chicago Public Schools that provides suggestions and strategies for educators and parents having conversations with young people in school and at home about race, racism, racial violence, understanding biases, and how to take action for racial justice. They begin by suggesting that you read the article above before diving in.



    People’s Historians Online: A Once-in-A-Lifetime FREE PD Opportunity

    The Zinn Education Project's People’s Historians Online mini-classes started March 27 and run until July 10th. The Spring 2020 theme is Black Freedom Struggle: From Reconstruction to the Civil Rights Movement.


    If you missed the March-May sessions, this link will take you to highlights from each of the sessions, a list of the resources recommended by the presenters and participants, and participant reflections.


    Live course sessions are offered each Friday at 2pm but fill up fast! You can register for upcoming sessions at this link.


    The session format is as follows:

    • Presentation by a historian in conversation with a high school teacher or another historian
    • Small group conversations by participants (using Zoom breakout rooms) to discuss insights from the talk and approaches to teaching.
    • Presenters respond to questions with the full group and share teaching resources.
    • Evaluation by participants.

    Participants will need access to Zoom (on computer or phone). Register below for any or all of the sessions above. A day before the session, you will receive a confirmation, the Zoom link (with a password), and an optional pre-reading.


    Teachers who have engaged said the following:

    This is such a wonderful series — content-wise and soul-feeding.

    This is one of the best professional developments I have ever been to, hands-down. I am so grateful. This series is giving me hope in this difficult time.

    Phenomenal series so far. Even more important during our current situation, as people are engaged and able to see each other. I’ve been here every Friday and look forward to these talks.


    Rethinking Schools

    Rethinking Schools attempts to be both visionary and practical . . . practical, because for too long, teachers and parents have been preached at by theoreticians, far-removed from classrooms, who are long on jargon and short on specific examples. Most importantly, it remains firmly committed to equity and to the vision that public education is central to the creation of a humane, caring, multiracial democracy. While writing for a broad audience, Rethinking Schools emphasizes problems facing urban schools, particularly issues of race and believes that classrooms can be places of hope, where students and teachers gain glimpses of the kind of society we could live in, and where students learn the academic and critical skills needed to make that vision a reality.



    Southern Poverty Law Center: Teaching Tolerance

    Teaching Tolerance is a national education project dedicated to helping teachers foster equity, respect, and understanding in the classroom and beyond. The site includes activities, articles, fact sheets for students, and more.



     The Zinn Education Project

    The Zinn Education Project promotes and supports the teaching of people’s history in middle and high school classrooms across the country. Based on the lens of history highlighted in Howard Zinn’s best-selling book A People’s History of the United States, the website offers free, downloadable lessons and articles organized by themetime period, and reading level.



    PBS - Classroom Resources and Lesson Plans

    Here, PBS has pulled together resources to help educators teach students about peace, tolerance, war, patriotism, geography, and other related issues.



    YAD Vashem - Holocaust Video Toolbox

    The Holocaust Education Video Toolbox is designed to help educators teach the Holocaust. The focus is on methodological and pedagogical suggestions that aid with this often daunting task, as well as practical materials and discussion points for classrooms and groups - hence the name, Video Toolbox. 



    A Lesson on the Japanese American Internment

    Teaching Activity. By Mark Sweeting. Rethinking Schools.
    How one teacher engaged his students in a critical examination of the language used in textbooks to describe the internment.



    Teaching Tolerance, Us Vs. Hate

    #USvsHate is a program led by young people and the educators who work with them, and its goal is as simple as it is ambitious: to stand up against bigotry and create safe and welcoming schools for all.



    My Reflection Matters (MRM)

    This website offers online parent-teacher educational resources to support the healthy development of Black and Brown youths' racial and cultural identities.



    Teaching Tolerance: Black Lives Matter

    These resources can help you talk with students about the historical context and mission behind Black Lives Matter and work toward making your school a more affirming, safer space for Black students.



    Teaching Juneteenth

    This lesson plan examines the celebration marking a day in 1865 when enslaved Texans learned they’d be free—two months after Robert E. Lee surrendered and ended the Civil War and two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Lessons about Juneteenth should recognize the challenges that those who fight injustice have always faced, but they shouldn’t place a singular focus on the tragedy of enslavement. Students, particularly Black students, can find empowerment in a lesson celebrating culture, activism, and the humanity of a people.






    Remaking Schools in the Time of Coronavirus

    The Covid-19 crisis has upended public education around the country. Join three radical education activists, Jesse Hagopian, Noliwe Rooks, and Wayne Au, in conversation about what this crisis means for public education now and how moving forward we can continue to fight for the schools our students deserve.



    Why English Class is Silencing Students of Color - Jamila Lyiscott - TEDxTheBenjaminSchool

    Viral TED speaker, spoken word poet, and social justice education scholar Dr. Jamila Lyiscott makes a powerful argument that to honor and legitimize all students, we must, likewise, legitimize and honor all of their varied forms of written and spoken discourse, practicing "Liberation Literacies" in the classroom. Jamila Lyiscott is currently a visiting assistant professor of Social Justice Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.



    Culturally Relevant Pedagogy by Gloria Ladson Billings

    Master teacher and scholar Dr. Gloria Ladson Billings explains Culturally Relevant Teaching and discusses what it looks like when successfully applied in the classroom - 14min.



