Multigrade classrooms

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by missalli, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. missalli

    missalli Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 20, 2008

    Hey all!

    I'm interviewing next Monday for a position in a one-school district. It's a K-4 position, believe it or not; I didn't even know those still existed! Now I've read up on some strategies for classes that are 1/2 or 3/4, but K-4 seems like a whole new kettle of fish. Does anyone have any experience teaching in a multigrade classroom, any suggestions or wisdom to pass on?
     
  2.  
  3. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    Messages:
    950
    Likes Received:
    29

    Jul 21, 2008

    It *is* hard, but I don't think it is as hard as it seems. My widest spread was 2nd-5th.

    If you are doing guided reading groups at students' level, that lends itself easily to a wide range of kids. Older kids can practice their fluency by reading picture books to younger kids. Check into the "Daily 5." It lends itself VERY well to multi-age classrooms.

    Science and Social Studies- usually in cases like this, you will be able to teach different things different years. For example, you could teach large units on butterflies (life cycles), simple machines, plants and soils one year. The next year, you might teach animals, dinosaurs, matter and caring for the earth the next year. The third year could be sound, magnets, light and planets units. They might not get the unit it the "correct" grade, but they will get the units.

    Math is the toughie. I would ask about the program they use. When I had the large multi-age class, I was able to teach in themes. I would teach a large unit on fractions. My younger kids worked with manipulatives and concrete things. My older kids were converting fractions, etc.
     
  4. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    3,729
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 21, 2008

    The largest spread I have had is 2nd-4th, but I think it would be fun to have K-4th.. but also hard. How many students you have and if you have an assistant will dictate some of what happens in the classroom.

    I agree with the Daily 5. Any kind of reader's workshop is going to be good for a multi-level class. You can pull the older kids and do a lit circle while younger ones listen to books on tape, or do a big book with the K-1 kids while the older ones are doing silent reading. You will just have to BE ON TOP of it!

    I also find that writer's workshop lends itself nicely to multi-age. You do a mini-lesson with the group, and then they get to go and write. Afterwards, everyone shares.

    I could see you dividing the class a lot. Sometimes you may have k-2 doing one thing, while you do something else with the 3-4, sometimes it could be k-1, and 2-4, and sometimes, like a daily read aloud, everyone is involved. Also, in this kind of situation, I should HOPE they don't have you teaching 5 different and separate curriculums. However, 4th and 3rd graders can do independent studies if needed. They can do packets and research things on their own once you teach them how.

    As for math, I teach math like others teach guided reading. I meet with small groups and the other students do centers while I do a lesson with the kids in a particular grade or level. If you have an assistant, this is the time it really helps!

    Have fun and I hope you get the job! What a great experience!

    **I have taught K-5 summer programs and it was hard but fun! We did a science program, and the kids in 3-5 worked with me on the experiments and lessons, and the k-2 kids worked with my assistant. Other than that, we did little writing activities together as well as read aloud, art, and everything else. It was not school though, it was just a science program!
     
  5. missalli

    missalli Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 22, 2008

    Thank you for the tips!

    Oh, I really like this idea. I was wondering how I was going to not go insane trying to fit everything in. I'm starting to see, though, why this school generally has low test scores :(

    Thanks again!
     
  6. missalli

    missalli Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 22, 2008

    Thanks so much for the ideas. I don't know about class size but I know there is a full-time assistant (thank God). I also would be really interested in getting parents involved so that they can come in and take small groups.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 195 (members: 1, guests: 166, robots: 28)
test