Teaching two grades in one classroom

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by SashaBear, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. SashaBear

    SashaBear Companion

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    Jul 26, 2008

    I'm going to be teaching two grades in one classroom. I don't find out which grades until hopefully Monday.
    Has anyone else done this? Do I try to teach them at the same time? Or do I teach one grade, let them work and then teach the other grade?
     
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  3. brandi0718

    brandi0718 Comrade

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    Jul 26, 2008

    Are you a highschool teacher?
     
  4. SashaBear

    SashaBear Companion

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    HA! I'm licensed for high school but will be teaching elementary.
     
  5. Shinchan

    Shinchan Rookie

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    I've wondered how combined classes work also. One of the jobs I've applied for is a third/fourth-grade combo. I've substituted in a building with a 5/6 combo (which was strange, since there was a fairly new middle school nearby).
     
  6. Teacher Chele

    Teacher Chele Habitué

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    I student taught in a 5th/6th split class. Back then they put the top notch kids in the split classes. So that was a blessing. I don't know if they do that now. The way we did it was to teach one grade while the others were working. I've also seen split classes in a private school where they did the upper grades Science and SS all together and then did other books for those subjects (non-fiction, literature based kind of things) for the next year.
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Split grade classes are becoming more and more common here. In fact, at my school next year, we'll have a straight grade 1, and straight grade 8 and everything in between will be splits. I taught split classes (4/5 and 5/6) for 3 years. This is how I approached it:
    I sat down with the curriculum documents (standards) for each grade and subject area and, literally, cut them apart and matched up similarities. You will likely find that much of the time the concepts are similar, just the level of complexity varies. For example, one grade may be learning place value to 10 000 and the other to 100 000. I taught whole class mini-lessons, but varied follow up activities and worked with guided groups in reading and math. If you are differentiating your instruction, you would be doing this anyway. Science and social studies were more of a challenge, as the topics we must cover here are very different between the grades. I tried to integrate as much as I could with language and this made it easier. If, for example, the grade 4s were learning about rocks and minerals, some of their reading would be on this topic. Combine things as much as possible. If you try to teach them as if they were 2 different classes you'll go crazy!
     
  8. Matt633

    Matt633 Comrade

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    Follow Mrs.C formula and you won'r go wrong! That is exactly what I have done in the past and will do for 3/4 this year, but I only have to do it for Math.
     
  9. flowerpower31

    flowerpower31 Comrade

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    I've taught a combined 4th/5th before. I taught one grade and then let them work while I taught the other.
     
  10. scooter503

    scooter503 Comrade

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    I will be teaching a 5/6 split grade this year. It is also my first year teaching full time. The school I'll be in is split because numbers are so low. I am hoping to do science and social studies as if it were a multi-age class...so I will teach the 6th grade curriculum this year, as last year's teacher did the 5th grade curriculum (I worked there as a sub last year). This way, I only have one thing to teach, and in the two years they will be in the class, both grades will still be covered.

    I found out from my principal that another teacher would be taking one of my grades for math, so I will only have to worry about one. That basically leaves reading. I haven't decided how I'm going to work that...I'm hoping to do a lot of novels, like lit. circles. Course, this is just hypothesis, since I haven't gotten into my classroom yet or talked with the P or other staff. :)
     
  11. SashaBear

    SashaBear Companion

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    Whats the Mrs.C Formula?
     
  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    It's not a specific "formula", but I replied to your post explaining what I do.
     
  13. Dana

    Dana Rookie

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    I have combined 2nd and 3rd.

    Definately combine where you can, the rest will fall into place.
     
  14. SashaBear

    SashaBear Companion

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    Oops sorry. I didn't put two and two together.
     
  15. Lysander

    Lysander Companion

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    Basically, the Mrs. C formula (look at her post...it'll clear a lot of things up) is to combine as many things as you can and teach the whole class one topic, then follow up with groups on the complexity of the topic (place value to 1,000 for third grade, to 100,000 for fourth grade, etc.)

    I will be teaching a 1st/2nd grade split this year, but will only be teaching the second grade curriculum. I'll be getting the high first graders and the low second graders. I'm sure I'll be looking at the first grade curriculum quite a bit, though to fill in any gaps.
     
  16. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    They did some combining of 7th & 8th graders in a Catholic school where I taught fourth. For science & soc stud. they alternated the 2 curriculums every other year. That way by the end of 8th they theoretically would have covered it all. That probably is not feasible with the testing the students take. There were also issues with students coming in or leaving the school.
     
  17. michelb366

    michelb366 Comrade

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    Can you use a reading and writing workshop approach for your language arts block? I would think this would help you when you have such a wide range of abilities.
     
  18. 3littlemonkeys

    3littlemonkeys Comrade

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    What you're able to do may depend on how your administration likes things. Mine really likes it when one grade is taught a lesson, then works independently while the other grade is taught their lesson. This didn't work out so well, though, recently; as a result, I was given pretty much free rein to change things around. I worked laboriously all last summer to match up topics in the curriculum wherever possible. With social studies, that was simply impossible, but for math, I made sure we were all studying place value/adding/multiplying etc. at the same time; same thing with grammar--if unit 3 was nouns for grade 2 and units 3 and 4 were nouns for grade 3, I'd stretch out grade 2 and condense grade 3 so that both grades would all be studying nouns at the same time. Science got totally out of order. I made sure to teach plants to both grades, no matter which chapter it was in either grade's book, etc. It was very time-consuming to match everything up like that, but it made it SO much easier. I could teach the whole class one lesson, and then the individual work they'd do would differ. I'd try to have both doing projects on the same day; one grade made models of different kinds of seeds out of clay, the other grade made models of monocot and dicot leaves. Etc. For language arts, I did a lot of group work. Group A would work on their vocabulary dictionaries; group B would read a novel together; group C would read the week's story with me, etc.

    Good luck! It takes a lot of planning, but it can work out nicely.
     
  19. SashaBear

    SashaBear Companion

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    Jul 23, 2009

    Bumping up this post from last year that I wrote. That job fell through when the school closed. Now a new school has been started and I am applying for this job.

    The job is 3rd/4th combined. Teaching with Abeka in a private school. Any new tips would be great.
     
  20. kidsr#1

    kidsr#1 Companion

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    Jul 24, 2009



    I taught a multiage classroom for the last three years with third, fourth, and fifth graders. I had a full time teacher's aide in our classroom.

    Basically, I taught math to each grade level separately. Reading we did guided reading and had small groups. I had individualized spelling where students each had spelling words on their ability level.

    Social Studies I taught theme units (except fourth quarter, whn fourth grade had to learn Missouri history, Fifth grade had to learn the US Constitution). During fourth quarter, the third graders worked on government and map skills. Science was taught by theme units also.

    Basically I looked at all of the objects for the grades I had in the areas of Science and Social Studies. (You'll be surprised how much they cover the same topics.) Pick several units to do this year and do the remaining ones the following ones this year. If you have any objectives that the older group will need to know for state testing then be sure to do those units this year so they don't miss out on them.

    In the area of Language/Writing, we had a lot of writing with mini-lessons, journals, and grammar lessons, too.
     
  21. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Jul 24, 2009

    So I guess districts are combining grades to save money? They couldn't do that here. I have 25 4th graders. I can see how it is possible with small grade numbers.
     

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