Hey ladies! It has been a fun weekend here. Did some relaxing, some cleaning, some shopping, some dinner with family and worked on a big project for school which I promise to share later! I got some new school clothes but I am having an extremely hard time finding pants that fit me... so depressing... Anyways...
Tonight what I want to share is something that is near and dear to my heart! I work very hard to instill in my students that everyone is different. We have different cultures, backgrounds, hair color, eye color, skin color, some of us are boys, some of us are girls, the differences are endless. So why would it make sense that we all learn the same way?!?! I thought I would share some things that I have used/plan to use in the first few days to help my students understand this! ** A few Freebies included**
Ok so the first thing I do is have my students fill out an all about me page. I usually have them fill it out, share their answers and then hang it on the wall. No more!! This year I am going to use this to begin my "we're all different lesson!" I am using Miss Nelson's Getting to Know you pack for my little kids and a wonderful Facebook page that I downloaded from TPT for my older kids (both are free!). Once they get their pages completed, I will pair them up and have them compare their answers. For every answer that is similar, I am going to have them either circle or highlight it. We will then discuss how many circles they made, which should be not many. This will show them that even though they go to the same school and are in the same grade, they have lots of differences. I will then talk about differences in learning and how not all students will learn at the same pace and that not everyone will be good at the same thing.
Students that have worked for me the last 2 years know that the word EASY is banned in my room!! I hate it! I always say (and they can quote me) that what is easy for them, is not always easy for someone else! This poster is posted in my classroom (I will glue some brown paper behind it to make it stand out) as a little reminder. I make sure I show this to them and we discuss other things that we can say instead. **Side note: this would be a good thing to make an anchor chart for and then you could update the poster with the other things they come up with**
Ok so after the All About Me Comparison and the Introduction/Reminder of the dreaded word EASY, I do some activities that I learned from the RTI Guy, Mr. Pat Quinn! If you haven't seen him or taken his online training courses, you really should! 2 of my favorite activities he shares are The Run and Emergency Room/Triage.
The Run: This is great for teaching that all students learn at a different pace.
Take the kiddos outside and tell them they have a mission. (To set up you may need to draw a chalk line on the ground for the finish line). Tell the students that they need to all run as fast as they possibly can to the finish line but that they all have to get there at the exact same time. They may say "That's not possible, or how do we do that?" or they might say ok and just go for it, either way you have a lesson.
If they question it, then go ahead and explain that it's not possible. You can't all do your absolute best and finish at the same time and it's the same way in the classroom. You can't all learn the same thing and understand it at the exact same second.
If they just say ok and do it, they should realize that they may have to slow down to let other students catch up. You can then ask them "Did you really all run as fast as you could?" and the fast ones that had to slow down will realize that they didn't and then you can teach the same lesson.
Emergency Room AKA Triage: I use this activity to teach students that not all of them will need the same support to be successful.
I made a set of cards that you can use and uploaded it to my store for free. Click the picture to download.
Give each student a card (it’s ok if they have duplicates). Have students come up one by one and hand their illness/injury to you. For every student, respond with the same thing such as “Oh, I’m sorry, have a band-aid.” “Oh have a seat we’ll be with you in an hour.” “Have a cough drop.” It doesn’t really matter what you say, just make it the same for everyone. Students will quickly get the picture that it doesn’t make much sense for everyone to get the same thing. Someone with strep throat doesn’t need a band-aid. Have a discussion about how the same thing happens in the classroom and everyone will get what they need to be successful!
I hope that you learned something that can work for your classroom and with your kiddos! I cannot stress enough the importance of teaching this to your students. Have a great week!