Teaching Twins

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Ms.Jasztal, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. shasha379

    shasha379 Devotee

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    Jul 14, 2011

    We had triplets this year. Two were identical and one looked nothing like the others. The two identical tried the switch-a-roo. I could distinguish one triplet from the others though. The mom constantly compared the classes. This is why my P likes to keep them together whenever possible.
     
  2. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jul 14, 2011

    I am a twin, and my twin and I were always separated. We were very shy, so I think my mom did that intentionally to get us out of our shell. I can remember in preschool getting so sick from anxiety, that my mom finally pulled me out. Then in K (the only year sis and I were in the same class), my sister and I bawled for at least the first week. There was separation anxiety from being apart from our mom, and also extreme shyness.

    In my own personal opinion, I know how separation could be a good thing, but I guess it really depends on the set of twin. We have triplets coming into 1st grade next year, with only two 1st grades. I will have 2 of the triplets, and the other one, who is more independent, will go in the other class. So, I guess it just depends, but being that my sister and I always struggled to be seen as individuals as opposed to "the twins", separating twins is one way to begin to achieve that.
     
  3. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Jul 14, 2011

    I have identical twins of my own. They are almost 2 so we haven't crossed that road yet, but I recently did a graduate research product on the subject. The bottom line from the studies I read was that there are pros and cons to both, but that it really depended on the specific set of twins.

    My school typically has them together in K and apart after that. However, I don't think parents have ever requested otherwise.
     
  4. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 14, 2011

    Interesting reading everyone's thoughts! IHeartRecess, time will tell, and TamiJ, every situation is different. :) So many factors go into the decision parents (and districts) must make.
     
  5. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Jul 14, 2011

    We had 7 sets of twins last year. Yes, 7. In my room I had one pair of brother/sister and 4 individual. The one set I had was a parent request, but we generally try to keep them apart.

    When I did placement for next year, I seperated the set I had in my room.
     
  6. maya5250

    maya5250 Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2011

    As some have mentioned, it depends on each case. I haven't taught twins before. I wanted to share my friend's story about her twin brothers. They were both AP in middle school and were placed in AP classes because it was the only class taught. They fought over friends so much that her mom decided to take one of them to another school to attend the AP program. Mom was tired of the phone calls.
     
  7. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    Jul 14, 2011

    My school splits twins.

    I personally don't have a preference either way. I think at some point they do need to be split, but it's really what is best for the kids! However, if twins are split I think that the school needs to make it clear to the parents that all teachers are different and the students may not be doing the EXACT same things!

    I say this because...

    We have 3 sets of twins coming in this year out of a class of 65! Our P is wigging out and frantic that we MUST be all on the same page all the time (they had issues in the past with some twins and their parents). Well...if we are going to freak out this much about them getting the "same stuff" then put them in the same class! Every teacher teaches and runs things differently! We all teach the same content and out of the same manual, but in our own style and way. I just have a bad feeling that we are going to have to be exact copies of each other. Our P does not handle conflict well and I don't feel that she will support us if a parent complains. She wouldn't stand up for us and say that all teachers teach differently...she would just come to us and tell us to change it!
     
  8. Love to Teach

    Love to Teach Cohort

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    Jul 14, 2011

    Congratulations...how exciting, Teachgrade5!!! :)
     
  9. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I had twins that both had learning disabilities that I saw for reading/math. They were on the same level, so I kept them in the same group. I thought it might be a problem when I found out they were twins, but really they were wonderful! They were so supportive and caring with each other. They would always encourage the other one and celebrate with them when they met goals. One met all of her IEP goals about two months before the other, and the one that hadn't met them was genuinely happy for her twin that had "filled up her whole chart" (a sticker chart tracking progress). Then the one that met the goals worked actively with the other one to help her practice. They were so cute! I'll have them next year too, but I think they both might actually test out. They're up for reeval next year and they're doing really well. The only concern I ever had was that they were so close the other group members might feel jealous/left out. They would even walk around holding hands and things like that. At one point, it was them and just one other girl in a group, and I sort of felt bad for the other girl. Other than that though, no problems. They had very different clothing styles/personalities so I had no trouble telling them apart even though they were identical.
     
