DepartmentaliZing
Hello fellow 4th grade teachers. This is my 13th year teaching self contained fourth graders. After meeting with my unit, we actually want to try to to departmentalizt next school year if my principal agrees. I have read as much as I could get my hands on except for a sample schedule. Is someone be willing to send a copy of a schedule that worked for them to me?
deenchel#msn.com

There are 4 of us teaching and about 85 students total. Although I am nervous about change, I am confident that something needs to changed based on the lack of success of the rising group of students. Their difficulties in reading and math have been tracked since Kindergarten. PLEASE HELP

Last edited by dewscl; 08-13-2011 at 09:00 PM..
Reason: spell check

Our 4th grade is semi-departmentalized. We split the subjects so that one teacher teaches Reading, Sci., & SS. The other teaches Math, Spelling, Grammar, Writing. We had to do it that way due to our time schedule. There was just NO way to get it to work out over 4 teachers so that each had sufficient time for Reading or Math. So we have "teacher pairs" and the students only go between 2 teachers for instruction.

Thank you for that. More to think about. For now we are all teaching math and rotating reading, writing/grammar, ss, and science for the remainder of the day.

It's almost like we are departmentalized, but not really, because we regroup classes, but it's by ability levels. So we all teach math and science/social studies and PE to our homeroom class. But then ELA is regrouped by ability levels. We are going to rotate the teacher teaching the lowest group with the replacement core curriculum(for below grade level kids) once a trimester. So that each of us can spend 2/3 of the year teaching the 4th grade level ELA. Also for ELD we regroup by ability levels as well. I don't like it so much because you don't get to bond with your kids so much, and also I disagree with putting all the low kids together and placing all the burden directly on one teacher, and they are usually a lot of the behavior problems. So basically we still all get to teach all the subjects, but just not necessarily to the same class. It's like middle school to us: seeing 3 groups of kids per day.

split Science, Social Studies and Computer Lab (our state requires 6 units-projects per year in computer lab) anyway, we teach 35 minute rotations for each of the above mentioned subjects. We start with our own students and switch after 35 minutes. Except on Fridays. We do not switch on Fridays, this allows us a day to be self contained. Because we have the computer lab already scheduled for that time period we rotate every 3rd Friday, thus giving the students extra time on the computers for writing, math, etc. what ever is needed most.

At my former school the 4,5,&6 grade teacher would semi-departmentalize. One teacher taught math to the entire grade level, the other taught Social Studies to the entire grade level,and they both taught everything else to their own homeroom. It was a small school so there were only two classes per grade level.

We have been departmentalizing for the last 6 years and have seen great results on our assessments. We have 4 teachers.....each pair up to have a 2 teacher team each teaching 3 forty-five minute blocks of instruction through the day. Teacher 1- Math and Science ( 2-45 minute blocks of math and 1-45minute block of science). Teacher 2- 3 - 45 minute blocks of Language arts with whole group reading, small group reading and the 3rd block is writing/spelling/vocabulary. Social studies is implemented in the whole group block each week usually 1-2 days a week. There is some room for movement with the Language arts blocks because small group may be 4 days a week, sometimes writing/vocabulary/spelling isnt everyday, etc..

Halfway through the day, usually after lunch and recess, the students gather their supplies and move to the other classroom to the partner teachers class who teaches their 3 blocks to the other class. The other 2 teacher team does the same thing with one teacher teaching math and science and the other teaching language arts/social studies.

This is great at conference time because we sit in together to talk with parents so we share what we see in our subject areas. The students learn a little about having more than 1 teacher with different expectations. Responsibility of switching to other rooms for the transition to middle school. We love it!

I was just coming on to post the same question! As a 4th grade teacher, I have always taught all subjects in a self-contained classroom. I met with 2 of my new 4th grade teammates (we are moving into a brand-new school), and we are really wanting to try departmentalizing....but we are looking at having 2-person teams with one teaching Reading/LA & Social Studies and the other Math & Science. We are not sure if we can swing it w/our schedule or if our principal will even go for it, but I am researching some ideas. I have always leaned toward the Reading/LA side of things because before I taught 4th grade, I was a 7th grade Language Arts and Social Studies teacher. However, this year, after talking with the teacher who will team with me, I have decided that I will do the Math/Science if we get approval from our principal.

I am excited to possibly have the time to focus my time and energy on planning just 2 main subjects.

WELL everyone, after battling all the possible problems or hangups, we have finalized a schedule that my principal has agreed to!! All 4 teachers will continue to teach an individual math level that is ability grouped for an hour and 15 minutes. After that, all homeroom classes will rotate around to each of the 4 teachers for the remainder of the day ending with their homeroom teacher. Sounds complicated, but it looks better on paper than my brief explanation
teacher one-math and science
teacher two-math and ss
teacher three-math and LA
teacher four-math and second block of LA Yes, the students will receive 1 hour and 30 minutes of LA a day

I will let you know how it all works out when the kids get here. Keep us in your prayers.