first/second split

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by JenL, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. JenL

    JenL Comrade

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    Aug 17, 2007

    ok so school started wednesday and i started with a first grade class. i found out today that i have to switch to a first/second split. i have no idea where to start or how to do it. how do you meet all their needs? how do you make parents happy? how do you teach reading when half the class reads and some can't identify all their letters yet?
    awww! i am in way over my head. HELP!:unsure:
     
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  3. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    Aug 17, 2007

    First of all, BREATHE. You will make it!

    Find out what is expected of you. Will the students in the split be in a split class next year? If so, you can teach grade 1 science, grade 2 social and then switch the following year. Or, teach 2/4 units of each this year and the others next year. Does that make sense?

    Are you familiar with differentiated instruction? Your centers can be tiered so that all students can learn at their level. For example, if you have a writing center with upper and lower case letter stamps, the younger kids can match up the upper and lowercase letters. Some students can spell dolch words. Some students can use the stamps to stamp their spelling words in sentences and advanced students can use the stamps to title a work or highlight transition words.

    Older kids can practice their fluency by reading aloud to the youngers.

    You could have second graders have a first grade buddy. The second graders can work with their buddy on dolch words they already know or work on math facts.

    You can have math practice with dice. The younger students can use two six-sided dice. The middle students can use one 6-sided and one 12-sided die. The more mature students can use two 12-sided dice.

    Multi-grade teaching isn't easy. The dynamics can be WONDERFUL. I would go back to teaching multi-age in a heartbeat. I loved it.

    Remember that in ANY class, there is a spread. You are just getting a larger one.

    Jen, if there's anything you want to discuss via PM, please feel free to PM me!

    :hugs:
     
  4. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Aug 17, 2007

    We are going to have a split 1/2 class this year too. All the first and second grade teachers sat down and worked out a schedule. While the first grades are teaching reading, she, (1/2 teacher) will teach her second graders math and send her first graders to us. Then when the first grade teachers are teaching math, and the second graders are having reading, she will send her second graders out for reading into the other second grade classes. So basically, she is only teaching math. She will only have about 12 students of each grade level. So, teaching math to two classes of only 12 each doesn't sound so bad.

    She is keeping the kids for social studies, science, morning meeting etc.

    I hope it works!
     
  5. JenL

    JenL Comrade

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    Aug 17, 2007

    thank you both for the responses. teacherpippi i might take you up on your offer for some more advice. right now i am relaxing and then back to work tomorrow! once i get my wheels turning i will probably have plenty of questions.
    thanks again and keep the responses coming
     
  6. autumnpumpkin

    autumnpumpkin Rookie

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    Aug 17, 2007

    Hi JenL! I teach a 1/2 split as well. This is my second year doing it. I actually feel like I've finally got the swing of it. I can definitely relate to the question of how to teach reading when one grade can read and one grade barely knows the alphabet. Why don't you email me and I will fill you in on what I do. I can send you my dayplan and yearplan as well. My email is stacycraigca@yahoo.ca
     
  7. beanie

    beanie Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2007

    I teach grade 1/2 - this is my 3rd year doing so. I have never taught a straight grade. There is a wide gap but by teaching a composite grade you are able to cater for the children you may often forget. It gives you the chance to scaffold and accelerate the students who are doing well, and focus on the needs of your lower ability groups. In saying that, we separate our grade 1s and 2s for reading (there are 2 classes) I take the grade 2s for reading. They return to their home grade for reading, maths and integrated studies. In maths I tend to split my grades and have the whole group focus, then send one grade off for an independent activity whilst i work with the other grade as a smaller group. 3 afternoons a week we also have the grade 3s come into our rooms. I take the grade 1s and about 4 grade 2s while the other teacher takes the rest of the grade 2s go with the grade 3s - we rotate these classes (eg. I do art, other teacher does sport). We also try to separate brothers and sisters. If you want any info let me know - not an expert by any means but might have some suggestions.
     
