Combination 1st and 2nd grade class - ProTeacher Community


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Combination 1st and 2nd grade class
Old 08-03-2007, 11:56 AM
 
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If there is anyone who has taught a combination 1st-2nd grade class? What are the pros and cons? I am thinking about it, but I wanted to do some research first.


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Old 08-03-2007, 01:35 PM
 
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I taught a 1/2 combo. my first 2 years of teaching. It was a difficult first job, but a great experience. I personally don't think these two grades together are the greatest (I think K/1 would be better or 2/3).

Anyhow...the second graders are more independent (pro), which is helpful because the first graders need lots of help and attention (con with two grade levels). The good news is that the second graders can be very helpful and you can pair them up with a first grader for many activities where the first graders will need more help. The other nice thing is that you will probably loop with the students (so they start with you in first and come back to you for second) so they'll really know you well in second grade.

It can be a great experience. Good luck to you!
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1st and 2nd together
Old 08-03-2007, 02:04 PM
 
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I have taught both a 1/2 and 2/3. I agree that the 2/3 is better fit however many teachers at my school love 1/2. We do loop our kids. Because we work in pairs, we often ability grouped for language arts and math. For science and social studies, we have used several models. If you are going to loop your 1st graders and keep them next year, you could teach all 2nd grade science and social studies this year. Then next year you would teach 1st grade science and social studies. This worked for many teachers. Some of the other teachers would group by grade and trade students.

I found that the second graders can model appropriate behavior and work habits (for the most part!) and are able to help the first graders learn classroom routinues. It was also great for our 2nd graders who just weren't ready for 2nd grade and needed some extra time and practice with the first graders.

One of the cons was that many parents didn't understand why we did it and how it could help their child. It was also difficult for our specials teachers because all of our curriculum is divided by grade and they didn't have enough time to teach 2 grades' curriculum in 55 minute one day a week.
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Combination classes
Old 08-03-2007, 05:38 PM
 
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Luckily we don't have combination classes any more. If you have to do it you need high first graders and low to middle second graders. That way you still could combine them in reading groups since that is ability groupings anyway. Lots of basic math could be done together--facts to 10 or 20, etc.

I don't like putting second and third together. When I first started teaching that was an ideal group for combining, but not any more. The curriculum is so-o-o different and the testing is like "night and day."
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In the same boat
Old 08-03-2007, 08:49 PM
 
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I'm in the same boat teaching a first and second combination class. I'm not combining language arts and math but doing the first grade curriculum for religion (private school), social studies, and science (they did 2nd grade curr. last year).


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