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Combined (split) classes Downolad the brochure: How your school system works: Combined Classes (aften referred

to as split classes) (pdf) What is a combined class? A combined or split class refers to a class that is made up of students from two or more grades. Combined classes occur most frequently in elementary schools and are the combination of students in two different grades with one teacher teaching both curricula. or e!ample" a school might ha#e a grade $%grade & class combination or a grade '%grade ( class combination. At the secondary schools" combined classes may occur" for e!ample a )panish *%+, combination or a Ceramics +,%++%+$ combination. -t is important to know that students in combined classes are not held back to the le#el of the younger children nor are the children in the lower grade e!pected to do work beyond their abilities. .he prescribed learning outcomes are grade appropriate for all students" whether or not they are in a combined class. Why do Schools create combined classes? .here are se#eral reasons why schools create these classes. /hen school staff look to organi0e their students" that is to place the students in their classes with teachers" they ha#e to balance the educational needs of their students with the staffing they recei#e from Human 1esources as well as with legislated contractual considerations. A school calculates enrolment. .his is then #erified by the Human 1esources di#ision of the 2ancou#er 3oard of 4ducation. 3ased on this figure" teaching staff (both enrolling and nonenrolling) is allocated. .he 5rincipal" working with the )taff Committee of the school" then constructs classes based on these factors and the educational interests of each student. -n many instances" combined classes result. How do Schools decide which students to place in combined classes? -n an effort to ensure all students are placed in appropriately balanced classrooms" school staff (teachers" 5rincipals and 2ice65rincipals) use such criteria as age" range of ability" special learning needs" gender" social groupings" and support staff recommendation. Also" 7ust as they do when allocating students to non6combined classes" the 5rincipal and 2ice65rincipal work together with the classroom teachers to best match the learning styles and needs of the student. -n many schools parents are gi#en the opportunity in 8une to submit their preference for a learning situation for their child for the ne!t school year. All these factors are considered before allocating classes for students. Will the teacher teach the entire curriculum to both grades? .he )chool Act" which go#erns 3ritish Columbia schools" stipulates that all teachers" including teachers of split classes" must teach the prescribed curriculum. .herefore the teacher is obligated to teach the entire curriculum to both grades. .eaching strategies that address di#ersity" meet indi#idual needs" and satisfy 9inistry requirements with respect to content and processes of learning work well in both combined and single grade classrooms.

What are the challenges for teachers? .eachers need to be familiar with the curriculum for both grades and the #ariety of resources a#ailable in the school and in the district. .eachers of students in combined classes" like those in single6grade classes" employ their skills and strategies so that each student is challenged at the le#el at which he%she can succeed. or e!ample" a teacher might use a thematic approach to teach a unit. .his approach enables the teacher to address processes and skills requiring continuous de#elopment. .his requires a sophisticated approach to integrating knowledge and skills but it can be done in ways that do not repeat or :miss out; prescribed curriculum. I am concerned that my child will not do well in a combined class and will not be ready to move onto the next grade Detailed studies like 8ohn <oodlad=s in +*>( (.he non6graded 4lementary school) ha#e shown that on a#erage a fi#e year span of de#elopment is typically found in a single grade group and si! years in a combined class. Additionally" the results of a study published in +*** by Dr. 8oel <a7adharsingh (?ni#ersity of )askatchewan) found that" using standardi0ed tests" students did as well or better in combined classrooms in 9ath" @anguage" )cience and )ocial )tudies. He also found that students in combined classes performed better than students in single grade classrooms in the following areas: independence" responsibility" study habits and attitude towards school. .his is one of the compelling reasons that some schools such as Charles Dickens 4lementary ha#e gone to multi6age groupings. How can I support my child in a combined class? 5arents can support their children in the same ways they would if they were in a single grade class. )taying interested and concerned about school work and acti#ities" monitoring a child=s homework and keeping in touch with the teacher and attending the school whene#er possible are ways the parents can support the child=s learning. -f you ha#e concerns about your child=s learning" you should speak to the classroom teacher. A sur#ey of literature on combined classes" published in $,,+ and a#ailable on the internet (41-C -dentifier 4D AA>*&B) states: :Ad#antages for multi6age students ha#e been shown to increase the longer students remain in multi6age classrooms. )tudents in multi6age classrooms demonstrate more positi#e attitudes toward school" greater leadership skills" greater self6esteem" and increased pro6 social and fewer aggressi#e beha#iours" compared to peers in traditional graded classrooms. )tatistical analysis demonstrated that students from multi6age classrooms achie#ed greater academic outcomes in relation to their abilities and demonstrated greater increases in academic achie#ement than students of the same and higher abilities from singleage classrooms when all classrooms employed de#elopmentally appropriate teaching practices.; http:%%www.#sb.bc.ca%combined6split6classes /hen a classroom is combined of first and second graders should one be concered of the affects of different learning stages between the twoC

