Departmentalizing?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by luvmykids, Jun 18, 2005.

  1. luvmykids

    luvmykids Companion

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    Jun 18, 2005

    I am waiting to hear if we will be departmentalizing next year. What do other schools do? How do you feel about having 3rd graders change classes?
     
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  3. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    Jun 18, 2005

    In our school we don't departmentalize until they get to 4th grade. Our school felt that the jump from second to third plus the fact that they have to pass the GCRCT to advance to the 4th grade was enough of a change for the 3rd grade students.
     
  4. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    We chnged classes in 3rd for reading and for math; and they were academic groups... but every teacher taught both math and reading, they just wanted to be able to ability group. I hated my homeroom teacher in 3rd grade, so I loved getting out of the room and changing...

    But I think overall, 3rd is already a big jump from 2nd and that 3rd gradeers would still benefit from having the same teacher all day (unless one is awful, like mine was... but none of you arel ike that. ;))
     
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    We used to switch in 4th grade, then 5th, now we begin departmentalizing in 6th grade. I think anything lower is very detrimental. It is not just the fact of different teachers and rooms. There is so much time wasted because each teacher has to end class a bit early to send the kids to the next class. It also inhibits the teacher - you can't prolong a vibrant math class - because the kids have to go to LA or something at exactly 10:28!
    It's hard enough to have uninterrupted class time when you have millions of specials (like I do). Also, you lose some of the close personal relationship that stabilizes many students. They should call it destabilization instead of departmentalizing.
     
  6. Margo

    Margo Devotee

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    Jun 18, 2005

    Our school has incorporated Project Child into some of the classes. So even Kindergartners were changing classes. It didn't seem to be a problem for them. They had nothing else to compare school to, so, to them, this was natural.
     
  7. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Jun 18, 2005

    I've taught self contained and departmentalized both in 4th grade. For me, I prefer self contained. It works best with my teaching style. On the flip side, when you are departmentalized it is easier for you to get more in depth in the lessons you teach. For example, this year I am teaching 3 classes of science, my own reading, and my own social studies. That means I have more time to concentrate on these subjects since I don't have to write lessons for math, English, and spelling. That aside...I still prefer self-contained.
    I think 4th grade was a little young for departmentalizing, and I really think that 3rd graders need the consistency of having the same teacher all day.
     
  8. Irissa

    Irissa Cohort

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    Jun 18, 2005

    The 2 worst things about changing classes was the loss of academic time (30 mins) and the not knowing your student in and out. We always had to call 2 or 3 teachers for conferences with parents and it was a pain. This year we hare asking for self contained classes. We will see what happens.
     
  9. camcdade

    camcdade Comrade

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    I love being departmentalized in third grade. I partner teach with one other teacher. She teaches Math, Science and social studies. I teach the Reading/Language Arts block. We split the classroom day time in half. I love the fact that I get to focus on my one area. I also love switching. Just when one class starts to get on my nerves, I get to send them on their way and in comes a fresh batch! :) It is vital, in my opinion, that both teachers enforce the same classroom rules and procedures. I am lucky in that my partner teacher and I have the same rules and expectations so things flow very well between the two classes.
     
  10. dee

    dee Companion

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    Jun 18, 2005

    In my sistrict first graders are grouped in reading according to ability. Homeroom teachers teach all other subjects to their own children. I do agree with Margo, this is part of their regular routine and they seem to do a good job with it.
     
  11. SpaceAngel

    SpaceAngel Comrade

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    In fourth and fifth, my class switched some for reading and math....we were "honors" kids. One teacher had hte onlevel kids of her own class and the advanced kids fromt he other class. (One class of fourth, one of fifth).

    In sixth grade, only the two honors classes switched classes, but as a class. Each whole homeroom went to the other room for certain subjects. THe other sixth grades had the same teacher the whole day, excpet for specials. We were all in the middle school.

    Seventh grade on, different teacher each subject.....

    Third grade seems pretty young...
     
  12. sdhudgins

    sdhudgins Comrade

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    Jun 18, 2005

    I remember changing classes in 3rd grade, and it wasn't that big of a deal, it was just somethign we did. Granted we only did it for one class..
    Then in fourth we did it for two,
    then for all subs in fifth
    and by the time we were in sixth we didn' t have a homeroom base anymore.
     
  13. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Jun 19, 2005

    I have taught self-contained and departmentalized, and definitely prefer self-contained (I teach 4th).
    Self-contained: know the students better, more continuity, more flexibility, less paperwork and dealing with different schedules, more opportunity to integrate lessons, parents seem to prefer it due to knowing one teacher better, students who have organizational problems don't have to move all day and deal with different teachers.
    Departmentalized: less planning but I got bored teaching the same thing 3 times.
    My current principal likes departmentalization because he thinks the planning is easier due to all of our state standards for testing, but I think the planning is MY problem and that if self-contained is better for kids, that is what we should do.
     
  14. camcdade

    camcdade Comrade

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    Changing classes in third grade is really no big deal. My students always adapt very quickly. The kids really like having two teachers and I've never had a complaint from a parent in 7 years of being departmentalized. I think even kids sometimes need a break from a teacher and this set-up allows them to learn from two different teaching styles. I'm sure everyone has a different opinion about self-contained vs. departmentalized...it is a personal preference. I've taught both and definitely prefer departmentalized.
     
  15. SpaceAngel

    SpaceAngel Comrade

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    Actually I remember feeling very smug and mature compared to the "non switchers" back in my day.
     
  16. Jake's Mom

    Jake's Mom Rookie

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    Jun 20, 2005

    In our county, Central Office recently issued a memo stating that all classes, K-4, must be self-contained. Various grades 1-3 had been departmentalizing different subjects. Fifth grade (which is what I teach) can departmentalize due to the transition of changing classes at the middle school level. I personally like dep. My partner teaches math, I teach science, we ability group language arts, and teach our homeroom history.
     

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