Forming classes for upcoming year

Discussion in 'General Education' started by YoungTeacherGuy, May 15, 2017.

  1. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Aficionado

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    May 15, 2017

    Here's how we form classes for the upcoming school year: each teacher receives a set of pink and blue cards that they fill out for each student (some items on the pink/blue cards are pre-populated). Teachers sort the pink and blue cards and make classes for the next grade-level team (for example, 2nd grade teachers will sit together and methodically develop 3rd grade classes; they stack the pink and blue cards into different piles--each pile represents a different class). They do not assign a teacher's name to each group of cards; they simply label them Teacher 1, Teacher 2, Teacher 3, etc.

    Then, they turn in the cards to me and I assign a teacher's name to each stack of cards. Occasionally, I'm move students around. However, for the most part, I leave the cards untouched because I trust their judgement (plus, they spend quite a bit of time making sure that students are disbursed appropriately).

    Is this how classes are formed at your site?
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
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  3. Sab

    Sab Companion

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    May 15, 2017

    At one of the schools where I did my student teaching the teachers meet up and each come prepared with index cards with students names on them, and the cards will have a yellow mark if the student is low academically, a red mark if the student has a behavior problem, and a note if there's any student they should be kept separate from. Then we go through and arrange the classes for next year trying to evenly distribute the cards so that one teacher isn't stuck with all the behavior problems or academically low children and the kids that need to be separated are. Parent requests are also considered if the parents have already said something, so yeah teachers' names are considered when deciding the classes. Then the classes are just turned in to the principal
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    May 15, 2017

    Our process is almost exactly like yours YTG, although we do have a teacher's name attached to each class (this can change, however). The Special Ed and ELL teachers are involved in placements because they may want to group students in a specific way to make support available. Our cards have a space for teachers to record "extra" information--students who should not be put in the same class, students who should be kept together, parental input (not for a specific teacher)--and we indicate high/medium/low for academic achievement and learning skills. Admin does have the final say, but changes are rarely made without consulting teachers.

    We have a couple of teachers who always try to involve themselves in the students being placed in their class, but that gets shut down pretty quickly!
     
  5. Backroads

    Backroads Enthusiast

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    May 15, 2017

    I daresay we do the exact same thing. This year, another teacher shared her rather perfect pink/blue card and I think everyone used it.

    We are trying to avoid what happened to New 3rd Grade Teacher this year. I swear, we distributed the students so well, but then requests happened and kids moved out, kids moved in, and some way, some how, she got a big chunk of my class of last year (a classroom of kids with no particular significant issues but somehow came together in the worst way to become "the hardest class I've had in 40 years" according to my maternity sub) plus a few significant behavioral problems.

    We apologized profusely, poor woman, because that was not supposed to happen.

    The moral of the story is that sometimes, no matter how hard you try, those classes can go badly.
     
  6. mathmagic

    mathmagic Connoisseur

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    We do the same exact thing, except we utilize teacher names, as it allows us to best place students into classes where personalities have a better likelihood of matching. Of course, it isn't perfect, but it certainly has seemed to work well for us. Parents can request certain types of environments, but not a specific teacher.
     
  7. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Connoisseur

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    Yes that was how classes were formed. And what a fun time that was. We had a lot of laughs reminiscing about our year and the kids.
    :rofl:
     
  8. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Aficionado

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    Can't fault 'em for trying, right? LOL!!!
     
  9. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Aficionado

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    I'm confused. Have you had a classroom of your own in the past? For some reason, I thought you were a sub. Can you clarify? @Leaborb192
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    True, except for when they say, "There's no way I can have that kid in my class!"
     
  11. cupcakequeen

    cupcakequeen Comrade

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    May 15, 2017

    As a special ed/resource teacher I don't have a ton of input into the making of classes, but our gen ed teachers do pretty much just sit down with a master list and try and distribute kids as evenly as possible. I talk with gen ed teachers about the students we share often enough that they know if I have any specific recommendations about keeping them with (or away) from certain students or similar.

