Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I could use some advice!

I only have my middle school students for nine weeks at a time.  Combined with my typical students I have a different special needs class each nine weeks.  On different occasions I've had to address and discipline students for bullying or making comments to/about my special needs students.  I've been struggling to get some of my students to understand that we are not all equipped with the same abilities.    
So for one day while I introduced a new lesson, I had my typical students wear different things to challenge their abilities.  For example, some students wore vaseline covered goggles to blur their vision.  Others wore oversized gloves to challenge their fine motor skills.  The rest of the students taped their dominate drawing hand and drew with their non-dominate hand.  The entire class period we worked like this on our new project.  Many students were frustrated that they couldn't make their project look as good as they knew it could.  Comments like, "I hate this." or "I can't do this." were heard many times.  I would just remind them that they, after the class was over, could take off what they were wearing and be back to "normal".  The other students in the class were born this way and couldn't just take it off when class was over.  This lesson wasn't life changing, but it did change the respect that my students had towards one another for the rest of the nine weeks.  If anyone out there has any suggestions on how to approach a situation like this in the future I'd love to hear your advice!   

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