Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Social Studies: Community Building

In Social Studies, we're still learning how to treat one another.  We read all the books in the No, David! series and made our own list of things *not* to do:

Then we made our own Davids.

I am obsessed with this project. The Davids turn out so cute every year. I love how each kid puts his/her own spin on them!

I read about this amazing lesson on differentiation in the classroom.  The idea is to explain to students that what is fair isn't always the same.  I know it was meant for older students, but I like to give my kiddos the benefit of the doubt that they'll understand what I'm talking about. 

So, we tried it. I had my kids think of a time when they got hurt really badly.  I shared my story about how I fell and opened my kneecap when I was a kid and showed them the scar.  Then, one at a time, each child came up and shared his or her "hurt" area.  No matter what area they said was hurting, each student got a bandaid in the same spot: his or her upper right arm.  

When we were finished, I asked if I actually helped anyone with the bandaid, if I had put it in the correct spot on anyone.  They all shook their head and shouted "NO!" (Okay, one girl said "The bandaid really did make me feel better."  This is the typical 'a bandaid makes it all better' mentality that 5 year olds share, and may be why the lesson didn't work as well as I'd hoped.)  Anyway, we discussed how I gave the SAME thing to everyone, but that ended up helping NO ONE.  It would have been better if each child got a bandaid where they actually needed it.  Similarly, in the classroom, it is better when each child gets the work/remediation/enrichment/accommodations he or she needs, which may not be the same as everyone else.  

We compared the extra help a student needs to a bandaid.  To interrupt the teacher when she's working one-on-one with a student is to rip off that student's bandaid.

If the moral of the story was lost on the children, they at least got to put their bandaid in their sticker book to count toward the end of the month sticker store.


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