Daniel SanGiacomo

aka Daniel Aktas

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What Do You Say to ‘That’s So Gay’ & Other Anti-LGBTQ* Comments?

This website provides lots of ways for adults to answer challenging questions that come up in class to promote a safer school environment.

What Do You Say to ‘That’s So Gay’ & Other Anti-LGBTQ* Comments?

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a first grader who might not know what the word “gay” means, a sixth grader trying to sound cool, or a tenth grader “teasing” a friend.  All of these have the potential of creating an unsafe classroom or school environment and must be addressed.  So, what can caring adults do?”


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Diverse Books For Elementary School

This organization features an expansive list of elementary school books that deal with LGBTQ, family diversity, bullying, and gender expression.

“A simple way to let students and families know that your school welcomes everyone is to integrate books into your curriculum that reflect the diversity of your classroom and the world.”



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i wish my teacher knew

“One day, third-grade teacher Kyle Schwartz asked her students to fill–in–the–blank in this sentence: “I wish my teacher knew _____.” The results astounded her. Some answers were humorous, others were heartbreaking–all were profoundly moving and enlightening. The results opened her eyes to the need for educators to understand the unique realities their students face in order to create an open, safe and supportive place in the classroom. When Schwartz shared her experience online, #IWishMyTeacherKnew became an immediate worldwide viral phenomenon. Schwartz’s book tells the story of #IWishMyTeacherKnew, including many students’ emotional and insightful responses, and ultimately provides an invaluable guide for teachers, parents, and communities.”



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Cork Board Community

What is a classroom and who does it belong to? The students or the teachers? Teachers by nature of being the teacher of a classroom have all the opportunity to customize, organize, color, add, subtract, and change their classroom but students do not. In some capacity, teachers share this personalization when placing student work on the wall but I think this can be taken further. A great activity to initiate the student personalization of their classroom is a cork board. I use this for younger students by asking them to bring in and pin up a picture of something or someone they like from outside of school. I start the activity by pinning up a picture of my cat Donut and telling a story about her. Using a cork board with upper school I use this activity for students to brainstorm how their lives intersect with a topic of the curriculum.