    Unfortunately, this year I've had several of my more...involved parents think that I can put a specific teacher request into the IEP. As in, make the teacher request an accommodation or something crazy like that. I've just starting sending those requests straight to our administrators.
     
  12. Backroads

    Backroads Enthusiast

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    I'm not an IEP expert by any means, but I've been involved in quite a few this year. I know I'm stating the obvious here but...

    A specific teacher request as a legally documented accommodation seems risky. What if that legally documented accommodation teacher quits/goes on leave/moves/dies/gets fired/spontaneously combusts/enters witness protection?

    Yeah, that really seems out of the realm of reason.
     
  13. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Lord, no, that's not how we do it. The computer randomly selects students and populates the classes. No fair distribution, no parent requests.

    Unless you're rich and white (or close enough to both). THEN, you get to attend the school of your choice, despite district lines. And move your kids to the guaranteed "A" teacher because your snowflake is ALLLLL about his GPA and you don't want him to risk getting a B. Since all of the rich, white parents are doing that, you're pretty much determining who all of your kid's classmates are throughout the day as well.
     
  14. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    May 15, 2017

    We do it exactly that way.

    But since I teach 5th and my kids go off to middle school, I don't have to create classes. It's a little perk. ;)

    Oh, also, my school does not accept or consider parent requests.
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Pretty much except we do each sending teacher has their own color card so we can quickly see where our kids are when we are making lists. We mark gender, ethnicity, high-medium-low for academics. The kids who receive services are also pre-clustered to avoid revolving doors on next year's classrooms.
     
  16. kellzy

    kellzy Companion

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    May 18, 2017

    We do it almost the same way. Each kid has a card that is filled out with behavior, work habits, and academic levels as well as little insights we've picked up throughout the year to help (for example one kid might have self worth issues and we put that on the card). That same card is filled out by all their teachers and follows them from kindergarten to 6th grade. The current teachers form classes based upon our knowledge of the kids. We give a teacher recommendation, based on our knowledge of the kids and teachers and their teaching styles sometimes the administration honors the recommendations, sometimes they don't.
    Sometimes they'll make switches based upon parent requests and sometimes even teacher requests. Just today I cornered my P and told him that I needed one particular kid in my class. I've had every kid in the family thus far and my heart would break if I didn't get this child. He smiled and wrote my name on the stack with that child's name in it! YAY!
     
  17. otterpop

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    May 18, 2017

    We used to do it like that, with blue and pink cards. This year we tried something new which I do not feel worked well at all. I like the card method!
     
  18. MLB711

    MLB711 Comrade

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    May 18, 2017

    We only have 6 teachers for the middle grades so class selection is pretty easy. Usually one 6th grade teacher works with 5th grade (to make the upcoming 6th grade class) and one stays with the middle grade teachers (to help with 7th and 8th grades).
    We take the current class lists and separate the students who are toxic to each other first. Then we choose students who complement (or at least don't aggravate) the behavior issues and students to whom we feel strong connections or students who need a certain style of homeroom teacher. Then we go back over the list to make sure that friend groups are equally represented in each homeroom. We don't use cards. We just send paper lists to the principal. We are a small enough operation that it works for us.
    Our principal can and sometimes does edit the lists for parent requests and obviously edits out transfer students. We do assign homeroom numbers to each class but not teacher names specifically. Most teachers stay in the same homeroom year from year so the principal knows
     
  19. christie

    christie Rookie

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    May 18, 2017

    That is pretty close to what we do as well. The difference being that we do assign teacher names. We take the kids and the teachers into account as we make decisions. Classroom teachers, SpEd, ESL, gifted, reading and math specialists are all involved in the meeting. We all see the kids in different contexts and that can matter. Because my groups contain kids from across classes I know which kids shouldn't be together all day even if they're not in the same class together this year.

    We don't accept parent requests. Our principal will accept requests about the type of environment and/or personality a student needs. Our school is small enough that almost everyone knows all the kids so we do have a pretty good feel for who will be a good fit with someone else. As it was previously mentioned, however, sometimes you get a mix of kids that seems totally benign on the surface, but make for a toxic brew beneath the surface.
     

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