9y daughter was recently placed in a combined class of +st and $nd graders. According to the principal she was placed in the class randomly. 9y daughter is upset because she feels like she was held back a year" since most of the students in the class are first graders. .he school is stating that she is not being held back that the class will ha#e a first and second grade curriculum. After researching - ha#e learned that first and second graders learn differently. /ill this class ha#e a detrimental effect on my daughterC Duestion asked after reading: http:%%www.education.com%maga0ine%article%/riti... -n .opics: )chool and Academics E ', days ago )ubscribe F 1eport Abuse Answer )ort by: 9ost Helpful F 9ost 1ecent F @east 1ecent !nswers (")

pigtoria writes: 9y son started second grade last week. His school has a different situation than the one you described for your daughter but - hope it helps to answer your question. Gne of the second grade teachers was a first grade teacher last year. All last week" - see so many perple!ed and confused looks on the faces of children from this class. .he confused face is gone this week. .hey know that they are in second grade now and are learning Hsecond gradeH things. /ith budget cuts and increased of class si0e" combined class is ine#itable in e#ery school. All credential teachers ha#e training in teaching I6+$ classes. .hey ha#e taken a good amount of child de#elopment%education classes to know that children of all ages learn differently. .hey are also aware of the curriculum for the different grade le#els. Jour daughter will ha#e her own Hsecond gradeH lessons where the second grade curriculum is presented solely to second graders. .here will be grade appropriate homework assignments and tests to accompany the lessons. /hen - was taking child education classes a couple of years ago" -H#e heard some wonderful things about combined class. -n general" children ha#e benefited H both in education and de#elopment H from combined class. .he younger children ha#e their

older peers to e!plain class lessons to them if they didnHt understand it from the teacher. .he older children benefit a lot from e!plaining lessons to the younger children. .heyH#e learned the material last year and by ha#ing the opportunity to e!plain it to someone else" it refresh the memory of what theyH#e learned. Also" helping the younger children raises the self6esteem of the older children. -n all" children of both grades benefit. - know that your daughter will fine in a couple weeks when she begin learning second grade curriculum. Ha#e a wonderful school yearK http:%%www.education.com%question%classroom6combined6graders6concered6affects% High #xpectations$ %he Challenge of the &odern &ultigrade Classroom About one quarter of Gntario=s elementary school students are in split6grade classrooms. 9ultigrade classrooms are not new" but the debate about them is heating up. By Helen Dolik .eacher Ladia Ciacci is a whi0 with equations and beakers" but the one e!periment she can=t pull off for her combined6grade class is splitting herself in two. M- don=t e#en think a machine could be programmed to do this. Jou=d see blown circuits"M says Ciacci" who teaches gifted <rade B%' math and science students at Crosby Heights 5ublic )chool in 1ichmond Hill. .he combined6grade classroom is nothing new. -t=s been around since the rural" one6room schoolhouse with a lone teacher handling multiple grades. -t=s not combined grades per se that are the issue. .eachers will tell you they=#e had split grades for $, years with creati#e" successful results. )o what=s the problemC -n the fall of $,,," the 4lementary .eachers= ederation of Gntario (4. G) formed a task force to study emerging issues of combined grades in the pro#ince. .he task force produced a position paper entitled )plit Decisions N .he 1eality of Combined <rades in Gntario in $,,+. Ciacci" who is secretary6treasurer of the Jork region local of 4. G and a member of the task force" says the new curriculum with its hundreds of learning e!pectations is a primary foe of split grades. .eaching two grade le#els of e!pectations in the time designed for only one grade is mission impossible" she says. .he number of learning e!pectations can run o#er +",,, in a split6grade class. M/hat it comes down to is you=re teaching half6time to one group" half6time to the other group"M Ciacci says. M.hat=s me doing a full6time 7ob.

