Friday, May 26th, 2017
SPECIAL EDITION ON SENSITIVITY
Exactly what does it mean to be “sensitive” to something? Look up the word in the dictionary, and you will find out that sensitive is an adjective meaning "quick to detect or respond to slight changes, signals, or influences."
At LMES, we look at sensitivity through the lens of Diversity of Learners, Acceptance of Things That Are Different, and Understanding Others By Understanding Ourselves. We look at students' differences as advantages, and we look at each other in many different ways. Students can be alike or different in their:
Expressive and Receptive Language
Likes and Dislikes
...and many more!
As teachers, we look at every student through these perspectives, and we ask our students to look at their world and each other in many different ways, often by them asking key questions:
- What do you have in common?
- What can you learn from each other?
- How can you use something that you are good at to help someone else to do better? How can someone help you by using what they are good at?
- Even when things look different, in what ways are they alike?
LMES School Mission/Vision Statement and Guiding Beliefs
The LMES community is dedicated to providing authentic and engaging instruction and experiences for all learners which are differentiated based upon student learning styles and abilities. Providing opportunities for students to become independent and reflective learners who assess their strengths and weaknesses and actively plan their educational goals is an integral part of our program. Children work in an environment which strongly encourages personal best in all endeavors. All students have access to learning and are given opportunities to perform at their strength.
How Are We Sensitive to Issues Regarding Race, Gender...and Disabilities?
At LMES, we work both proactively and responsively in including everyone and by recognizing the fact that we are not all alike, and that is exactly what makes us better! We work proactively to foster community, collaboration, and effective communication through the following activities that occur at all grade levels:
Proactive: Laying the Groundwork
Learning Through Various Learning Methods (Visually, Through Movement, By Speaking, Building Models)
Personalized Lessons around Specific Learning Needs Within Each Classroom
Differentiation in Instruction around Learning Needs
Leopard’s Pride Assemblies
When students act inappropriately, we work to address the situation in the same manner that we would with everything else in school - as an opportunity to learn and for growth.
Responsive: Meeting Inappropriate Acts with Dignity, Repair Ties to Community
Responsive Classroom Model of Consistent, Fair Consequences
Choosing to Be Sensitive When Others Act in Harmful Ways
Walk A Mile In Another Person's Shoes
Teaching Sensitivity Through Literature
Odd Velvet, by Mary Whitcomb
Velvet is odd. Instead of dolls that talk and cry, Velvet brings a milkweed pod for show and tell. She wins the class art contest using only an eight-pack of crayons. She likes to collect rocks. Even her name is strange-Velvet! But as the school year unfolds, the things Velvet does and the things that Velvet says slowly begin to make sense. And, in the end, Velvet's classmates discover that being different is what makes Velvet so much fun.
Big Al, by Andrew Clements
In the deep blue sea swims Big Al, a big-hearted fish who is as lovable as he is scary-looking. While other fish swim together in schools, Big Al swims alone - nothing but him and the seaweed. Of course he would rather swim with the others, but his size, his great big fish eyes, and his mouthful of sharp teeth frighten away any fish that sees him. Big Al seems destined to swim alone, until a fisherman's net drops silently around all the fish, and Big Al has the chance to put his teeth to good use.
Paul and Sebastian, by Renee Escudie
Paul, who lives in a trailer, and Sebastian, who lives in an apartment, are discouraged from playing with each other, until they get lost together during a class outing.