Question: Combo/Split Classes

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by YoungTeacherGuy, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Oct 9, 2012

    Does your school have combo/split classes? If so, how're they formed?

    My school has K/1, 2/3, and 4/5 combo classes. The 4/5 combo class was formed methodically at the end of last school year; however, the K/1 and 2/3 combo classes were formed after the school year started due to an increase in enrollment.

    Most schools in my district have at least one combo class. Some schools, however, have up to four.
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Oct 10, 2012

    At least half of our classes are splits or combos. This year we have: 1/2, 2/3, 3/4, 4/5, 5/6 and 6/7. It's certainly not ideal, but is a necessity because of the way we receive staffing and because of primary class size caps.

    They are formed like any other classes, with a mix of high, medium and low students in each grade level. We do try to be sure that everyone has at least one friend in the class and try to keep a balance of boys and girls.
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Oct 10, 2012

    We don't have any split classrooms outside of special education. Not sure if this is in our future to save some money, but it is not something that my district has done in the past either.
     
  5. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Oct 10, 2012

    The numbers for us usually make it easy to absorb the combo kids so they only exist on paper. Last year I had the 5/6 combo with only 6 5th graders. The 5th grade teachers take them so all kids have straight classes. If it was closer to 50/50 we would have to do the actual combos but it never is.
     
  6. teacherwithlove

    teacherwithlove Comrade

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    Oct 10, 2012

    I teach a 2/3 combo.

    Not by choice.
     
  7. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Oct 10, 2012

    My school has combos by choice. We have pre-K-K, K-1, 1-2, 2-3, 3-4, and 4-5.
     
  8. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Oct 11, 2012

    Oh wow!!! Can you share why your school welcomes combo classes? In my district, teachers run far away from a combo class if they're assigned to one (they often transfer to a single grade when job postings become available). I'm sure you guys have seen good results from your combo classes if you continue to offer them year after year, right?

    I'm genuinely interested in your school's beliefs on combo classes! :)
     
  9. jlj

    jlj Devotee

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    Oct 15, 2012

    Mine is the only combo class - K/1
     
  10. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Oct 15, 2012

    YoungTeacherGuy... we have very deliberate reasons for doing combo classes!

    1- We believe all children are in a developmental range... we allow for a range in development, and don't expect for example, every kindergarten to end the year at the same level. Having combo classes is a testiment to this belief. We really focus on differentiation and small group, and individualized instruction.

    2- We LOOP with our classes, well, half of the class. The younger group becomes the older group the next year, when we get a new set of younger students. This allows for leadership, and peer learning.

    3- Looping also allows the children to be truly known. They have a true relationship with the teacher. The school year is easy to begin, because you know where half of the class is academically, and can use their leadership to establish routines, etc.

    4- We do a lot of collaborative learning. We do group work a lot... we all have tables, not desks, and lots of floor space to work on. This is a big part of our program. Kids learn from one another, and work together- both grades at the same time.

    Now, one benefit we have is an aide in every room for most of the day (except their breaks and lunch.) This allows for a lot of small group and differentiation.
     

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