3ut what are the kids gettingC Half6time teaching.M &I'IS%() (#S*+'S# .he 9inistry of 4ducation says it=s committed to the curriculum that was introduced in the pro#ince=s classrooms in +**(" but it hasn=t turned a deaf ear to the teachers= cries for help. -t has responded with workshops" training" booklets and sample units designed to assist teachers with split grades. M.he go#ernment is happy with the fact that (the curriculum) is #ery rigorous" it=s #ery ad#anced and there are higher standards"M says .anya Cholako#" a 9inistry of 4ducation spokesperson. M.he ministry is #ery confident in the teachers ... Combined grades are a reality of the pro#ince. .he go#ernment does want to support the teachers in e#ery way possible because the ultimate goal is the success of the student.M .he Gntario go#ernment considers the new curriculum the centrepiece of the pro#ince=s education reform. .he new curriculum" pro#ince6wide testing" standardi0ed report cards and new teaching standards were ushered in to ensure Gntario students get a high6quality education and to increase accountability to parents. .he go#ernment organi0ed the Curriculum -mplementation 5artner6ship composed of ministry staff and education partners to support curriculum implementation" Cholako# says. -t meets four times a year. .he ministry" in consultation with the partnership" crafted an action plan to support teachers of combined grades. .he action plan" appro#ed in 9ay $,,," can be #iewed on the 9inistry of 4ducation web site www.edu.go#.on.ca O 4lementary and )econdary O Curriculum ?pdate O ?pdate" December $,,,. Cholako# says the ministry responded with a number of summer workshops" training in the spring for teaching combined grades" and a booklet of practices and strategies for classroom management" lesson planning" assessment and reporting. .he ministry also designed sample units for teachers of combined grades and it is working on a public web site that includes curriculum assistance for combined grades" she says. .he sample units are a#ailable on CDs or teachers can access them using the electronic Gntario Curriculum ?nit 5lanner" a ministry software tool that was distributed to schools. S!&*,# -'I%S Lick )carfo" a field co6ordinator in the 9aster of .eaching 5rogram at the Gntario -nstitute for )tudies in 4ducation of the ?ni#ersity of .oronto (G-)4%?.)" is an e!pert on these sample units. He was an education officer at the 9inistry of 4ducation in the Curriculum and Assessment 5olicy 3ranch. )carfo co6ordinated the 4lementary Curriculum ?nit 5ro7ect" which de#eloped the classroom6ready materials for teachers in single and combined6grade classrooms. .he Council of Gntario Directors of 4ducation (CGD4)" public and Catholic school boards" and the -nstitute for Catholic 4ducation (-C4) are partners in the pro7ect.

/riting teams of teachers de#eloped sample units of study for single and combined grades in mathematics" science and technology" social studies" history and geography. .here are >+ sample units for <rades + to >. our copies of the CD were sent to e#ery school in Gntario. M.he response we=#e been recei#ing is #ery positi#e. .he materials are #ery effecti#e and #ery practical for classroom use"M )carfo says. .eachers can take a unit and use it e!actly as is or they can customi0e it to meet the needs of students in their classroom" he says. .he ministry produced $B",,, CDs and began distributing them in late Lo#ember $,,+. .hat=s phase one. 5hase two is underway with sample units for the arts" language" health and physical education. M/e=re hoping by the end of the school year we=ll ha#e another set of units"M )carfo says. M.hat=s our target date. -=m #ery pleased with the pro7ect. Here=s something you can actually use.M %H#) .+'/% &I0 3ut the lead author of the elementary curriculum for science and technology unequi#ocally states that the curriculum and combined grades don=t work. .here=s no question the two don=t mi!" says <raham Grpwood" a professor of education at Jork ?ni#ersity. M-t=s a funding problem" not a curriculum problem"M he says. M.he question should not be asked Phow do you teach this curriculum in combined gradesC= .he answer to that is it doesn=t work. .he question should be Phow do you eliminate split grades in order that the curriculum can be taught properlyC=M He suggests ad7usting the funding formula to eliminate split grades instead of downloading the problem onto teachers and the curriculum. M.his is not a teachers= problem" it=s a go#ernment problem"M Grpwood says. Cholako# counters that the funding formula has been designed to gi#e greater equity to the pro#ince and to make sure school boards ha#e the money to accommodate their students= needs. .he Gntario go#ernment=s funding formula takes into account a ratio of one teacher for e#ery $A.B elementary students and one teacher per $+ secondary students" among other factors. .he go#ernment=s education reforms were supposed to limit classroom si0es in elementary and secondary school. 3ut a sur#ey by the Gntario 4nglish Catholic .eachers Association (G4C.A) of more than +",,, Catholic schools in the pro#ince found ', per cent of elementary students are in classes larger than $B and 'B per cent of high school students are in classes bigger than $$. .he +*** sur#ey also showed that" on a#erage" combined grades are generally larger than single6grade classes. 1ural Gntario schools ha#e a greater number of split grades" the

sur#ey found.

