1/2 multiage

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by AuburnTeach, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. AuburnTeach

    AuburnTeach Companion

    Nov 30, 2005
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    Apr 3, 2010

    My principal has decided that, because of numbers of first and second grade students, I'm going to teach a 1/2 multiage classroom next year. I've never taught in a multiage classroom, we've never had a multiage classroom at my school, and no one in my school (including the principal) has any info about multiage classrooms. So, I'm on my own.

    I don't know where to begin. I have to teach certain parts of the school curriculum, but I do have some latitude, especially in literacy. I plan on doing the Daily 5. I bought a book Creating the Multiage Classroom - Sandra Stone, and I'm looking for nearby schools with multiage programs that I can visit.

    I'm very nervous about creating and teaching in a classroom about which none of my colleagues or administrators have information and in which they have no experience.

    Any ideas about where I should start in terms of setting up a program/classroom would be very much appreciated.
  3. Grover

    Grover Cohort

    Mar 15, 2010
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    Apr 3, 2010

    I attended a multi-age elementary school, and taught in mutli-age classrooms. My feeling is that they are great if your program is essentially constructivist, but in a more 'traditional' setting they create enormous demands for differentiated instruction. If you are trying to follow state standards, you are essentially teaching two different classes in the same room at the same time- each of which has it's own demands for individualized instruction. I would not want to be in the position of doing that, myself.
    Multi-age classrooms that have a discovery-based curriculum can work very well, especially around some kind of social-studies core that gives focus to all students' endeavors, while allowing them to pursue them at an appropriate pace for themselves.
    In some other threads some posters have opposed peer-teaching, but in a multi-age classroom it's a valuable and natural tool.
  4. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

    Oct 12, 2005
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    Apr 3, 2010

    I teach in a 1/2 multi-age classroom and LOVE it!

    I use Daily 5/CAFE for reading. This is my third year with D5 and second with CAFE. They're both GREAT for multi-age classrooms!

    Except for math, I combine everything for my students. I teach science and social studies on a rotating basis (half of the units each year).

    I am also in WI- I've sent a PM to see if we might be in the same area.

    I'd love to help answer any questions, just let me know!
  5. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Oct 21, 2007
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    Apr 3, 2010

    We call them "combo classes" here in my area of California. They are popping up more and more each year in my district. At my school, we have a 1st/2nd combo, a 2nd/3rd combo, and a 4th/5th combo. I have never taught a combo class; however, there are a few tips that come to mind (having taught both first and second grade). 1. Have some sort of math wall (calendar wall). The math wall can incorporate both 1st grade and 2nd grade topics: money, clock, even/odd numbers, counting (numbers to 100 for your 1st graders, skip counting for both 1st and 2nd graders), tally marks (for your 1st graders), etc.

    I think language arts (more specifically--reading) may be more difficult. At the beginning of 1st grade, the kids are reviewing sounds & are learning to decode. At the beginning of 2nd grade, children review the long vowels and already know how to decode (for the most part). Is there a possibility that you will be able to "deploy" your first graders to other teachers so you're able to focus on teaching the 2nd grade language arts program only? Or, maybe the 2nd grade teachers will be more willing to take on your 2nd graders so you can focus solely on teaching your 1st graders while the other students have been deployed??? Check into it!

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