As a grade 3 teacher, “That’s not fair!” is something I hear all the time, especially at the beginning of the school year. I have this infographic on the wall as a reminder that fair and even are not the same thing. When they are complaining about fairness, students really mean evenness. We have discussions when setting up the classroom and developing expectations for our daily interactions about how things are not going to be the same for each student because that would make things even, not fair.
This is not an infographic full of information, but it perfectly illustrates an important concept that students deal with in their daily lives. Young students seem to focus on what everyone else gets as opposed to what they actually need. While it might seem petty to teachers that they are arguing over who got what homework or who is reading at what level, it is important to address that all students are all on different learning journeys.
My responsibility is not to give all students the same thing but to give them what they need to succeed. Fairness to me means removing barriers to learning while also keeping students secure and comfortable in the classroom. For example, differentiation and scaffolding for students does not make everything even, but it does make things fair because I am responding to their individual needs.
When the concept of fair versus even is broken down for students, they seem to understand the difference between the two and actually do want things to be fair. They begin to understand that they will not always be in the “top” group and that is okay. Teaching students these concepts helps them become more empathetic and recognize the value of all the differences in the world.
Infographics are a great way to share information quickly in a visually appealing way. They can be used to convey important information or conceptual understanding. No matter what your lesson is, an infographic can be found to reinforce it.
Image: Inclusion Solution