Back to school time has always been exciting for me. I always feel like this is a chance for me to “start fresh” and try out new things. I think to some degree, it is my opportunity to start over and be a better teacher than the year before.
Anyway, since I’m a huge differentiation buff, one of the things I always do on the first day of school is provide my students with my We Are All Different Glyph activity. I like this activity, because first it shows me right away who can follow directions. (Something it seems that I have to teach more and more of each year.) When I provide students with the glyph and its directions, I don’t really say a whole lot. I want to know who is more self-directed and who will need to learn independence a bit more. The second reason I enjoy this activity is because it tells me what each student enjoys and dislikes academically. This is important. I have found over the years that typically (though not always, so forgive my generalizations) students that don’t like a subject (especially in elementary school when they are so curious) because they aren’t good at it. To me that becomes a personal mission to be that teacher who gets that child loving science or reading or whatever. I rarely see students who love reading and aren’t good at it. If they do like reading but aren’t good at it, then that indicates to me that he or she is willing to try hard. Another thing about using this glyph is I can determine which students like to work alone and which prefer to work in groups. Not only that, but it also tells me which students are more visual learners, auditory learners, or kinesthetic learners. Understanding this make up of my students gives me a quick idea of how to tailor my lessons in the future.
I have also included a question sheet so your students can reflect on how each student is different from one another. This is a great starting place for talking about how fair is not always equal- especially in a differentiated classroom.
Feel free to direct your friends to download it too! I’d love to hear about your experiences with it. I hope it’s helpful for you!