To split or not to split the twins...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by PEteacher07, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. PEteacher07

    PEteacher07 Cohort

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    I am not a parent, but since I have been teaching I have had several sets of twins. We have a set of identical twins starting 3rd grade and their parents refuse to separate them into separate home rooms. The girls still dress alike too all the way down to the matching socks, shoes, and hair ribbon. Does anyone find this a little odd? I have had some who are maybe together in kindergarten but then their parents split them up for the rest of elementary school. Even if they are in different classes, the whole grade level comes to my gym so they get to hang out everyday for 45 minutes.

    My husband is a twin and he thinks it could be detrimental to the girls b/c they don't spend anytime apart developing their own sense of self. He said he and his twin were split up early on during school and he thought it was for the best b/c each brother developed their own way of doing things and made friends with different people.

    It's none of my business and I obviously won't say anything about it but I am just curious too see what others think.
     
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  3. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Try seating them apart.

    Their parents might like it when they dress the same, because then their parents may lay positive reinforcement on them telling them how cute they look, so they continue to be exactly alike.
     
  4. PEteacher07

    PEteacher07 Cohort

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    I organize the seating chart by teacher, but I have always seated them separately since getting them in kindergarten. I definitely agree with you there!
     
  5. nattles19

    nattles19 Comrade

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    I can understand what your husband is saying, and I agree that is true.

    I think it's much easier for the parents when they are dealing with the same homework, the same field trips, the same expectations, etc. of just one teacher than trying to juggle two.

    Also, it can be tough for teachers when the parents are comparing the two separate classrooms - "Why do you do it this way, Mrs. So-and-So does this and it's much better..." :eek:
     
  6. jenn888

    jenn888 Rookie

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    You are right..I have one boy and another teacher on my grade level has the other. I am open to new ideas, try fun hands on activities ect... and she is/does not she also is known for having no patience.... so I know the twins parents may have issues b/c of this. This is also the first year they have been separated. I have a feeling they are both going to end up in my class.
     
  7. tiffharmon2001

    tiffharmon2001 Comrade

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    I've taught twins both ways and I think it depends on the kids and the parents. One year, I had two sets of twins in my class (and crazy enough, both sets were born on the same day-so we had a birthday party for 4 on the same day!). One set was very independent. They played very well with other kids and pretty much did their own thing. The other set had a very hard time even sitting by other kids. The cafeteria asked us to line the kids up in ABC order by first name, which meant there was one little girl between them. I fought that the first half of the year before they finally gave in and let her be between.

    Funny enough, the two who were so dependent upon each other very rarely dressed alike (the only time I remember is picture day and I think that was mom's doing), and the other two dress exactly the same every day.
     
  8. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    I think it should be completely up to the parents.

    I don't have twins, and I don't know what I would do in that situation, but I would like to make the choice and not be told that they had to be separated.
     
  9. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    very, very tough for teachers! However, I do think it helps eliminate some of the competition/or comparisons between twins when they are separated. It's a catch-22
     
  10. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    I've seen it happen both ways at my school- I had a twin six years ago, with the other in a different class- and then last year, two twins were together in second grade.
     
  11. MrsCSoup

    MrsCSoup Rookie

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    I had one of a set of triplets last year. It was very difficult for the mom to have them separated...not so much for the kiddos. There were some other issues involved, but she absolutely had her children's best interest at heart. All 3 had a great year. I tried to put mine in with her brother for this coming year, but not sure how that will work out. We shall see.
     
  12. Lynn K.

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    I agree that it really depends on the kids. We have had twins that simply don't get along - they needed to be in seperate classes! Most twins at our school stay together through 3rd grade at least.
     
  13. Deb06

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    I had a set of twins (boy and girl) in my classroom this past school year. It worked out pretty well, but I think it was partly because they were of the opposite sex and had different friends and interests.

    I also had twin in my class and her sister was in another room. I agree it is a lot easier for the parents to keep up with classroom activities and homework when the kids are in the same class, but I think it all depends on how they will do together.
     
  14. TeacherShelly

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    Parents with more than one kid have to manage two teachers, sets of homework, field trips, and so on. This is not a major imposition, in my opinion. It really bothers me when parents dress their twins alike, treat them like a matched set. I also don't like to refer to twins as "The Twins." I think that by third grade, they do very well to have their own time during the day when no one asks, "Which one are you?"
     
  15. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    I have 5 year old twins. They are identical right down to losing the same tooth the same day. They weigh the same, talk the same, same, same, same! At x-mas, I took them individually to the dollar store to choose a gift for his brother, and they chose the same! :lol:

    Before having them, I would have thought that splitting is for the best. Now I realize it really is an individual case.

    I now realize that twins who often are the same and dependent on each other is not always a choice. It's who they are and who they may want to be. We have always let it be their choice and they seem to always choose the same. On the other hand, I have seen twins who have the choice and purposely choose the opposite just to be different. Like all siblings, how they relate is their choice.

    I have also seen twins who are 'forced' to dress the same. In our twin play group, we think those parents enjoy the attn this brings.

    Our Dr. said that splitting twins usually makes them more dependent on each other because they left the comfort zone. They may begin sleeping together, give up an interest (soccer) just to be with the twin of another interest (golf), etc. He suggests keeping them together until they ask otherwise.

    We have currently chosen to keep our twin boys together.
    When I asked them which they prefered, they really didn't understand. I foresee them wanting to be a part in a few years. Why, I don't know because nearly everything is the same now and like I said earlier, not by choice (teeth, hair, sleep position, improper pencil grip).

    As for dressing them the same...
    I do buy nearly everything double. They choose their own clothes each day. When they choose the same (which is often but not daily), I think it's more because they like the shirt than want to be like their brother. If they choose to buy the same shoes, we label them.

    So my advice...after you know your student twins quite well, ask them one on one if they like being together.
     
  16. TeacherShelly

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    Rabbit, what do you mean your boys don't understand the question about whether they want their own classroom and teacher? Or to be in one classroom with the same teacher? Or did I misunderstand?
     
  17. PEteacher07

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    I don't know if this make a difference, but our school departmentalizes when the kids hit 2nd grade so the kids have similar things going on in their classes I think, but I have never taught in the classroom! So a teacher that teaches science teaches all the kids in the the grade level that subject....

    Since the girls have never dressed differently, I don't even know the difference between them. I know one face is slightly rounder than the other but I only notice that in pictures. My 5th grade twin girls dress TOTALLY different. One is a tomboy and one is a girly girl. Makes it so much easier to know the difference between them!
     
  18. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    As a mother of twins, I also did not think having two teachers would be a problem yet it turned to a nightmare some days. Most of the problems managing two teachers with twins is the same grade level. If names (student or teacher) are not on book orders, homework, etc, it's difficult for parents. I had this problem when my twins were a part for a day care class. Two separate book order clubs came home with no student or teacher name. I cannot expect a 5 year old to know which book order is his as they all look alike. Things like this happen more often than you realize.

    Again, parents don't always choose to dress them alike. My twins often choose it themselves.

    Being called 'The twins' and having to ask questions such as 'which one are you' tugs at my heart!!! It tugs at the hearts of everyone who wants to call them correctly by name. But realize that even as a parent, I mess up who is who! Almost daily! Sometimes I can laugh it off and sometimes I cry because I so want to know them as two.

    Twins are twins not by choice.
    As much as people want to make them two, they often choose to be one.
     
  19. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Always separate twins in school, even if they get along great.
     
  20. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    It's difficult to explain. :blush:
    No matter how I worded the question one on one, they didn't seem to comprehend that they may each have their own kindergarten room with their own kindergarten teacher. It's as if it's a given to them that all will be the same even though we have always given choices. Did that make more sense?
     
