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Mix It Up Day!

Mix It Up Day!
Posted on 11/08/2016
mix it upBy Inbal Alon, 4th Grade SEI Teacher on behalf of the G&P Task Force on African American Achievement

 A national campaign launched by Teaching Tolerance in 2002, Mix It Up at Lunch Day encourages students to identify, question and cross social boundaries. At Graham and Parks, the entire school participated in Mix It Up Day on October 25th, 2016. From Junior Kindergarten to 5th grade, we challenged students to do something that is hard for even most adults: come out of their comfort zones and make new friends. Kindergarten students met new friends from other classes and had recess and lunch together. Second graders reflected on who in their class they do not know well and spent lunch and recess in groups of four. Third and fourth graders “mixed it up” at Morning Meeting and learned new greetings, songs, and activities while making new friends. Fifth graders had a lunch lounge. Most students reported that they liked the experience and enjoyed getting to know a new person or a class at the school. Feedback from students and teachers suggests that many classes will continue to “mix it up” throughout the year as we continue to share our similarities and celebrate our differences.

Discussing Diversity at Home 

Lesson adapted by Claudie Jean-Baptiste, Kindergarten Teacher, Rm 101
We are more alike than we are different, especially on the inside. Here's an activity that harkens back to that old lesson that's been around for ages: “Don’t judge a book by it's cover.” It’s never too early to teach children empathy, tolerance, and compassion. Help your child recognize that all of us—all ages, all sizes, all races—are more alike than we are different, especially on the inside.

Materials: 4 clementines (or any kind of orange)

What you do:
–Put the bowl of clementines in front of your child. Have your child randomly pick a clementine.
–When your child picks one, put the others aside and say, “Now, you are going to hold your clementine, smell your clementine and examine your clementine very, very carefully. You will observe your clementine and share one thing that you see while observing your clementine.”
–Encourage them to look at it with the magnifying glass, and see if thiers has any marks that will help them pick it out of the bowl later when it gets mixed up with the others. Say, "Get to know your clementine! Remember, later on (or tomorrow), you'll need to pick out your clementine from the rest.”
–After the child gets acquainted with the clementine, put the selected clementine back in the bowl with the others. After a few hours or the following day, peel all the clementines in the bowl. Show your child all the peeled clementines and challenge him/her to find the special one.
–Your child may complain that he/she can't tell which one is his/hers because he/she can't see the peel. What a perfect opportunity to explain, “You're right! And people are like clementines. We may look different from each other on the outside, but if you “peeled” each of us, you'd find we're all quite alike on the inside. And after all, the important part of the clementine is the inside, right? And the important part of a person is the inside!”
–Then your child can eat the clementine!