PLEASE HELP US BRAINSTORM

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by CFClassroom, May 1, 2010.

  1. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    May 1, 2010

    There are 2 3rd grades at my school. The other 3rd grade teacher and I have been close friends for almost 10 years and have been teaching at the same grade level for 4. We have very similar teaching styles, relationships with the kids, views on teaching, etc.

    She loves math and is an amazing math teacher. My talents and interests are in the area of language arts.

    We have adjoining classrooms (connected with a regular sized door and wall).

    Next year there will be 39 third graders, the 2 of us as teachers, a classroom aid who would be assigned to one of our rooms and a student teacher for the fall.

    We are proposing to team teach.

    We would like to make her current classroom into a math/science lab with a large group area for community building and presentation (LCD, ELMO, SMARTBOARD). We would like my current classroom to house one large classroom library, the computers, etc and have small tables and a smaller group meeting area.

    Our plan is this:
    She will take the lead for planning and preparing for math, science and tech. I will take the lead for planning and prepping reading, writing and social studies. We would mainly execute the lessons as small groups, center-based.

    Our goal is to be able to really meet the individual needs of the students, offer fluid groupings based on specific skills in all subject areas, make better use of space and resources, etc.

    We would like to both be responsible for the education of all the kids.

    We ran our idea by the asst. Supt. a few weeks ago and will be meeting formally to present it. We want to cross our Ts and dot our Is.

    I'm sure some will love the idea and some will have reservations. I know there will be parents that will hear "39 kids in one class" and freak out.

    So here's where you come in.

    I would be so appreciative of any thoughts you could share.

    Anything.

    Positive tidbits - Concerns - Things to Consider - Parental Concerns

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    May 1, 2010

    I am currently co-teaching in a second grade class. We started out the year with 31 students, and are now down to 28. (I work in an urban school, by the way).

    At first I thought that we would be able to meet more of the students' needs this way. We do fluid groupings as you describe. After almost a year of this, I have come to the conclusion that it would have been much better to have split the class up. We were unable to do this due to space constraints. Having that many more bodies in a room does make a big difference, in terms of how many children can be reached, even if there are two teachers. It's a bigger crowd to control.

    I understand about parents being upset over that many children in a class. I know I would be.
     
  4. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    May 2, 2010

    I think that sounds awesome! You would be running it as one large class? I don't think 39 kids is unreasonable for 3 people. In fact, lots of teachers have that many on their own! It would be great to have the flexibility to have groupings for enrichment or remedial help within the larger setting. This sounds great!
     
  5. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    May 2, 2010


    The way she is explaining it is a little different from your model...they will have 2 classrooms and will split up the responsiblity....so while she is teaching reading to half her coteacher will be in the other room teaching math to half, etc.....I think? If so it will work out beautifully.
     
  6. mrs100

    mrs100 Comrade

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    May 3, 2010

    I think it sounds amazing! I also love teaching math, but don't like teaching writing as much. If you could switch classes so that one is doing math with one class, while the other is doing language arts, I think it would be great. There would be kinks to work out along the way of course, but I think it sounds awesome. I WISH this was a possibility for me! Let us know how your presentation goes! I'm sure you can find someone on here who has been in a situation like yours.
     
  7. hac711

    hac711 Companion

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    May 5, 2010

    Coming from a school where we team teach, my advice is to break them up...
    have three math classes-advanced, on level, and extra guidance, do vocab while your ST does guided reading, and have time limits and rotate the kids...
     
  8. jillybean

    jillybean Comrade

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    May 5, 2010

    This is how my classroom works but 39 students is a lot!

    Why not try half in your room doing LA and the other half doing Science? Then the classroom aid could be in LA and then switch! (I hope that makes sense!)
     
  9. oldfashioned

    oldfashioned Comrade

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    May 5, 2010

    I LOVE your idea of team teaching! I commend you and your partner for thinking outside the box to make the best use of your individual strengths and interests. It will take a lot of planning and coordination to pull this off next year (especially with 39 kids - that's a lot!), and you'll need to meet together after school every day, but that doesn't sound like it will be a problem. I wish my teaching partner and I could try something like this, but no two teachers could be farther apart in style, philosophy, and expectations.

    Do let us know how things go.
     
  10. Deeena

    Deeena Cohort

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    May 5, 2010

    Iheartrecess- I love the idea! Just out of curiosity, do you teach in a public or private school?
     
  11. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    May 5, 2010

    Thanks for the feedback.

    We're actually open to doing it a few different ways. I think we will present it as:

    A. We split the kids in half and I teach language arts twice and she teach math and science twice

    B. We teach using a center / small group based approach but with all of the kids working on the same subject at the same time...using both rooms

    We would like to start and end each day with a short whole group meeting to build community, but the 39 kids will be spread throughout the 2 classrooms (sometimes 3 when we access the computer lab across the hall) for the majority of the time.

    We would prefer the latter, but will present both options in case the district is more open to one. We can do it either way. It's going to be a work in progress.

    Deeena: We're a public K-5 school.
     

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