Passport to Success
Creating Culture in a READ 180 Classroom

Welcome. Here you will see our United Nation classroom, with features from all of our cultures represented in our READ 180 room. Our life-size paper student, FRED, is located in a prime spot. Our goal for this nine weeks is to read books to the height of our paper classmate. Every time a book quiz is passed, along with its matching Quick Write and daily book logs, the students place the book on the floor beside our paper classmate, FRED. How long will it take to reach the top of his head? We have all made predictions! 

This 300 page book, Good Enough by Paula Yoo will gain an inch on the height of FRED and a lasting effect on students. Many of our students are dealing with the pressures of being the first family member to graduate from an American high school. Like the main character Patti Yoon’s parents, their parents might pressure them to be the best, also. The students will be able to identify with the characters, circumstances, and stress of being a high school student figuring out what to do with the rest of their life. 

The following performances will help students to have a greater appreciation for the arts. It might even inspire them to attend an orchestra concert to hear the sound of a violinist, just like Patti Yoon. I know I was inspired to hear the sounds of Mendelssohn, Bach, and Paganini.

Good Enough by Paula Yoo

These are the pieces that the main character, Patti Yoon, practices for her live Julliard audition. Listen and share with students.

Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E Minor

Bach E Major Partita

With Sean Lee's video rendition, you will feel like you are the violinist on stage! Imagine having this gift that so very few in the world can call their own. 

My mission continues on my quest to read all of the Universal books! Here's what I have read: The Great American Dust Bowl, Antony and Cleopatra, Good Enough, The Code Talkers, Novio Boy, The Lightning Dreamer, S. O. S. Titatnic, The Peak, The Whole Sky Full of Stars

The Universal packaging is coming to an end. The Universal book projects were a big hit and brought the students together.

One more idea came to mind for the remaining packaging, and the students were excited! They picked partners or small groups to collaborate with to share about a country and its culture. 53 students make up my READ 180 classes. Our countries represented are: Vietnam, Honduras, Guatemala, Cuba, Mexico, United States, Belgium, China, and Bangladesh. Also, 10 languages are spoken! We have a lot to learn from one another and this validated that each and every one of us is important!


Every week we have Finding Fred Fridays at the beginning of class. We watch a 3-5 minute video clip of somewhere in the world. This year we have visited the following places: Hong Kong, Tokyo, Paris, Venice and Tuscany, The Broadmoor, INDY car racing, Beijing, and Thailand. I let the students know approximately how much a plane ticket, a hotel, and a trip to that destination might cost. Then we rate on a scale of 1-10 if we would take a trip there. We record this information in our "Passport to Success" folder section: “Oh, where will we travel next?” The students peruse through my travel folders which are filled with brochures, pictures, hotels, tourist spots, and souvenirs during the independent reading rotation on Fridays if they choose. I have a folder from each of the places I visited when I was going after United Million Mile status. For Fourteen years, I took on average one flight a month. 

Our final Universal packaging project.

Tying in to mindset, I want students to see there is a whole world to explore. Students can take pictures, brochures, and souvenirs to keep. These items give students visuals and goals on what they are wanting to accomplish in life. It might give an extra drive to a student to do well in school because they are working towards a goal. Students learn that effort, hard work, saving money, and being disciplined can offer those chances in life.


  1. Choose one or two places in the world.
  2. Partner or group with students that are interested in the same place to research. (Some students want to work by themselves which is fine.)
  3. The cardboard has three panels which need to be divided each into two parts. (There are now six parts to each cardboard project equaling 16 points each.)
  4. Another group may use the back of the project so all panels on the front and back are used.
  5. The following can be chosen by students to place on the six parts: country/place, map, foods, pictures, tourist spots, flight cost-coach & first class/hotels, language, economy, transportation-rental car, subway, train, and walking, clothing, currency, music,
  6. The students will share the project at the beginning of Whole Group.

A. (I/We) chose _________________ to research because....
   B. The _______________ panel is my favorite because....
C. Here is an example of music from my country.
D. (I/We) (am/are) going to share part of our project in our countries language. 
E. Raise your hand if you are inspired to take a trip to my country.

Stage C READ 180 Educator

Philosophy of Teaching All of my life, I have enjoyed working with children and have always desired to teach. It is my belief that no matter what socio-economic background, everyone deserves to achieve his/her educational goals. It is my ambition to facilitate this process.Growing up in the Houston area, I have always been aware of the Cypress-Fairbanks School District. The district's reputation of excellence is well known, not only in the Houston metroplex, but throughout the state of Texas. As a professional educator, it is important to be associated with a school district whose goals for its students are aligned with my philosophy of teaching.