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Big Classes Tips
Old 07-13-2019, 12:08 AM
 
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I recently posted about how our grade level was probably adding a teacher. That fell through because another intermediate grade in our school will run small this year but not small enough to lose a teacher.

We usually have 24-28ish kids in a year. We were told to expect to start at 32. We fluctuate a lot in my building, and we were given the "warning" that we may see up to 36 or so at some point in the year, if we get move-ins. How do you manage big classes? What tips do you have?


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Old 07-13-2019, 05:35 PM
 
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I had 37 4th graders one time, biggest class for me ever. For me the biggest issue was dealing with that many kids in the physical space. I did long groups of desk, like 4 or 5 desks long and then 2 wide, so a big group of 8 or 10 facing each other.

We couldn’t do much on the floor, and only so many kids could be up moving around at once. I did a lot of partner and group work.

Number everything, and use the numbers for keeping things organized.

I also had varying due days for regular assignments, like our reading journals. Each kid had a day they were due, so like 7 kids turned their in on a Monday, 7 on Tuesday, etc. if I stayed on top of them, it wasn’t too much to grade at once.
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Large Classes
Old 07-13-2019, 07:21 PM
 
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In my district you would be entitled to a classroom TA. They couldn't help with kids but they could do grading, check papers, run copies etc. for you.
But not everyone has that and one year I had 33 third graders. That was the year that I began to teach guided math, so I could teach the kids in small groups instead of doing whole group instruction. I also made sure that kids had things due on certain days. I used parent volunteers as much as possible. I had such a great group of parents that year. I had volunteers to help with every subject area. I also had a parent come in and check in homework on Mondays and put homework packets together for me and then put them in mailboxes. I had editing parties for writing workshop and I had parents come in to help kids with editing their writing so we could publish.

Make sure that you use parents if you can to help with the clerical things of teaching. You may want to consider flexible seating so kids have options for learning. Good luck, the only thing that saved me that year was that it was the most amazing group of kids, and the most supportive group of parents!
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Student Numbers
Old 07-14-2019, 06:30 AM
 
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Are you in a unionized state? Around here class sizes are capped at a certain number of students. Starting with 32 kids sounds challenging. I would ask for a para to work in my classroom if I had that many students.
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