We all have those students who love to mutter “it’s not fair.” Every year I hear someone say it’s not fair because someone in the class appears to be getting extra help or getting to do less work during differentiated activities. It’s all differentiation and the classic case of what’s fair is not always equal, but getting students to understand that is some times a very difficult task. That’s why I use my differentiation glyph to help.
When I first started teaching I wanted to make all my students happy, so I would instantly cringe if I heard “it’s not fair.” It took me a long time to be able to face this issue in my classroom. Children are always looking to make sure things are fair and it’s our job to help them understand.
When I took several more courses towards my masters degree in differentiation was when I was finally able to help students understand truly what differentiation was.
I helped students understand that each of them were different from one another by creating the “we are all different differentiation glyph.” This helped students see that we are different both on the outside and on the inside.
To continue to help my students understand that we each have different needs, I would place lollipops in my classroom at different heights and tell students that they each was allowed to have a lollipop. I expressed that each student all were getting the same thing – a lollipop. But, some students needed different tools to reach theirs. Some students need a little bit of help so they may only need a ruler and their tippy-toes to reach it. Another student may need a lot of help, and will need to grab a chair to stand on. This demonstration helped them see that each student had the same goal of getting a lollipop, but sometimes it’s out of our grasp, without a little help.
These two activities, the differentiation glyph and the lollipop reach, when paired together really help students understand a bit more about their differences and what’s more important – fair or equality.
Head to my Teachers Pay Teachers store to download my FREE Differentiation Glyph.
Best Wishes —