As a teacher, some of my favorite classroom experiences are from students given the ability to share their learning. Before I start, I want to give you a little background about myself first. My mom has a degree in special education and my aunt (my mom’s sister, Martha) has down syndrome. I love my aunt Martha beyond words! She is still alive and lives with my grandparents (who are in their 90s), but has the temperament and innocence of a sweet child. So, because of my background, I feel very close to any child who is in special education or anyone who works with them. Having such a short planning period, I would often get inspired and grab some of my students from their specials teacher. We would then present science experiments for the students who were in the special education department. Before I even brought them in to the special education classroom I told them about how these students were different and very child-like. I told them to be sure and teach them respectfully. Not only did the students who were teaching the experiments learn through their sharing, but the students in the special education class did too!
There have been many other times where I have taken my entire class of students to the kindergarten classroom to share what we were learning about in math, a science or show them a project we had put together. The idea of shared learning is not anything new. Yes, it takes a little of strategic planning and coordinating, but it is well worth it. It’s so important, shared learning is one of the “Fundamental Five.”
Possible types of shared learning:
Possible outcomes of shared learning: