Sunday, August 31, 2014

Fair vs. the Same

This summer, I came across this visual on Pinterest. To me, this shows why we assess and plan for individual differences for our students.

What is FAIR is not always the SAME thing for everyone. At the beginning of the school year, my class has a meeting and we generate our class rules. We call these "agreements" (and sometimes for little kids I call them "promises.") The students agree to follow the rules we generate. Then my assistant and I make agreements with the class too. One of our most important agreements is to help make things fair.

I find the concept of fairness to be one that even my youngest three year olds could understand. When the adults promise to be fair, it sets the stage nicely for differentiating your lessons according to your data. When someone asks me why something is different for one person or one group, I simply reply "Because I promised you all that I would help make things fair; and you have what you need right now, and so do your friends."

Clearly the boy who is tall doesn't need a box to stand on (even if he wants one) and clearly the child who is the shortest needs 2 boxes if he is going to be able to see the game. What is fair, is not always the same thing for everyone.

My Pinterest link led me back to this post by Phil Artman. He found it on Facebook and could not determine the original writer.  If it belongs to you and you do not have a "noncomercial share alike" aspect to it, please leave a comment and I will remove the post.


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Anonymous said...

I love this! This is one of the first things I learned from a very beloved professor - Fair isn't always equal! I didn't get it at first, but after working with special needs students (really, all students) I see how this works. Do you find that typical kids don't usually have a problem with it? I know I've experienced kindergarten kiddos helping a friend with special needs and while I was waiting for the 'that's not fair!', it never came. They just knew that their friend needed a little extra and they were happy to do it!

JGutierrez said...

What I great way to teach fairness. So often children struggle with this concept, I like how the visual shows the students which child needs what and why they need it. This would be a great way for you to begin the discussion of fairness. I think allowing students to see this visual will do a wonderful job of giving them an understanding of everyone's different needs. This allows for them to learn and probably relate better than just saying to them that certain children need or get extra help or tools for them to accomplish a task.

alfallah12345 said...

What I great way to teach fairness.

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