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mamahawk's Message:

I like the PP's diagram. I've only taught a combination math class for two years at the 3rd/4th grade level and looped with the one group the second year. (I was working on my Masters and thought teaching the little kids would be easier than the middle schoolers. Boy, was that a total misconception!!!)

My one suggestion is that you alternate daily which group you begin with direct instruction. This would help with balancing the time between the two groups. I was stressed when I first started a combination math class - there never seemed to be enough minutes to cover everything. I was surprised to learn, however, how much each group learned from the other, especially the advanced and lowest learners. You can do a lot of differentiation in a mixed class.

Once the kids have a routine it goes quite smoothly. Lots of paperwork however so get your procedures for grading, etc. firmly established early or you'll get overwhelmed especially with a class of 29. Remember its not just one set of math papers to correct daily - it will be two sets.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
goldenbeads 08-09-2009 05:12 PM

If I have anything to offer that might help someone else, I will most certainly give it!

Ask any questions you want, and I'll give any help I can.

sunshinee 08-09-2009 04:27 PM

What an excellent resource you both are. Love the diagram and the suggestions.
I may private message you both about some details.

Thank you for responding!

C

mamahawk 08-08-2009 08:01 AM

I like the PP's diagram. I've only taught a combination math class for two years at the 3rd/4th grade level and looped with the one group the second year. (I was working on my Masters and thought teaching the little kids would be easier than the middle schoolers. Boy, was that a total misconception!!!)

My one suggestion is that you alternate daily which group you begin with direct instruction. This would help with balancing the time between the two groups. I was stressed when I first started a combination math class - there never seemed to be enough minutes to cover everything. I was surprised to learn, however, how much each group learned from the other, especially the advanced and lowest learners. You can do a lot of differentiation in a mixed class.

Once the kids have a routine it goes quite smoothly. Lots of paperwork however so get your procedures for grading, etc. firmly established early or you'll get overwhelmed especially with a class of 29. Remember its not just one set of math papers to correct daily - it will be two sets.

goldenbeads 08-08-2009 04:19 AM

I teach 1, 2, and 3, so I know what works for me. I have also done 4, 5, and 6. My experience is Montessori, but that doesn't mean it won't work for you. In fact, my suggestion isn't Montessori, although it is similar in philosophy and appearance.

Are you familiar with the Daily 5?

Some people use a structure similar to that for differentiating math instruction, which is basically what you need to do.

You can do a whole group lesson on something like problem solving - where the standards aren't so different from year to year.

Then one group or the other will have independent/pair practice: strategy games, paper practice, independent center type activities. While they do that, you can meet with the other group for a lesson or for check-ins and assessment.

Pull the whole group together to share/debrief/compare notes, then switch the groups.

Here's a schematic from the sisters who created the Daily 5.

sunshinee 08-07-2009 09:23 PM

Does anyone have some helpful tips to help me teach both fourth and fifth grade math in my class this year. I have 14 fourth graders and 15 fifth graders. DO you have an idea to help make this go smoothly? I have 90 minutes for math.




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