Team Teaching in a Class with 60+ Students... Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Froggie, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. Froggie

    Froggie Rookie

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    Mar 19, 2009

    So my school has had the brilliant plan to expand (we're a charter school) to another town about 20 miles away. Sadly, the classrooms aren't ready yet.

    What they do have is some very large rooms that need carpet and sound boards. Their idea is to put one teacher and "four highly qualified aides" into one classroom with 60 kids. The teacher would then teach whole-group for a short time followed by what they described as break-out sessions or small groups (of about 12-13 kids per group).

    I've been asked to be part of the advisory committe in getting this off the ground, but my head is having a difficult time wrapping around this idea.:dizzy: So I thought I'd see what some other educators think.

    Does anyone have any experience in this? How well did it work for you?

    What kind of classroom management plan would be best?

    What do you see as the pros and cons?

    Any random thoughts or reactions?
     
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  3. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Mar 19, 2009

    WHOA!:eek: I don't like the idea of 60 students in one classroom. It would be a BIG challenge for y'all. The noise volume would be something to be dealt with. The teaching team would have to be ALL ON THE SAME BOOK or it will not work. Time will tell AND...
    Good luck,
    Rebel1
     
  4. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Mar 19, 2009

    When I was in high school, we were in several classes like this: history and math. I don't think we had assistants, but regular teachers for the break outs.
     
  5. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Mar 19, 2009

    I don't have any advice...just wanted to say good luck. I wouldn't know where to begin!
     
  6. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Mar 20, 2009

    :eek: OMG! That's a tremendous amount of students in one class! Even with 4 assistants, how do you handle the varied abilities of that many students at one time? I agree that the noise level will also be a major concern. And if you are conducting one of the breakout sessions, how do you plan to observe the other groups to ensure mastery of the materials? Will you also assess whole group? Just a few thoughts. I wish you luck and success.
     
  7. catsos2

    catsos2 Companion

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    Mar 20, 2009

    I think you would need one other teacher to make this work. Although your assistants would be "highly qualified" they are not teachers. We cannot expect them to do teacher's work such as assessing and planning. And that many students falling on one teacher's shoulders might get overwhelming very quickly. Grading 60 essays?!? Putting in 60 grades with 60 comments?!? Calling 60 parents?!? (Face it, no parent is going to want to talk to an aide.)

    If that's not an option, then I would guess the breakout sessions would have to be an incredible amount of cooperative learning and student-directed learning. I would think that project-based activities would work well. It's likely that you will get assistants that will want to teach and be good at it, but many will only want to supervise.

    Whoever the teacher is, she would have to be the most organized person on earth. She'd be planning for a minimum of 5 groups of students, then grouping those students into cooperative learning groups. I'm picturing an orchestra - strings, percussion, woodwinds... and all that make that up.

    As far as classroom management: Our school has up to 56 kids for gym class with one teacher (double classes). Completely different from a gen.ed class, I know, but our PE teacher does the exact same classroom management with 56 as she does with 28. I think good classroom management would work no matter how many kids you have.

    Make sure that you get audio enhancement devices for the teacher's whole group instruction. Imagine being in the back of the class with 59 other kids in front of you..... Hard to hear, hard to see.

    Is this supposed to be a money saving plan? I'm wondering if they will be saving on hiring assistants vs. hiring a teacher...? Are they saving on benefits? Are your assistants unionized?
     
  8. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Mar 20, 2009

    So is this going to be temporary situation while the classrooms are being finished?

    I'm picturing the "classrooms without walls" from the late 70's. Maybe there's some information you can find on that.

    The small groups I can understand, with 5 people monitoring, that may work. But addressing a whole group of 60 3rd Graders? Keeping the attention of all of them, keeping them all on task. I know you can probably tailor a plan that works for you-- but man, I won't complain about my 20+ student classes anymore.
     

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