  8. autumnpumpkin

    autumnpumpkin Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2007

    I teach the same phonics, starting off with the letter sounds, after Christmas moving onto consonant blends, diagraphs, etc. It's a good review for grade 2's they are so excited to show off what they know to the grade 1's.
    I teach Sight Words separately to each grade, while the other grade does listening center and reading center.
    I teach Math separately to each grade, while the other grade does blocks center (pattern and linking cubes) and games center (educational board games I got from the Teacher's Trunk store).
    Then I teach Science, Social, Health, Art as a whole group (I mostly do mini-units so that I can fit in all the core curriculum units for both grades).

    Hope this helps!
     
  9. a1wave

    a1wave New Member

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    Aug 22, 2007

    I am teaching a 1/2 split in CA. I haven't done this before and am feeling nervous and a bit anxious as to how to make it work. If anyone has some lesson plans or overview (standards) that they can email me in order to help me start off the year with a better grasp, that would be appreciated.
     
  10. autumnpumpkin

    autumnpumpkin Rookie

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    Aug 22, 2007

     
  11. a1wave

    a1wave New Member

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    Aug 22, 2007

    right!

    Yes, that sounds great! I was thinking more specifically for ideas on how to start of the year...the first month...so that we can settle into routines. What those routines are and what purpose they serve is what I am trying to figure out. I am familiar with guided reading and centers BUT I have never done this with two grade levels.
    I would love to see a year long plan with LA standards and Math standards sprinkled in by each month...that was the type of overview that would help me understand the 'big' picture. I would also love the names of any must have mentor text that I can use for modeling reading and writing.
    (sorry for sooo much thought...just feeling overwhelmed at this point)
     
  12. autumnpumpkin

    autumnpumpkin Rookie

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    Aug 22, 2007

    I sent my yearplan to your private message screen. I hope that it is understandable as it was in Word format and hard to transfer to private message. Let me know if you need anything else.
     
  13. a1wave

    a1wave New Member

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    Aug 22, 2007

  14. shawnanana

    shawnanana New Member

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    Aug 22, 2007

    Autumpumpkin.
    This is my first time on this site and I am also a first year teacher who starts next week. I just got the job on Monday and I have been freaking out a bit. Grade 1/2 split.
    I dont know where to start. do you mind if I ask you a few questions?
    I dont know how this works?
     
  15. autumnpumpkin

    autumnpumpkin Rookie

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    Aug 22, 2007

    Of course, you can ask me anything you'd like and I'll do my best to help you out. This is my third year teaching and I remember how nervewracking that first year was, and exciting at the same time. You can ask me your questions on here or you can private message me. Just click on my username and then choose send this user a private message.
     
  16. JenL

    JenL Comrade

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    Aug 23, 2007

    everyone on here has been such a help! it even helps to see other teachers flipping out at a 1/2 split. i started this week and every day seems to be going better. i do feel like i never stop giving directions. i just don't know how to better communicate to the 1st grades what i want them to do and they are so loud when i am trying to teach the 2nd graders. i know the beginning of the year will be hard because it is procedures and it is hard to find things for the first graders to do that will take up enough time to teach a lesson to the second graders.
    so i am going to tackle centers next week...what are some super simple centers for early first graders? think independent centers since i am going to use this time to teach second grade reading.
    thanks again for all the responses!
     
  17. autumnpumpkin

    autumnpumpkin Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2007

    Do you have a listening center? This keeps the students really quiet because they each have their own set of headphones with a copy of a book (I get my books on tape with books from the local library and just switch them out every week or two), also a reading center can be good (I've heard teachers give walkmans (cheap cassette ones from walmart) to students while they read, they put classical music or nature music in the walkmans to keep the students calm. Best of luck :)!
     
  18. frogdogs

    frogdogs New Member

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    Aug 24, 2007

    First time teaching a 1/2 blend

    I am teaching a 1/2 blend this year for the first time, too. I am starting to stress over things like how to create differentiated spelling, writing, math programs. How do I hit all levels of learners AND keep my sanity and still have time to be a mom? :confused:

    I would appreciate ideas, thoughts, plans, additional websites, anything that you've found or used to make this a great year. I know I'll love the blend...just need to get up and running! Thank you.
     

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