Class Size

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Loomistrout, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Feb 19, 2008

    There was an attempt while back (not sure if it ever left the drawing board) to load classes according to achievement level. In this case reading level was determining factor. A student reading one year below grade level would be counted as 1.5 students. Two years below 2.0 students. If a teacher had ten students one year below they would be counted as 15. Ten students two years below count as 20. In this scenario a teacher would have a class size of perhaps 22-4 instead of 32-4 with no accounting for reading level. Theory driving this plan was low students need more help and more prep -- a more difficult teacher assignment than teaching 34 all at grade level -- thus a smaller class will help meet their needs. What do you think?
     
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  3. bluelightstar

    bluelightstar Companion

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    Feb 19, 2008

    Seems like it would be a good idea, but we don't need to overload teachers whose students are not reading below grade level. For example, one of my Honors English IV class has 30 students. I'm actually not sure about anywhere else in the country, but here that's a HUGE class!

    There needs to be something they can do to alleviate these classroom overloads for every teacher, but that's surely wishful thinking.
     
  4. SarahJ

    SarahJ Companion

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    Feb 19, 2008


    You lucky that's considered a huge class...here 30 - 35 is the norm, in highschools 40 is normal and in some schools upwards of 50 - 60 kids in one class!!!
     
  5. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

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    Feb 20, 2008

    I can't speak about South Africa, but where I taught in Mexico class sizes were often 40-50. However, classes were taught in a pure lecture style.

    When I taught AP Spanish I had 32 students, which was just a huge number. They were well behaved but the grading was insane! Anybody who teaches honors English I think understands. Essays are so time consuming plus mine also had oral exams.
     
  6. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I think our gifted students deserve our time just as much as the low kids, so I don't know if I really like that idea. I just think classes should be small, period. Especially for English, if I am really supposed to conference with kids about their papers, etc., I think classes should be around 15-18. No more than 20. Period, no matter how high or low the kids are.
     
  7. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Feb 20, 2008

    silverspoon, I totally agree with what you said!! Again we're taking the focus and putting on one group of students, and leaving average to gifted students to fend for themselves. When are schools going to realize the damage they are doing by doing this? Getting off the :soapbox:
     
  8. emmyblemmy

    emmyblemmy Companion

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    Our class limits (Catholic school) are 20 in K-2 and 27 in 3-8. And we still have a lot of parents who think that is too much. I think 20 is a perfectly manageable class size.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I think kids benefit from being in heterogenously grouped classes. Sure the strugglers benefit from small group instruction but a teacher can pull small groups for guided reading and individualize instruction for these kiddos while the others are busy with independent work.
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I agree.
     
  11. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    It sounds like a good theory, having more time to spend with struggling students because of smaller class sizes. Sounds like it didn't go through because of expense, that would be a lot more teachers to hire if I understand it right.
     
  12. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    My gifted kids give me every bit of the challenge of the special education ones. I really need 20-24 range for all classes.
     
  13. MrL

    MrL Companion

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    I really disagree with the district grouping kids into classes strictly by standardized test scores. In my Jurassic Park elective, I can see the inspiration going on when I group low-high pairings.
     
  14. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Feb 22, 2008

    I have been blessed this year with 15 students (well, 14 now, one moved this week). The majority of my students started the year 1.5 to 2 years behind, at the beginning of the year, only 3 students were working on grade level. The small size has really helped me work indpendently with them and REALLY know where they are at. Now, I have 5 students reading one grade level ahead, 5 more on grade level, and only 5 behind--these ones are now about 1 year behind. If I compare that to 2 years ago when I had 24 students (same school, demographics, comparable ability levels), I'd say the size has really helped!
     
  15. MrL

    MrL Companion

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    Feb 22, 2008

    By the by, my average science class size is 23, with 26 in my Jurassic Park class. They started out as 28 and 31 in JP, but kids move and transfer.
     
  16. mr.r1978

    mr.r1978 Rookie

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    Feb 22, 2008

    My district adopted a policy limiting class sizes;
    First Grade - Fifth Grade Max. 25
    Sixth - Eighth (Excluding Sci) Max. 28
    " " Science Max. 24
    High School (including sci) Max. 25
     

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