    Zaretta Hammond: Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain Webinar

    Discover from Zaretta Hammond how to use culturally responsive teaching to re-ignite authentic student engagement and accelerate learning - 57 min. (Start @ 1:50)



    Culturally Relevant Pedagogy In Mathematics: A Critical Need - Shelly Jones – TEDxCCSU

    Dr. Shelly M. Jones contributed to the text, The Brilliance of Black Children in Mathematics: Beyond the Numbers and Toward a New Discourse, and is an Associate Professor at Central Connecticut State University. Here, she explains how Culturally Relevant Pedagogy works in the Math classroom.



    Math as Social Justice - Gina Cherkowski - TEDxRundleAcademy

    Have you ever considered math as a human rights issue? Have you ever considered what the label “stupid” can do to a student? In this heart-felt and hard-hitting talk, Dr. Gina Cherkowski talks about how traditional math classes only reach 20% of students thereby creating a population that can only be consumers, not creators. Dr. Cherkowski goes on to talk about how teachers can change this math drought by revisioning the math class so that everyone can learn math - 14min.






    A Different Mirror for Young People: A History of Multicultural America

    By Ronald Takaki, adapted by Rebecca Stefoff. 2012.

    An adaptation for young readers of the classic multicultural history of the United States, A Different Mirror. A multicultural history of America, in the voices of Native Americans, African Americans, Jews, Irish Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and others.


    Picture of Takiki book


    A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America

    By Ronald Takaki, 2008.

    A multicultural history of America, in the voices of Native Americans, African Americans, Jews, Irish Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and others.


    Picture of Takiki Book


    31 Children's Books to Support Conversations on Race, Racism & Resistance


     Photo of multiple cheldren's book covers.


    Anti-Racist Book List for ALL Ages K - Adult!

    A comprehensive 57-slide presentation that provides clickable links to hundreds of books.
    Don't Just Read - Reflect

    Regardless of what you read, there are some critical questions to consider that will help you grow, process, and think about taking action:

    • What does this have to do with me?
    • How could I explain these concepts to my students?
    • What emotions are conjured up as I ready? What’s that about?
    • What can I change about my practice, curricula, relationships, policies?
    • How can I use this to center my teaching on my most marginalized students?
    • How do I take this past the grad school pontification and theorizing?
    • How does this connect with previous things that I’ve learned?
    • How much more is there to learn?
    • Who can I share this with?
    • Can I form a racial affinity group?
    • How can I lead my colleagues in taking up this work?






     In honor of Raising Race Conscious Children’s 100th post, this list lifts a quote from each and every blog post to date, modeling language that has actually been used in a conversation with a child regarding race (and other identity-markers such as gender and class). Through our blogworkshops/webinars, and small group workshop series, we support adults who are trying to talk about race with young children, with the goals of dismantling the color-blind framework and preparing young people to work toward racial justice.



    20 (Self-)Critical Things I Will Do to Be a More Equitable Educator - by Paul Gorski

    In this post, Gorski reflects upon the work teachers can personally do to be more equitable in- and outside the classroom.


    How Should I Talk About Race in my Mostly White Classroom?

    This resource from the ADL provides guidance and considerations for how to engage in reflection and discussion on race and racism with white youth.


    Cybary of the Holocaust

    This online multimedia library of resources on the Holocaust includes photographs, a teacher’s guide, poetry, and myriad other diverse learning experiences for both teachers and students.


    Disability Social History Project

    This site represents a movement by people with disabilities to reclaim their history and to highlight the contributions of people with disabilities in the history of the world. Resources include a timeline and an index of related sites.


    Cyber Racism

    This Australia-based site, also known as International Approaches to Anti-Racism Education, includes classroom activities, a library of readings, and other resources on education equity. This particular page of the site addresses cyber racism. Or, racism that takes place online. The page provides case studies, research, and more information regarding racism in the virtual world.





    Education and Criminalization: Do #BlackLivesMatter - in Schools?

    This resource and reading list was curated by Dr. Subini Annamma who created it because she, "noticed that a lot of the lists are ignoring education, particularly k-12 education and the ways it reproduces anti-Blackness, white supremacy, and racism in schools to construct Black youth as criminals." As more and more is written about the ways society enacts anti-Blackness and white supremacy against Black youth, less addressed in many reading lists & syllabi is the role education plays in such outcomes. The goals of the multiple articles and research studies on this list are to highlight how schools (re)produce criminalization of Black youth.


    Teachers Are Just As Likely To Be Racially Biased As Anyone Else

    This Forbes article summarizes a study by researchers at Princeton and Tufts Universities, who found that teachers and non-teachers hold both implicit and explicit pro-White racial bias and that the differences between the two groups are ‘negligible'. Sorry yall, according to them, you are as biased as everyone else. It's imperative to think about and own that truth as we construct policies for our schools and classrooms.


    An Essay for Teachers Who Understand Racism Is Real

    This Education Week essay is written by the brilliant UGA scholar, Betina Love. She says,

    This essay is not to enumerate the recent murders of Black people by police, justify why protest and uprising are important for social change, or remind us why NFL player Colin Kaepernick took a knee. If you have missed those points, blamed victims, or proclaimed "All Lives Matter," this article is not for you, and you may want to ask yourself whether you should be teaching any children, especially Black children.

    This article is for teachers who understand that racism is real, anti-Blackness is real, and state-sanctioned violence, which allows police to kill Black people with impunity, is real. It is for teachers who know change is necessary and want to understand exactly what kind of change we need as a country.