Elementary Departmentalized

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Bwhite06, May 26, 2015.

  1. Bwhite06

    Bwhite06 Rookie

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    May 26, 2015

    Ok, I teach in a school that departmentalizes starting in 3rd grade. We teach in teams of two. My principal is letting our grade decide how we want to divide or teach the social studies. The way it has been taught in the past is that one teacher did the Math and the Science and the other teacher did the ELA and Social studies, however this last year they felt that with all of the writing that is being incorporated into all subjects they had a hard time covering everything as well as they once had. It was suggested that the Math/Science take on the Social Studies and that the ELA would do all of the reading and language but would also cover the writing in depth and incorporate all of the subjects into the writing. As the Math/Science/Social Studies teacher I would teach Math everyday but split the Social Studies up somehow either by day, week or topic.

    I am curious how other schools divide or departmentalize at the earlier grades? What has worked and what has not worked?

    Thank you for all of your help. This will be my first year in 3rd grade coming from 2 years in first grade and 13 years in middle school.
     
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  3. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    May 26, 2015

    In your position, I think splitting science and social studies would work. We do that now - alternate units of those two subjects.

    Is the ELA teacher going to incorporate science and social studies into the writing time? Otherwise, I think it's a step backward from what is needed for Common Core.
     
  4. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    May 27, 2015

    You really need to look at your curriculum to decide. I am tested in science at my grade level, and I have 150 standards to cover. I have to teach science pretty much every day in order to cover everything before the test. Some days I can teach a shorter lesson and throw in a short social studies lesson, but I have to combine most of my social studies with ELA.
     
  5. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    May 27, 2015

    I've seen it where one teacher has ELA/Reading/Social Studies and the other teacher has Math/Science/Social Studies. Each teacher teaches their own homerooms social studies. It would be just as easy to incorporate social studies into the ELA/Reading block too.
     
  6. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    May 27, 2015

    Here writing is being incorporated deeply into science and social studies. There was a chance that we would get a 4th teacher in 4th due to numbers. The planned split was what you have sci/math and as/ELA. Our ELA teacher brought up the idea of ELA and math/sci/sis and my principal wouldn't even consider it.
     
  7. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    May 27, 2015

    Departmentalization in the elementary grades should be limited especially when working with high-poverty students. Those kids need a single teacher to look after them and supply stability and accountability. In middle or high income populations, I've seen an am/pm split where one teacher does the language arts and the other does math/science.

    The worst I've seen is our districts lowest school where the entire student body is grouped by ability into hundreds of reading and math groups and taught skills all day.

    The best model I've seen are when teachers do "teacher trades" for special units.
     
  8. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    May 27, 2015

    Next year, we're moving from K-5 elementary sites to K-6. We will be departmentalizing in 6th grade only.

    The year that I taught 6th grade, it was at the middle school level. I taught the ELA/Social Studies core. I enjoyed the curriculum and loved not having to worry about teaching Math/Science. I taught three groups of students who I had for two periods at a time.

    As a 2nd grade teacher (which is where I spent the majority of my years), I don't think I would've like the idea of departmentalizing. The kids rotated teachers for ELD & RtI, but that's about it. I liked teaching all subjects to my kiddos.
     
  9. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    May 27, 2015

    My school departmentalizes K-6.

    Yep. Kinder and firsties are traveling to two or three teachers.

    We are generally ELAR (90 minutes)/SS (45 minutes) and Math (90 minutes) / Sci (45 minutes) split.

    I'm not a big fan.
     
  10. TnKinder

    TnKinder Companion

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    May 27, 2015

    My school is departmentalized 1-5. First and second grade teachers work on teams of two with one teaching math/science and the other teaching reading/social studies. Third grade works with teams of three with one math, one reading/SS and one science. 4-5 grade all teach one subject to all students. I'm really glad we don't do it in K.
     
  11. Bwhite06

    Bwhite06 Rookie

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    May 28, 2015

    Yes, With our new assessments a lot of emphasis is on writing in all subjects. The plan would be for them to use the topics being taught in the other class to guide their writing.
     

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