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Multigrade Classroom
Old 07-09-2017, 06:22 PM
 
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I will be a first year teacher next year, and accepted a job at a very small rural public school located inside a national park. I will be teaching a class of 6 students, in grades six to eight. I am excited to have such a small number of students, but I am not quite sure how I am going to teach lessons to three grade levels at once. For those who have taught multigrade classrooms, how do you meet the needs of all your students? Can you teach any lessons (besides science and social studies) whole group, or must all lessons be taught in small groups? I am particularly worried about math, as I will have to teach four levels at once - Math 6, Math 7, Math 8, and Algebra 1. How do you plan your lessons in such a way that the younger students don't sit through the same language arts lessons year after year?

The location, however, cannot be beat.


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Old 07-09-2017, 07:09 PM
 
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I have no advice but congratulations on your job and welcome to PT.

Wait, I take that back. I don't know if it would be appropriate, but could you do centers for math?

For ELA, I would try novel studies, but do it by reading levels rather than grade. You could alternate genres.
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multiage
Old 07-10-2017, 02:46 AM
 
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I taught multiage until my district eliminated this and two of my four children were in multi age classes for 3/4/5. Good advice above...but basically teach the kids where they are at. If you use a workshop approach this should not be too difficult because kids would be reading and writing at their level. For example...all kids writing persuasion pieces at the same time...just the rubrics would be different for assessment...because there is nothing wrong with exposing younger kids too what they need to do later...and some of them will be able to do it now. Reading is levelled by readers and even classrooms with one grade level deal with that. My own class this year (3rd) will have levels G through U because I have kids with IEPs and the HA cluster. Math would be by strand and I would definitely try to do groups here, though mini-lessons can still be by strand...especially with an Algebra group. I loved multiage, and cannot even begin to imagine such a small class size...each student can have their own agenda of "things to accomplish" and you can meet with whoever needs help. You might just have my dream job.
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I want your job
Old 07-10-2017, 02:14 PM
 
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I taught for a short while in a one teacher school (since closed) with 9 students from K-6. I loved it.

Reading: Levelled at where they are at. Two kids may be at the same level but in different grades - go with it. I'd run this exactly as I would reading groups in a normal classroom.

Writing: Same topic, different expectations. You can't recycle topics every year, or the kids will catch you. I find http://www.pobble365.com/ excellent for writing tasks. They have a picture and set of activities every day, but I find one easily lasts a week.

Maths: Work in the same area - so all groups might be doing multiplication, but at the different levels dictated by where they are up to. Work with each group intensively, and have other groups working on independent tasks within the area being studied. Have centres and explorations and challenge activities.

I did a lot independent work and made the kids responsible for their own learning. The higher grades (3-6) in my school had a "menu" of tasks they had to accomplish each morning, while I worked more intensively with the little ones. Then I would pull the bigger ones in for a lesson, and a check of their work while the little ones worked independently. I loved it.
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Multiage vs. multigrade?
Old 07-10-2017, 03:10 PM
 
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We used to have multiage classrooms where the teacher would teach one curriculum one year, then switch for the next year. So if it was a 2/3 class, they did second grade curriculum, then the next year 3rd grade.

Now, we only have multigrade classes. If we have mixed 2/3, then the second grade needs to work on second grade standards, and third grade does 3rd grade standards.

You have some great suggestions above. Since you are working with older grades they should be quite independent. Doing some type of rotation where they have a lesson with you, then do other tasks independently.

Look at your standards. Try to teach skills that are closely related but match your instruction to the grade level/student skill level.


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