How does the home culture of Latino immigrant students differ from the mainstream culture of U.S. schools? Why is it important for teachers to understand the differences? How can educators take advantage of students cultural traits to improve classroom management, student performance, and school-parent relations? Carrie Rothstein-Fisch and Elise Trumbull answer these and many other questions by drawing on the experience and collective wisdom of teachers in the Bridging Cultures Project, a five-year action research study of elementary classrooms with high percentages of immigrant students. The authors present a simple framework for understanding cultural differences, comparing the individualistic culture that prevails in American education with the collectivistic culture that characterizes most of the world s population, including many of the Latino immigrant students in U.S. classrooms. At the heart of the book are teacher-developed strategies that capitalize on the cultural values that these students and their families offer, such as an emphasis on helping, sharing, and the success of the group. The strategies cover a wide spectrum of issues and concerns, including * Communication with families * Open house and parent-teacher conferences * Homework * Attendance * Learning in the content areas * Motivation and rewards * Classroom rules * Assessment and gradingManaging Diverse Classrooms: How to Build on Students Cultural Strengths presents both the research foundation and the practical perspectives of seasoned teachers whose classroom-tested approaches have produced positive results. With this valuable guide in hand, readers will have the insights and strategies they need to turn educational challenges into educational opportunities.