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"Fair-Sharing and Sharing Fairly" Activity

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This activity provides participants with an opportunity to explore children’s early abilities in fair-sharing (the problem-solving skills that allow children to divide up resources equitably), and to explore their own beliefs and attitudes about supporting children’s mathematical and socio-emotional development.

by Linda M. Platas

Activity for Teacher Educators

This activity begins with participants reading the Fair-sharing and Sharing Fairly Vignette. This can be assigned as homework prior to the session, or in class before starting the activity. This activity can be done with or without the accompanying worksheet and PowerPoint slide. 

Group Activity and Share

Have students get into small groups. The worksheet and PowerPoint lead the participants in an exploration of Ms. Jamal’s beliefs, followed by further exploration into their own beliefs about children’s fair-sharing abilities. This is followed by a question about scaffolding these skills. The final question, about equity when resources can’t be split into identical groups, is designed to help participants investigate what equity means above and beyond equal distribution of resources. Have participants discuss these questions and their answers and then have them share out to the group.

Materials Needed

Teacher Responses and Where to Take Them 
There are two purposes to this activity: (1) to support participants’ understanding that children can be very capable in fair-sharing activities, and (2) to illustrate that equity doesn’t always mean that each child gets the same number or amount of resources. Help participants think outside the box. What if a child is about to go home and another child will have longer access to the toys? If, from an observers’ perspective, the resources aren’t shared fairly, but the children seem satisfied with the arrangement, should teachers interfere?
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