*ublicly 1unded #lementary Schools #nrolment in Combined 2rades in 34445"666 and "6665"663 Combined 2rade 34445"666 "6665"663

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AB"+>B A>"*'( *A"+B$ AB"&&A I and <r. + I +"+*, <r. + and <r. $ <r. + <r. + +"+A' <r. $ $"&&' I +"+>* <r. +

B,"BA' *B">>, <r. + **' <r. $ $+"+*$ A$" ,*, <r. & +'"*A$ &$"'(A <r. A +B"*>' &+"((, <r. B +*">>A A,"$*( <r. ' $+"*,, A&",A$ <r. > '"*+( <r. > $,"&A& &*",>( +A"A>+ $"+>B

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+>" ''& +*"$+& &(">(' +B"(&$ <r. & and <r. A <r. & <r. A <r. &

+>"++& &B"*&B +B"(>A +B"(>A <r. A and <r. B <r. A <r. B <r. A

$$"'BA $+"*,* AA"B'& $,"A+& <r. B and <r. ' <r. B <r. ' <r. B

$$">&( $&"&B& A'"+*, $+"+A$ <r. ' and <r. ( <r. ' *"AB, <r. ( and <r. > <r. ( <r. ( >"A$B <r. > <r. ( +(">(B ("B'A <r. (

+*"+$, $+"A$A A,"BAA +>"(AA )ource: )chool )eptember 1eport for selected years

Date e!clude hospital%pro#incial schools" core Q treatment facilities Date for $,,,6$,,+ are preliminary %+* *(I+(I%) .he combined6grades issue is one of the top6priority items for teachers and classroom health" says 3rian 9c<owan" program facilitator with G4C.A=s professional de#elopment department. G4C.A produced a combined6grades discussion paper" which has a print distribution in the thousands and appears on its web site. G4C.A is calling for a curricu6 lum ad7ustment and an immediate study of the effects of split grades on students. Gne of the problems is that the new curriculum doesn=t differentiate between core and secondary learning e!pectations" 9c<owan says. .he type of professional discretion that e!isted in the past doesn=t e!ist with the current curriculum philosophy. or e!ample" there are +&+ learning e!pectations in a <rade ( science and technology class. MCertainly there has to be a hierarchy of importance among those +&+ e!pectations"M 9c<owan says. .eachers and students must address +"$,A e!pectations in a <rade (%> split N ',+ for <rade ( and ',& for <rade >. MAll you ha#e to do is the math"M 9c<owan says. M-f you ha#e twice as many e!pectations and the same amount of time" you can only spend half as much time achie#ing those e!pectations.M G4C.A=s discussion paper on combined grades addresses the focus on accountability and new forms of assessment" which put added pressures on students and teachers. .he 4ducation Duality and Accountability Gffice (4DAG) conducts pro#incial testing and Gntario students are in#ol#ed in national and international tests. A three6page typed report card has replaced the simple handwritten one. .eachers produce indi#idual education plans forstudents who need them. .hings can really get complicated in a combined class with pro#incial testing and a cross6 di#isional split. -n a <rade '%( split" the <rade 's take the pro#incial test but not the <rade (s. 1eport cards require letter grades for the <rade ' students but percentage grades for the <rade ( students. )ocial studies is taught in the lower grade while the <rade (s learn history and geography. &+(# 1,#0I7I,I%) '##.#. Donna @aca#era" author of G4C.A=s combined6grades paper" says teachers require more fle!ibility in the deli#ery of the curriculum and teachers of split grades need twice the preparation time to account for double the workload. .he current curriculum is an impro#ement o#er its predecessor" but an une!pected consequence is the difficulties it created for combined grades" she says. MJes" these teachers ha#e a daunting challenge and in many cases they=re rising to it"M says @aca#era" an e!ecuti#e assistant in the professional de#elopment department at G4C.A. M.hey=re doing their best to ensure that students are not disad#antaged in this

setting.M .he report concludes that Gntario is merging two opposing educational systems N graded and multiage. -n a graded system" kids are grouped by age and grade to address the same curriculum. -n a multiage system" the curriculum is adapted to the children and students ad#ance at their own pace. 9c<owan recommends a curriculum re#iew. M-t=s a huge task but it=s o#erdue"M he says. .he 9inistry of 4ducation has no plans to tinker with the curriculum. M- don=t belie#e we=re going to be changing the e!pectations that ha#e been laid out"M Cholako# says. M3ut what we are willing to do is completely support teachers in implementation.M rench6language schools in the pro#ince face similar combined6grade challenges. MJou almost ha#e to wear that .6shirt with a big R)= on your chest to be able to meet all the e!pectations"M says 1obert 9illaire" e!ecuti#e assistant at the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco6ontariens (A4 G). .eachers are looking for materials" resources and more preparation time for combined grades" he says.

