Challenging Multiples

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by misswteaches, Aug 9, 2015.

  1. misswteaches

    misswteaches Companion

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    Aug 9, 2015

    Hi everyone! :) Thanks in advance for your help; I've always gotten great support and advice from you all.

    I just found out I will be having a set of triplets in my classroom. I've worked with them just a bit in the past. Having just one of them would change the whole mood of a classroom. Having all of them is keeping me up at night.

    School starts next week and I am trying to come up with a plan. One thing that will be hard is separating them in my very small classroom. They are also so far from meeting expectations in both academics and behavior that I don't know how to be give positive reinforcement (which they respond better to) without being totally unfair to the other students.
    I don't know what to do with them. I really don't think having them in my class is the best setting for them at all but it's out of my hands at this point.

    I really want to have a good first year of teaching but right now I'm not seeing how that will happen!
     
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  3. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Aug 9, 2015

    Good lord, why in the world would your school let three triplets be in the same classroom? Even if they weren't behavioral or academic concerns, they should be trying to separate them.
     
  4. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Aug 9, 2015

    Anyway though... the best thing to do, as much as possible, is to treat the like three individual, very different children. If one deserves the positive reinforcement, give it to that one. Also go into the year knowing that behavior and performance that earns one child positive reinforcement is not the same as another child. If one child is always meeting expectations, and you catch another child meets an expectation for the first time, it's perfectly fine to just praise the second child.
     
  5. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Aug 9, 2015

    A district near me is purposely putting twins together in elementary this year!

    Is this a new trend?
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 9, 2015

    This is great advice! :thumb:
    my district not only does not put multiples together, but we also separate cousins.
     
  7. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Aug 9, 2015

    Most states have laws that allow parents to decide what the best placement is for multiples. The research has shown that kids are no better off separated than they are together and that it is detrimental to separate twins forcibly (this does not apply to twins that want to be apart or can adjust easily). It can also be extremely stressful for parents of multiples to juggle assignments and expectations in the primary years (when parents are taking on all of the responsibility for homework and papers).

    I would talk to the parents and other teachers who know them (if you can) and find out how they do apart before making a point out of separating them in the room. If their abilities are similar, I would put them in the same small group and expect them to participate as any other group of non-sibling peers. As far as tables and small groups for centers/stations, I would get some input from the parents and watch them for a day or two before deciding what to do. Family life, personality, past educational settings, and other factors are going to play a role in how dependant these kids are on each other and separating them on day 1 might not be the best way to start the year. http://csunshinetoday.csun.edu/educ...practice-of-separating-twins-in-kindergarten/
     
  8. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS 7th grade ELA SDI in Texas

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    Aug 9, 2015

    Multiples Law went into effect about 7 or 8 years ago giving parents the primary right to decide whether or not multiples are separated.

    Talk to the parents! They are the BEST source of information. Find out what works with their children. Follow-through.
     
  9. phillyteacher

    phillyteacher Comrade

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    Aug 9, 2015

    Thank you for this! I so agree - there is nothing "not fair" about reinforcing different behavioral/ performance goals for different students.
     
  10. misswteaches

    misswteaches Companion

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    Aug 12, 2015

    Thanks so much! To answer your questions...
    It seems like a terrible idea to me, but we are a small school and we have combination grades. So I have all the 1st graders and all the 2nd graders. Meaning that I have triplets, a brother and sister, and two cousins. :D
    They really don't work well together (constant touching, getting jealous when another one is doing better, copying bad behavior, etc.) but because I have a small classroom I really can't separate them all that much. During small group teaching they will inevitably be together. I can seat them as far apart as possible during whole group work but that is really all I can do! So I am more worried about how little I can separate them than about separating them too much. :)

    I love your suggestion to talk to the parents. I was hesitant to suggest that their kids would be problem students before school has even started, but now that I think of it they would probably appreciate me making an effort. Maybe something like, "I'd love to talk with you about your kids and how I can treat them as individuals in the classroom, as well as what you've found most effective in encouraging good behavior." Would that be too overwhelming to ask?
     

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