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TeachingRocks TeachingRocks is offline
 
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Desperate for Help - Unique Situation
Old 07-07-2017, 12:14 AM
 
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Thank you for reading! I'm desperate for help and ideas for next year. Here's my unique situation:

I've taught 3rd grade for 11 years and know 3rd graders and standards like the back of my hand. However, next year, I'll be teaching a K-2 combo class. Actually, I'm piloting a new program for my school district that merges home school and public school. I will see students 4 hours a day M-Th (either am or pm), the rest of the time they will be at home. We are using an online program called Edmentum as the homeschool component, although I do believe it will need to be supplemented.

While in the classroom, I am to focus on Project Based Learning and STEM activities - but also crucial components such as reading development, math fluency, and writing.

I am lost as to what to teach that is appropriate for three grade levels to solidify these skills. In a nutshell, I don't feel confident that the parents will be able to teach these skills solely and so I feel responsible for supplementing.

I'm looking for resources/products that I can pick up and use to teach phonics, writing, handwriting, phonemic segmentation, etc. One problem I'm having is that I can afford a kit for one grade level, but certainly not for three grade levels - and this is all coming out of my own pocket. We are being given almost no resources for the literacy component - which I feel is crucial.

I'm truly desperate for ideas and help from those who are experienced with these grade levels. Thank you!


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Old 07-07-2017, 05:05 AM
 
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Oh. My. Wow. You were not kidding when you said "unique situation."

The first thing that I would do is find the vertical alignment of my state standards. Check your state website. Pay close attention as to how they progress from K to 1, 1 to 2.

Have you any access to district supplies at all? Is there a surplus warehouse? If so request some leveled readers, fiction and nonfiction, and math manipulatives.

There is a writing strategy that I love called "Paragraph of the week." Look up the how, it is easy to come up with your own topic. I usually use what we are studying in science or social studies. It is a strategy that works across grade levels.

Are you familiar with Orton Gillingham? That is a wonderful process/ approach for the handwriting, phonics, phonemic awareness portion and it also stretches out across grade levels.

I would use the standards to prepare guided math leasons, just like usual. But you will obviously have a greater range to cover.

Math and reading instruction can still be practiced for fluency at math and reading stations.

I wish you great success!
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Old 07-07-2017, 06:05 AM
 
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The PP had great suggestions. My thought would be once they are leveled for reading and math utilize teaching in centers. PBL lends itself to naturally having the students work independently. So, you could pull 1-2 students (or 3-4) to work on specific skills during this time.

I can't say that I've had this situation before - this is truly unique However, I've taught K-3 before with very different levels and I've found that scheduling my class in a centers or workshop format (mini lesson whole group instruction then break into leveled work) helped me organize and address the various needs.

One last thing: although this seems to be an overwhelming task - be encouraged that you were chosen because they think highly of your teaching. You are the best person for this position. Best of luck! Please post again and let us know how this turned out
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Old 07-07-2017, 10:46 AM
 
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Great advice for PP. Wow, this is interesting. How many students will be in your class? Is your district providing any curricular materials or a curriculum map? Are there other schools that are trying the same thing in your district that you could brainstorm with?

The one good thing is that at least reading is one area that will be a good fit for a combo K-2 class. When it comes to guided reading, you'll group them by their reading skills anyway so it doesn't matter so much what grade level they are. I've always had 1st graders who are reading at a 2nd grade level or encountered 2nd graders reading on a Kindergarten level. If you do guided math, you could approach it in the same way.
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Old 07-07-2017, 07:53 PM
 
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I don't have any advice for teaching multiple grade levels at once. However, Teachers Pay Teachers is a great resource! They have a wide range of resources for varying grade levels and a wide range of costs (free/low cost/$$$).


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Old 07-08-2017, 10:35 AM
 
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thank you - I found vertical alignments and printed those out. I should have access to math manipulatives and possibly some leveled readers if I request them. My program is being housed in a 3-5 elementary school, so there aren't any other K-2 teachers or resources. I'm sure I could find something at the warehouse though.

I'll check out Orton Gillingham, thanks!
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Old 07-08-2017, 07:00 PM
 
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In many schools here, in rural Australia, student grades are combined. We have a national curriculum where we can see how students progress from one year level to the next. However, I teach in inner-city/inner suburban areas, and depending on the philosophy of the school, grades can be combined. Composite grades (e.g. Grade 3/4) are also common, dependent on numbers at each level.

So, my first advice would be similar to the previous posters. Check out your state standards and line up the 'similar' standards for the core areas - literacy and numeracy. How can you use peer modelling/peer teaching to assist everyone? Make sure you have the opportunities to share learning amongst the grade levels, for example have a set time each day where students read to each other, for example as part of Daily 5.

STEM activities are fairly straightforward - go with a theme such as 'simple machines' and provide students with the opportunity for lots of hands-on activities. Build content knowledge and vocab by writing your own guided reading (levelled) texts and provide the opportunity for parent input through classroom blogs, visiting and 'demonstration fairs'. PM me if you need some more ideas. Good luck!
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Orton-Gillingham
Old 07-14-2017, 03:25 AM
 
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This thread looks like it slowed down a few days ago, but I wanted to post something about OG. This is NOT a program you can just pick up on the fly. I just finished a weeklong, all-day OG seminar for classroom teachers, and following the OG progression--while very logical and beneficial--is very complicated. It would allow for individualization, of course, but then there's all the testing and 1:1 work that entails. Plus OG is a proprietory certification, so you can't bill yourself as an OG teacher without the training and supervised practicums; you'd get into trouble with the organizations that certify teachers/tutors. Think instead of multisensory instruction and how to work in visual, auditory and kinesthetic activities to convey concepts. There are lots of free resources out there that incorporate the multisensory approach without getting into the strict OG process.
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