  21. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    I respect your advice on this forum.
    Why would you always split them?
     
  22. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Rabbit, your posts just fascinate me. I have seen programs on TV where twins spoke their own invented language. I've seen separated-at-birth stories and found the twins to be so much alike. So I know kids like your sons are not that unusual (in the world of twins). Still. I should have said before, I have identical twin daughters, 7 years old. They have given me such a different experience.

    At 5, they clearly understood the question about having their own kindergarten class and teacher, or sharing. They discussed it together and with us, and finally decided to try separated first, with the chance to change their minds in one month. They never looked back and love having their own teachers and classmates. I just went and asked them if they thought twins should have matching outfits and they said almost in unison, "They should be able to wear whatever they want." In other words, if twins want to dress alike or differently, they should be able to. I asked if they'd like to have some matching outfits for school this year and both just said, "No."

    Now as a teacher, I find myself so often urging parents not to compare siblings. Not even twins, just siblings! It is so hard not to compare sibs, and even more so with twins, of course. I have always wanted my daughters to be just who they are. If they had been the kind of people to enjoy being one with each other, I would have embraced that, too, after I made sure I wasn't encouraging it. I'm not saying you are encouraging it, by the way.

    Twins are fascinating.
     
  23. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    My sons simply don't get into deep conversations like this. Maybe because they are little men :lol:. Hopefully it's because it truly doesn't matter to them.

    My twins simply floor me. As much as they are two people, they are one. Their bodies function in unison along with their personalities. It's both fascinating and creepy.
     
  24. scooter503

    scooter503 Comrade

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    How about I add the twin perspective. I am a twin. My sister and I were kept together until 7th grade (this was not always a choice...it was a very small school and sometimes there was only one class). However, we were pretty shy and we preferred to be together. We did enjoy the one year we were separated, though.

    I really do believe that it should be up to the parents, on a case by case basis. If my sister and I had been separated right away, we would have been crushed. However, I work with a teacher who has twin boys and she separated them last year (in 1st grade) and said she will never put them in the same class again. Each case is different.

    As far as clothing, my sister and I (and my mother) don't believe twins should be dressed alike. My mom always tried to dress us differently, but so many people bought us matching clothes. Oddly enough, we would often wind up dressed alike (even now as adults). We just have very similar tastes. Also, my sister and I purposely chose to attend different colleges...we were trying to "separate" ourselves (in high school we did almost all the same activities and had the same group of friends). We wound up with similar majors anyway (she was a math major...teaches high school math...I have a math minor and teach upper elementary). Go fig. There are some things you can't fight! Like genetics! :)
     
  25. scooter503

    scooter503 Comrade

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    My twins simply floor me. As much as they are two people, they are one. Their bodies function in unison along with their personalities. It's both fascinating and creepy.[/QUOTE]

    Rabbitt, just wanted to add...my twin and I used to have the same dreams. It is a very unique connection, that's for sure!
     
  26. TeacherGrl7

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    This past year I had three sets of twins in my Pre-K classes. My morning class had a boy-girl set, and my afternoon class had a boy-girl set and a set of identical boys.

    I wish they had ALL been separated.

    My morning set did nothing but fight like...well, sister and brother! They bickered and stole toys from each other and made each other crazy, which made ME crazy, whenever there was free time. I split them up as much as possible, but in Pre-K that is not so easy.

    My afternoon boy-girl set relied on each other so much that it was difficult to get them to interact with other children. If I put them in separate centers, they were forever looking over at the other centers to keep tabs on their siblings, instead of focusing on what they were doing themselves.

    My identical boys were SO low, I got them services. I could not tell them apart- even in June- and they couldn't even tell me which twin they were until about January. It was absolutely horrible. They both needed a LOT of help, but in different things, and it was incredibly difficult to give them the help they needed because I could rarely tell who I was dealing with for the first half of school. If they had been split it would have been so beneficial for them.
     
