Diversity and Consistency

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    • 00:01


    • 00:15

      TOM MOXLEY: I'm Tom Moxley, and I teach American Historyin Van Hoosen Middle School in Michigan.Diversity means, to me, that I canhave children of all different colors,all different educational backgrounds,all different ethnic backgrounds,and they all have an opportunity to be able to work togetherand to learn.

    • 00:35

      TOM MOXLEY [continued]: And that there should be a level playing field for all them.No matter what the activity we're doing,we like to have all of our students included.Their abilities don't matter.They may team with a certainly, a much better ability,capable child, but they try to participate

    • 00:58

      TOM MOXLEY [continued]: at the full level of their ability, too.So it is a helping situation.We help each other, and we try to give everybodyan opportunity.So we're beginning with a questionthat we want to challenge everybody with.You are historical detectives, and you'retrying to figure out who fired the first shot at Lexington.

    • 01:20

      TOM MOXLEY [continued]: Be easy if we just went to the textbookand looked it up in the index and then we'd be all done.But you, you want a challenge.So you're going to be able to take it a little bitdifferently.We're going to go back in time, and we'regoing to take a look at a different account.We're going to take a look at people who were actually there.

    • 01:42

      TOM MOXLEY [continued]: We talk to our students in a way that Ithink tries to reach all of them.We use their names.We involve them in presentations.We involve them in so many of the introductions to a lessonthat no matter what their ability,they've had somebody reach out to them in the introduction

    • 02:02

      TOM MOXLEY [continued]: so that we know they're there.And they look back, and they respond to that.Michael and Ryan, when you look at that piece of evidence--and that's the first one you have right there-- canyou find the source of that information?

    • 02:16

      SPEAKER 1: Right here, at the bottom.

    • 02:17

      TOM MOXLEY: What does it say?

    • 02:19

      SPEAKER 2: Entry for April 19, 1775 from the diary of Lt.John Barker, an officer for the British Army.

    • 02:25

      TOM MOXLEY: OK.So what we're going to do is we'regoing to read through and find out what he says happened.You've got five minutes to read throughwith your partner what happened on that day according to Lt.Barker.Kids are very social, and that's a large part of their life.They live for that every day.And if we didn't have social interaction

    • 02:48

      TOM MOXLEY [continued]: between my students, I think their attentionwould be dropping dramatically.Other students like to listen to their own studentstalking to them and with them.And it-- believe it or not, it does get their attentionmuch better sometimes then when an adult tries

    • 03:10

      TOM MOXLEY [continued]: to do the very same thing.In our groups we have some very basic ability level children.They aren't nearly at grade level.And they receive materials and partnersthat are appropriate for working together.We have students who have behavioral situationsthat-- fortunately we have students who are aware of that,

    • 03:31

      TOM MOXLEY [continued]: and they are teamed and partnered to help.Our higher level ability students dohave special projects, and there are times when they work onlywith the extended kind of learning situations.Alex has a participation level and abilitiesthat are quite different from the two girls,and so they often participate as a team.

    • 03:54

      TOM MOXLEY [continued]: And whatever role he can do within that teamis what he does.The second group, again Sage is at a first or second gradelevel in reading and writing abilities.But socially, she can speak to an awful lot of thingsthat those kinds of needs aren't going to serve.

    • 04:15

      TOM MOXLEY [continued]: And the two girls that were working with her, model,and they also give opportunities for Sageto participate in a group.If you two would take turns, then Sagewill get the idea, too.

    • 04:29

      SPEAKER 3: "At 2 o'clock we began our marchby wading through a very long stream up to our middles."[INTERPOSING VOICES]

    • 04:44

      TOM MOXLEY: Put those documents away,and you get your study cards out.In cooperative groups, you're goingto be quizzing each other so that we can practicethe data that you have to know.In group work, everyone, virtually,is identified after a few weeks, their initial capabilities.

    • 05:05

      TOM MOXLEY [continued]: And when we structure a group, we alwaysmake sure that we have a large differencebetween academic ability, socially active students.And if there's behavior qualifying studentsthat have some needs, we make sure that wedon't spark their behavior activities by putting them

    • 05:29

      TOM MOXLEY [continued]: with the wrong students.So it's trying to get a balance of all the differencesto make sure that the group has a common interest in each otherand understand each other.When I work in small groups, we start with partnersto make sure that they will focus and haveanother person to counsel with.

    • 05:51

      TOM MOXLEY [continued]: And it really progressively moves upto a larger group, three, four, five, or six.And after working together in that particular group,we all come back to a larger class discussionso that everybody's warmed up to participate in that large classdiscussion.

    • 06:10

      SPEAKER 1: Mayflower Compact.[INTERPOSING VOICES]

    • 06:17

      SPEAKER 2: So the Mayflower Compact--

    • 06:20

      SPEAKER 1: It's something that a group of people signed.

    • 06:24

      SPEAKER 2: The Pilgrims, I know, signed it.

    • 06:25

      TOM MOXLEY: We have found that the dynamics arevery different for different children,so as a result they complete a sociogram of thosethey like to relate to.And on a social level we try to include those considerations.We also want a very different academic element in each group.

