Thursday, September 6, 2012

In Defense of Inclusive Classrooms

I know I just posted yesterday and you're all freaked out by my over-productiveness (a real word?) but I just had to share this sweet story that happened today. It definitely showed 1) how great children can be and 2) how important it is to have a mixed group of kids.

We were doing a math lesson and the students were supposed to work with the person next to them with some cubes to solve a couple of problems. We didn't plan out who was working with whom and just wanted to see how they worked together. Most of the partners worked well together, but one pair really impressed us. The boy and girl paired up were at different ability levels- the boy had repeated first grade and struggles with many assignments. The girl is on grade level and understood this particular lesson very well.

I was walking around and saw that on his turn to solve, he didn't get the right answer. Instead of taking the cubes and just "doing it myself" as I expected a second grader to do, she encouraged the student by saying "That's really close, but not quite right. Go ahead and try again. I know you're smart enough to get it!" A couple minutes later, he had tried again and found the right answer. He was grinning ear to ear and she was saying "There you go! I knew you could do it!"

Such an inspiration. Let this be a reminder that it is so important to have a mixed group of abilities because without that, you don't have moments like this one! This was a win-win situation because both students felt encouraged and confident and both improved their understanding. Inclusive classrooms for the win!

No comments:

Post a Comment