More and more twins, triplets, and other multiple-birth children are seen in school buildings these days, and it seems that principals face the dilemma of whether to keep siblings in the same classes throughout the year. According to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, 21 states have either passed legislation or are considering laws concerning twins or other multiples in schools. Parents appear to be adamant one way or the other about how to place their children, so legislators have sided with them by proposing laws that would leave the decision in the hands of the parents.

There is no cut-and-dry research as to whether it is better to separate multiples or keep them together in the classroom, which makes the issue a bit complex. It would be interesting to know what some principals’ experiences have been with multiples in their schools.

re: Double Take

NOT REALLY ON TOPIC:

I am not sure how to add to the threads of this blog, but here goes:

I recently attended the PALS training in Oklahoma City. All I can say is: DO THIS IMMEDIATELY TO HELP YOURSELF AND FUTURE ADMINISTRATORS!!!

This was one of the most valuable experiences of my training opportunities.

re: Double Take

I taught identical twins in the same kindergarten classroom, by special arrangment with the parents and my principal at the time. I had the parents sign an agreement to always dress the girls in different clothing, but I found after a few weeks I could tell them apart fairly easily. The twins had very different personalities and made friends with different classmates. Because of that experience (about 15 years ago) I have been open to parent requests for same class placement now that I am a principal. As a general rule, I would say go with the parents' request, but keep close tabs on the situation, and be available to support the classroom teacher if difficulties crop up.

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I believe the decision of whether to place twins together or apart is handled best by honoring parental requests. Parents' insight is valuable and should be taken into consideration. If problems arise with a placement, document the situations and make future adjustments as necessary. My experience has been that parents do know which placement is best regarding twins.

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I had two sets of twins in my classes this school each. Each girls was in a different class, but one set of twins were in the same team and the other set was split up on different teams. I found no differences in the ways the girls acted. No girl said they liked or disliked being with or without their twin. I guess the decision would be with the parents to decide if they want their twins together or separate.

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My school has also had an influx of twins and triplets. I have never had two in one class but I have had both kids or all three. One thing that I noticed in our district was that the the kids were completely opposite. I would have thought that being twins the kids would have similar personalities, but this wasn't the case. I have to agree with those that said the best way to schedule these kids would be to listen to parent requests. They know these kids the best and have seen them mature over the years. I can see there being benefits and drawbacks to having them together or separated. I feel it is best to take it case by case.

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I have taught 4 sets of twins the past 4 years in kindergarten. Parents were adamant that the twins not be split up. I have found in all 4 cases that after a few weeks, the twins had different friends, different interests and were able to function independently. I believe it is more important to the parents that the twins stay together than it is for the twins.

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just trying this out...but as a mom of twins...my decision changed as the boys changed. They were in the same pre school room, of course, but in Kindergarten (where they began together) it was evident that one was more school ready than the other. In addition to that, the teacher of that classroom was very tradition in expecting students to sit and listen, etc. We made a quick change for one twin and their year was quite successful. When they went on to middle school, they were placed on the same team...this simplified homework, projects, etc. They had some classes together, but by then they were old enough to make adjustments.

re: Double Take

just trying this out...but as a mom of twins...my decision changed as the boys changed. They were in the same pre school room, of course, but in Kindergarten (where they began together) it was evident that one was more school ready than the other. In addition to that, the teacher of that classroom was very tradition in expecting students to sit and listen, etc. We made a quick change for one twin and their year was quite successful. When they went on to middle school, they were placed on the same team...this simplified homework, projects, etc. They had some classes together, but by then they were old enough to make adjustments.

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I am currently a 5th grade teacher aspiring to administration. I have taught two sets of twins and one set of triplets. I have taught the one set of twins in the same classroom. This was to ease the homework concerns of the parents. The other set of twins were separated between me and my team teacher. We pretty much kept the same pace and our homework assignments were nearly the same. This was the first year the twins were separated and the parents requested my partner and me because of how closely we work with each other. The triples were in the some classroom up until the fifth grade. The reason the mom wanted them separated was because they would be attending the middle school the following year and they needed to learn to be away from each other. All of my experiences with twins has been great. They may look alike, but their personalities are always very different. I agree the principal should really listen to the parents on this decision. It is a case by case decision for the principal, and for the most part the parents want the twins together more than the twins do.

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In my experience, working in districts ranging from large area urban districts, small private schools, and affluent subruban districts; I feel that it was always best to defer to the parents in regards to placing their children who are twins or multiples. My husband is an identical twin and throughout his educational career, him and his brother were both seperated each year K-12. She felt that it was important for them to be seperated and grow as individuals as much as possible. This was very difficult for her to do because they both have similar likes and interests, and ended up participating in serveral extra- curricular activities together such as soccer, track, muscial activities such as band and drama club. I feel that giving parents the opportunity to have a choice in how they would like their children placed is important. Giving parents the choice to participate in their child's education, empowers them to be an active part in their education.

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During the last fifteen years, I had the opportunity to work with twins in the classroom and just one of the siblings. Parental request to have twins in the same classroom sometimes poses a problem. If the children do not have the same a ability will they be successful? During an enrichment activity I was not sure if one of the twins could accomplish the task required to complete the objectives and feel successful. An important issue to parents is to have only one set of homework rules to follow which helps with the time issue.
Another time the parents requested the twins be separated. Both twins had very different personalities and acaddemic strenghts and weaknesses. The parents felt that each child needed the chance to grow and have their personality shine through.
Basically, I feel that parents, teachers, and principal should collaborate on what is best for the student to enhance their learning experience.

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