Celebrating Diversity at Teaching Learning Conference, Gaston NC

August 18, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Posted in Cultural Diversity, Cultural Diversity Workshops | Leave a comment
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Celebrating Diversity at Teaching and Learning Conference

Educators attending the Teaching and Learning  Conference in Gaston County, NC on August 8 & 9, 2012 joined Ramona Moreno Winner in

Ramona presented


  • Global Awareness
  • Tolerance and Acceptance and
  • Cultural Trivia in the Classroom

Comments from educators:
Ramona Winner makes learning about different cultures interactive an entertaining.  She is like having a conversation with someone in your living room – comfortable and easy going.  She is a wealth of knowledge about cultural ideas and practices.  Miranda – mpotts4@gmail.com

Excellent presentation.  Engaging and memorable.  Jennifer – jlwirthamrick@gaston.k12.nc.us

Very knowledgeable about global hygiene, food, and other cultural topics.  Ryan – rcsteve2@gmail.com

Awesome workshop.  Instructor was very knowledgeable of different cultures from around the world and visual aids helped her get the point across.  Would love to see her present again.  Chris – cdsmith@gaston.k12.nc.us

Contact us at info@brainstorm3000.com or call 805-448-7149 to schedule a Professional Development presentation.


Diversity Workshop

November 11, 2010 at 11:12 pm | Posted in Cultural Diversity, Cultural Diversity Workshops | Leave a comment
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Diversity Workshop for Teachers

Whose Classrooms Reflect Diverse Cultural Student Populations

  • What is Your Cultural Background?
  • What are the Cultural Backgrounds of Your Students?
  • Learn About Individualistic or Collectivistic Cultures – how they affect your teaching methods and how your students learn.

Empower students of all cultural backgrounds by incorporating cultural learning into daily curriculum.



For a detailed explanation of Ramona’s Workshop, please

Click here for Diversity Workshop

For any additional information, contact Beatrice at bsharp@brainstorm3000.com

Cultural Diversity – The Potato

September 8, 2010 at 4:01 am | Posted in Cultural Diversity | Leave a comment
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Where Does the Potato Originate From?

This is a continuation of my last blog on cultural diversity in the classroom.


When students are asked where the potato originates from, they usually guess Ireland or closer yet, Idaho. We get this wonderful tuber from the Incas in Southern Peru, Northern Bolivia. In the 16th century, the Spanish Conquistadores visited Peru where they found the potato. They saw it was very portable, so they took it with them when they left. What they failed to bring with them was the method used by the Incas to freeze dry the potato for long term storage. The Incas would place the potato out on the rocks where it would be exposed to the cold and dehydrate (freeze dried). At this state it was called Chuño. The Incas could store this freeze dried potato for 10 years.

Europeans used the potato mostly as fodder to feed their animals. In Ireland, where grain was difficult to grow, the potato became the staple. The use of potato provided more food for the Irish people, which meant longevity and increased population. Their numbers grew as they flourished with this new crop. When the potato blight hit (potatoes are prone to mold and rot with exposure to moisture), the Irish people were left without food between 1845 – 1852 and millions died or emigrated.

In the United States, it was Thomas Jefferson who cultivated small lots of potato on his plantation and it was said to have been his French cook who can be credited for the first French Fry.

So let’s give a BIG  hand to the Incas for our gift of the potato!

Another wonderful contribution from a culture not our own!

Educators – see Diversity Workshop under my Pages category

Pleasure is spread through the earth
In stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find.
~William Wordsworth, 1806

Freaky Foods From Around the World

May 21, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Posted in Children's books, Cultural Diversity | Leave a comment

Freaky Foods From Around the World – Platillos sorprendentes de todo el mundo is a book you can sink your teeth into!  Lucas’ abuela is a world traveler and the owner/cook at the Freaky Foods Restaurant.  She has some recipes she wants to try out and she invites Lucas’ class over for lunch.  She comes out with a platter and says “When food is strange and quite unknown, and not familiar like our own, don’t squirm around making funny faces, because food comes from different places.  THAT’S WHY IT’S DIFFERENT!”

This is a great book to discuss foods from different cultures.  In the back of the book is a section of recipes.  One of the favorites is crickets from Sub-Sahara, Africa.  For those individuals looking for a more filling meal, there is rat from Vietnam or frog legs from Italy.  Yum!

I had the pleasure or traveling around the world with my sons and what was most difficult was – you guessed it – getting them to eat the foods!  Everything looked so different.  Upon my return to the States, I decided to write this story so children can experience different cultures without leaving their homes.

When I visit schools and attend conferences, I carry with me a supply of baked crickets.  I know, that sounds pretty strange.  Children and adults LOVE the surprise and anxiety at the opportunity to eat such an exotic snack.  They are pleasantly surprised at how crispy and nutty the crickets taste.

My message is that once we get over our initial prejudices, we are open to learning about other cultures.  What we find common in our culture may seem strange to a person from a different culture.  A popular dish in the Mexican culture is Menudo (tripe and hominy soup).  This was a special caldo my family prepared for a festive event.  Friends who would visit would often opt out of eating Menudo once they were told that they were eating the stomach lining of a cow.

For a great read with a great message, I recommend this book for summer reading.

For an autographed copy from the author, please contact:  brainstorm3000@verizon.net

ISBN:  9780965117425        Price:  $15.95

“We have become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic.
Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings,
different hopes, different dreams.”
Jimmy Carter

Cultural Diversity in the Classroom

May 13, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Posted in Cultural Diversity | 2 Comments
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Diversity in the Classroom

We need only to look around in the classroom to see faces that are so different than our own.  With these faces come different cultures and traditions.  How can we begin learning about each other?  By incorporating cultural information into daily curriculum.  This is not as hard as one would think.  In the next few paragraphs, I’ll show you how!

Just about every school has a unit on metamorphosis.  Instead of studying the butterfly, let’s study the Mexican Jumping Bean.  Yes, you read correctly, jumping beans!  Rather than watching a jar filled with twigs and a still pupa, the students will observe a moving seed carpal (seed segment) sporting larva that eventually go dormant, undergo metamorphosis, and release a moth.  Grown in the high Sonora dessert of Mexico, these magical seeds grow on tall bushes up in the mountains where they are harvested in early summer.  In the classroom they can be used in Math to calculate the frequency and distance a seed moves, in Science to experiment how heat and cold affect movement, in English to introduce Folklore, and in Geography when exploring the wonders of our world.  With each application, students have an opportunity to learn a bit about Mexican culture and the frijoles saltarines.

What is the origin or your name?  My name, Ramona, means great beauty.  Not Really – ha ha!  Ramona is Germanic or Spanish in origin and means wise or protector.  My son Lucas is a bringer of light and the origins of that name is Latin.  The name Layla is Arabic and means night.  What fun can be had in researching the origin of names in a classroom and celebrating each finding.

I love a crispy, hot french fry.  Where do you think the potato originates from?  Let your students guess and see what they come up with.

I have been teaching workshops on cultural diversity for several years now and I enjoy seeing the faces of educators light up when they realize how simple it is to incorporate cultural learning into everyday learning.  I am thrilled to receive emails from teachers telling me how they used the information we shared in a workshop with their students and how this led to some wonderful discussion.

I hope I have sparked your interest and you will join me again at this site to explore different cultures.

“Diversity is not about how we differ.
Diversity is about embracing one another’s uniqueness.”
Ola Joseph (inspirational speaker)

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