  10. stampin'teacher

    stampin'teacher Cohort

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    We always split them up. Part of if I think is for admin to say that both classrooms (there are two for each grade) are teaching the same material, but to also give them their own opportunities for growth. We mix up the classrooms a lot-we use flexible grouping for math, so they still have instructional time together at some point.
     
  11. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Jul 15, 2011

    I almost was going to have two sets of twins in my class next year, but they separated the two boys. The other set is girl/boy.

    I have had twins over the years. Sometimes it's great, sometimes, not so much...
     
  12. letsteach

    letsteach Comrade

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    I have twins and the policy of their primary school was to separate (as long as parents were willing). My girls were first separated in Grade 2. Generally speaking, twins are with each other 24/7 and rarely get a break. When my (non-identical) girls went to school, they went together. They went to preschool, kindy and were placed together in grade 1 (for confidence). However, these two children who had always had each other suddenly did not. One twin found a best friend on day one (with whom, 8 years later is still her best friend) while the other twin struggled to find and develop a friendship. With hindsight, twins don't have to develop the necessary social skills to find, develop and maintain a friendship as they've always had their twin.
     
  13. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    Jul 15, 2011

    My friend had to fight to get her twins to be in class together- she honestly had to go and get a drs. note and a psy. note!

    We have had twins together and some that weren't. We also have a lot of cousins who live together and sometimes they get the same classroom. There is a set of twins coming up this year who are usually together and another set who aren't. I wonder if I will get them? Last year and they year before I had one twin and my neighbor had the other. I always felt bad for the parents trying to get used to both of our strategies (and the kids too).
     
  14. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Jul 15, 2011

    This is why I think you should seperate them earlier, during preschool, if possible, when the whole group is learning those sorts of skills.
     
  15. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jul 15, 2011

    At my current school we seperate, when there is more then 1 section of the class. My 1st year there we had problems with a Mom who wanted both girls in the same class & the P wouldn't do it. We test our kids coming in & base classroom assignments on that. There was also an older brother.

    Because of the differences in the classes Mom had problems all year. She wanted both girls doing the same exact thing, even when 1 was reading & the other girls was still learning letters/sounds. She wanted both girls doing math (in her mind that was addition/subtraction). One of the girls didn't know her numbers!

    Yup, she complained because her 3 kids, 1 in 1st, 2 in K, had 3 different gym days. How was she suppose to remember that?!?! 3 different spelling lists! 2 different lunch times! I could go on.

    She's a mom who needed a school that everyone in the grade level did the same exact thing at the same exact time, even if the child wasn't ready for it.

    Oh, she was also studying to be a special ed. teacher.
     
  16. janney

    janney Cohort

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    Jul 15, 2011

    In my school we have 5 reg ed teachers at each grade level so they try to split up any kids who are related or living in the same house. I did have cousins once but I don't think the office knew and they had been moved around enough so I didn't say anything.
     
  17. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Jul 15, 2011

    I have had sets of twins in my class a few times (2 sets of identical twins that I struggled to tell apart) and I've also had several instances of having one twin and the other one was with a different teacher. At our school we let the parents decide if they stay together or go to different classes. I have never had a problem either way and I've never had a parent complain about different expectations across classrooms.

    I hope the parents who complain about having to remember "different gym days" and that sort of thing realize what an incredible blessing they have. (I have dealt with infertility and loss over many years, including the m/c of twins last year.)
     
  18. EiffelTower

    EiffelTower Comrade

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    Jul 15, 2011

    I was actually just looking at my class list and noticed that I have twins this coming year. It doesn't really matter to me either way but it should be interesting to see how long it takes me to tell them apart.
     
  19. Miss84

    Miss84 Comrade

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    I had twins in my class for this past school year and they were like night/day in everything! (behavior, mannerisms, grades,..etc.)
     
  20. sjnkate

    sjnkate Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2011

    My school permits it if the parents request it.
    As for how I feel about it, I agree with Rox that it depends on the twins. I'm a twin. :) My sister and I were kept in separate classes because our parents wanted us to be able to develop our own personalities (we are still extremely similar). When we were in sixth grade we were put in the same elementary school classroom. Halfway through the year we moved to a district where sixth grade= middle school. It was definitely a plus to have my sister with me that year and we enjoyed being in the same classes. That was the last time we shared classes until college (my sister is a teacher as well). I have met twins who are very competitive though, and for them I think being in the same class would be detrimental.
     

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