Happy Monday friends!
Let’s talk about sharing. It comes at a perfect time because there is a post that is going a bit viral right now. Have you read it?
If not, you can HERE.
In short, it is from a mom who is frustrated with how sharing is expected and taught. I have to tell ya though, I agree with her 100%.
You often hear everyone telling their children or students, “you need to share!” While this is true, how far are we taking it? During learning centers, if there was blocks, math manipulatives, or some other item involved, I would always get kids running up to me tattling “___ won’t share the big block.” Or even “___ won’t share the blue crayon.” In my early years I would just look over at that student and say “___ you need to share ___.”
That was until I attended a behavior management workshop where I was asked why I do that. “Uhhhh…. because sharing is important and they should learn how???” Yes and no.
The presenter basically told me exactly what that mom is preaching. WHY should we force a kid to give up a toy/item that he/she is playing with. They are content, they are learning, and they are not causing any drama about it. Then WHY must we break them from that? When he told me that it was my “ah-hah” moment. He was so right. Why do we do that with kids? It was something I was going to stop right then and there.
How should you teach it?
We should definitely still teach sharing but it shouldn’t be where a student has to give up his/her item as soon as someone else wants it. We should instead approach it like this:
“Okay everyone, let’s talk about sharing. What is sharing?” ::feed off of responses… you will probably get a response that is exactly aligned with what we are talking about:: “Well, while it is true that we should share the items in the classroom, we are going to talk about how we should actually share.
“I have a lot of fun stuff in my classroom and it is all here for you to use and learn. We will probably use a lot of these items in centers and I expect sharing. Does that mean if you are using one of our center games and ___ wants it, you have to give it? ::you might get mixed answers:: “No you shouldn’t have to give it up. You can answer in a nice way ‘no, I am playing with it right now’ but where the sharing happens is when you say ‘you can play WITH me’ or ‘you can have it when I am done.'”
I would highly suggest role playing after your discussion!
What should sharing look like?
With any luck, your students will catch on quickly. More than likely, you will have to work on this a bit because they are used to “their way” of sharing. Whenever I would get tattlers I would ask them “was ___ playing with it first?” ::yes:: “Then they don’t have to give it to you if they are not done. When they finish, you can have a turn.”
Once my students got the hang of this (which was actually pretty quickly) it helped a TON with tattling. It also helped with sharing in general. I didn’t see the nastiness of “no it’s mine” anymore. It was just another one of those tips that helped my class run a lot smoother.
Let’s chat: do you also agree with this way of teaching sharing? I would love to hear from you. Leave me a comment or feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy teaching friends!
Vol. 3 – Behavior Chart or No Behavior Chart?
Vol. 4 – Tips for returning from Spring Break
Vol. 5 – Aromatherapy for Behavior
Vol. 7 – Managing Fire and Lock-down Drills
Vol. 9 – Brain Breaks