  27. princessa48

    princessa48 Companion

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    As a school, we always try to push for separation of twins. That being said, it is ultimately left up to the parents. I've had numerous sets on twins...one year I had six kids out of twenty five that were twins. I've found that boy-girl twins often do a little better together than same sex twins. They tend to be a little more independent of one another.
     
  28. bros

    bros Phenom

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    My Junior year of HS, we taught a preschool of like 12 kids, we had fraternal twins in the class.

    they did NOT like each other, but luckily they played near the other kids :p
     
  29. Jeky

    Jeky Comrade

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    I am a twin as well, and all I know is that if I have twins I am going to put them in different classes as soon as possible....most twins spend 24/7 with each at home anyways, so I think the time apart to develop their own sense of self is important.
    Just my opinion.. :)
     
  30. PEteacher07

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    That is exactly how my husband feels about being separated from his twin brother in school. They shared a bedroom until 4th grade and were pretty close but being separated was the best for them. Because of it, they developed different friendships and interests but were still close to each other as brothers. But I guess that is what was best for them.
     
  31. TeacherShelly

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    Just an aside... I considered homeschooling my girls before choosing to change careers and teach in public school. One of the reasons I went against the choice to homeschool is because I want the girls to have many adults in their lives who care about them. Similarly, I want them to have many peers who love them just for them, and not as part of a twosome. I was pleased when a month into the school year their first year at our school, one was invited to a birthday party and the parents didn't even know she had a twin. They were apologizing, "I'm sorry! I didn't know she was a twin or I would have invited both girls." Of course, that was exactly how I wanted it - just a kid in the class, not half of a set.
     
  32. tiffharmon2001

    tiffharmon2001 Comrade

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    I had twins one year who always referred to themselves with both names-for example, one of them might have said "TaraandKara (not their real names of course) have that toy at home." Adults referred to them that way so often that they just though it was their name.

    I was really happy when their mom decided to separate them for kindergarten the next year.
     
  33. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Wow - that's interesting!
     
  34. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    This is interesting...My friend is a kindergarten teacher and her principal refuses to separate twins. He keeps them together K-5. I think that's pretty strange...
     
  35. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    I'm actually expecting identical twin in 4 weeks so this has been interesting to read. In my situation I'll really have to think it through because my children will attend my school. We only have 2 teachers at each grade level so at some point the twins will either need to be together or else one will have me as the teacher. :)
     
  36. gpsysngbrd

    gpsysngbrd Companion

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    I had boy girl twins a couple of years ago and up until they came to my room. We felt they needed to branch out a little bit so we gave them cubbies at two ends of the room and never put their cots next to eachother. By the end of the year, unless one was having a bad day they were so independent!

    This year I have a brother and sister (adopted so biologically they are 2 months apart). As you would expect they have their moments!

    Starting Monday I have identical twins (mom dresses them in different colors) - should be interesting!
     
  37. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    CONGRATULATIONS! :wub:

    I did not know we were having identicals.
    We had two 'sacks' and two placentas too.
    Apparently all that stuff can split too making mirror image twins.
    Ours are not mirror image twins so Dr still insists they are not identical...
    yet when he sees them now in person and paper, he cannot explain their similarities. :lol:
     
  38. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    I will have triplet boys in my class this year.
     
  39. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    To Rabbitt,

    Sorry it took me so long to answer. I'm not on the forum much. The reason is because twins connections to one another is so powerful and their interactions so secretive, that even the most perceptive teacher can miss what is going on with them. Separate them and let them learn on their own without the mental influences of the other sibling.
     
  40. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    We have five sets of twins in kindergarten this year. Some parents wanted them separated and others wanted them together. I had twins last year in my class and I thought they should be separated for first grade. The parents wanted them together because it's easier for them to get one set of notes and one set of homework.
     
  41. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Oh have fun.
     

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