    • 06:46

      TOM MOXLEY [continued]: And we have to be careful of behavioral differencesas well, so we try to meld those differences.And if students aren't capable of working in a larger group,we create a smaller one to make them comfortable.The idea is to have everyone in a groupcomfortable to participate.[INTERPOSING VOICES]

    • 07:09

      SPEAKER 4: So they put taxes on teawhich actually led to the Boston Tea Partybecause the colonists were angry about that.Because it also gave them a monopoly on tea.

    • 07:23

      TOM MOXLEY: In today's lesson, every grouphad a student leader.This rotates.So if you have five students in a group,certain days they're designated to be the leader.We've already briefed everyone on how those groups aresupposed to work, how the roles are played.A leader and a recorder and-- they all

    • 07:47

      TOM MOXLEY [continued]: have roles there, no matter how many in a group.And they all have an opportunity to do that.So we generally pick the earliest volunteerswho are capable and let them take those leadership rolesand let the others wait until theycan see how that might operate.So they have gone through a structureof learning how to work in a cooperative group.

    • 08:15

      TOM MOXLEY [continued]: Look, we have two paintings, and this painting is 1775.And this is months after the event.Paintings are often to announce news events,announce events that are happening.And so the painter has a point of view.Anybody in Sage's group, can you tell uswhat the painter's point of view is

    • 08:37

      TOM MOXLEY [continued]: about what happened at Lexington?

    • 08:39

      SPEAKER 3: They believed that the British fired first.

    • 08:41

      TOM MOXLEY: Our group lesson todaywas involving the use of primary sources, documentsthat come from the Revolutionary War period.And students need to read primary documentsbecause our teaching and our standardized testingis really looking to find independent thinkers.

    • 09:02

      TOM MOXLEY [continued]: So these are not textbook memorization situations.They are really experimentation with reading independentlyand problem solving.If you take a look at what's represented in the picture,can you understand why they mighthave chosen this to be on a stamp commemoratingthe 200th anniversary?What do you see in the picture that's

    • 09:22

      TOM MOXLEY [continued]: different from the first?Alex?

    • 09:27

      ALEX: You can see a guy that's holding another dead guybecause the British are firing, and they must have hit him.

    • 09:34

      TOM MOXLEY: True.Good point, Alex.Anne.

    • 09:38

      ANNE: The colonists are firing back at the British.

    • 09:41

      TOM MOXLEY: So you see them standing up to them,not fleeing.We wanted to open them up to the possibilities of findingsomething new and different in the reading,not just accepting one point of viewbut understanding different point of viewsand being able to relate to those different views.

    • 10:01

      TOM MOXLEY [continued]: Why do you think the post office mighthave put a picture representing the colonists standingup and battling when all the other accounts seemto show them running off, running away and retreating?

    • 10:17

      SPEAKER 4: I think they use this because itmakes the colonists seem more triumphant and powerfulbecause they're standing up against the British.

    • 10:27

      TOM MOXLEY: So the painter and the post officewant to represent a more romantic, a more heroic scene.And they may have changed some of the factsaccording to the 1,700 documents, correct?So you got to think of the sourceevery time you're looking at a historical piece.We do try to have the weekly routine be consistent.

    • 10:51

      TOM MOXLEY [continued]: Our progression from partners to small groups to the whole classdiscussion really relies upon their comfort zone.They get the chance to express themselves with peoplethat they trust.And when they receive acceptance in that discussion,they are more likely to participate in a larger group.So it's a progressive experience that they

    • 11:12

      TOM MOXLEY [continued]: begin to learn that we all want to hear what they have to say.Consistency of knowing what's going to happen, spelling outhow we're going to do things, theytrust to be able to get into these activityand go ahead and open up, to talk,to freely express themselves.

    • 11:33

      TOM MOXLEY [continued]: [INTERPOSING VOICES]To teach-- I think, to a diverse classroom--I have to reach out to them to accept me.And by making that kind of a contact,I think they will help all of us learn how to learn together.

    • 11:55

      TOM MOXLEY [continued]: There has to be a real connection between adultand child.I could teach them lots of concepts,but until they know me and I know them,we really probably are going to have more difficulty connectingideas.So it's really the reaching out to a child to know who you areand vice versa, to know who they are.

    • 12:16

      TOM MOXLEY [continued]: We're always looking to try to find outsomething new and different that'sgoing to help teach an idea or a new approach to teach a child.They're kind of the guidepost for what we should be doing.It's an ongoing, persistent goal.

Diversity and Consistency

View Segments Segment :


In this tutorial, middle school teacher Tom Moxley discusses diversity within the classroom. He demonstrates--with in-class video excerpts-- inclusion, social interaction and peer grouping, which combined, create a level playing field for students of all abilities.

SAGE Video In Practice
Diversity and Consistency

In this tutorial, middle school teacher Tom Moxley discusses diversity within the classroom. He demonstrates--with in-class video excerpts-- inclusion, social interaction and peer grouping, which combined, create a level playing field for students of all abilities.

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