Split 2rades !re Widespread )plit grades are a fact of education life in Gntario. About one in four elementary students study in a combined6grade classroom in the pro#ince. .he number dips to less than one in +, for secondary students. According to the 9inistry of 4ducation" &A+"B,' elementary students" or $&.> per cent" were in split grades in $,,,6$,,+. .hat=s a reduction from &'A"+&B students" or $B.B per cent" in +***6$,,,. Gnly >.A per cent of secondary school classes were multi6le#el" according to a +*** Gntario 4nglish Catholic .eachers Association sur#ey of class si0e. Combined grades are also pre#alent in the pro#ince=s rench6language schools. .he numbers #ary from $B per cent of elementary classes to up to &B per cent at the secondary le#el" says 1obert 9illaire" e!ecuti#e assistant at the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco6ontariens (A4 G). Combined grades are widespread around the world" from Lorth America to China. )ingle6grade classrooms sprung from the -ndustrial 1e#olution and urbani0ation in the +*th century. <rouping students by single grade was based on the production line N more kids could be educated for less money. -n Canada" research indicates that one child out of fi#e is in a multigrade

classroom. .hat data is +, years old. @aurentian ?ni#ersity=s Diane @ataille6DSmorS and AngTle radette conducted a pro#incial pro7ect on multigrade classes. .he December $,,, report looks at combined classes around the world. )ome of their findings are that about B, per cent of all teachers start their career in multigrade classes in <reat 3ritain. 9ultigrade classes are found in the ?nited )tates" rance" 5akistan" 5eru and Uambia. -n the Letherlands" B& per cent of elementary school teachers teach multigrade classes. -n rural areas of Lew Uealand" Australia and 5ortugal" multigrade classes keep #illage schools open. 9any Asian" African and )outh American countries see multigrade classes Mas a way of pro#iding quality educational ser#ices at a lower cost.M Gne teacher instructs all si! grades in $$ per cent of elementary schools in 9e!ico. M/hen education systems are well6funded" multigrade classes decrease"M @ataille6DSmorS and radette wrote. MCon#ersely" when education systems e!perience se#ere cutbacks in funding" as has been the case almost e#erywhere for the past decade or two" multigrade classes grow e!ponentially.M !8+I.I'2 &-,%I!2# .IS!S%#(S .he teachers= concerns are echoed by the Association for )uper#ision and Curriculum De#elopment Handbook (A)CD)" in which the issue ranks Lo. $ in the chapter A#oiding the .op .en 9ultiage Disasters. Disaster Lo. $ warns of combining children from different grades in the same room" but still using grade6le#el materials" assessments and reports cards. MA multiage program is based on the concept of children making continuous progress based on their learning rate and pace"M authors 8im <rant and 3ob 8ohnson wrote. MAnd" where appropriate" a multiage program enables children to take an e!tra year to learn without a formal change in their status. M-n contrast" grade6le#el designations break children=s progress into distinct segments that require formal decisions each year about each child=s promotion" retention" social promotion or grade skipping. M)ometimes the distance between two positions is so great that there is no way to build an effecti#e bridge between them. /e belie#e this is the case with multiage classes and grade6le#el designations. .he organi0ational and instructional differences are simply too e!tensi#e and profound.M .he authors further state that the multiage approach should refrain from using grade6 specific te!tbooks and standardi0ed achie#ement tests. .he current Gntario curriculum was written in isolation and has few common themes with other sub7ects in the same grade or across grade le#els" the 4. G )plit Decisions report says. .eachers depend on common themes to integrate #arious sub7ects and are now teaching

parallel classes in the same room for a significant part of the day" it says. .hat eats up time. )tudent6teacher interaction is dramatically reduced" it says. 5enny @ebo" ++" can attest to that. )he=s currently a <rade ( student in a straight6grade class at 3owmore 5ublic )chool in .oronto. 3ut last year she was one of +, <rade 's in a split grade that included $& <rade B students at Lorway 5ublic )chool. )he=ll take the straight grade any day. )he says the split grades are noisier" e#erybody is doing different things and the teacher focuses on one grade" usually the younger grade. M.hey try to make it equal for both classes"M @ebo says. MJou=re doing some of the <rade B work and some of the <rade ' work. Jou only learn part of what you=re supposed to learn. or the older grade" you=#e already learned that.M )he belie#es if her class had been a straight <rade ' class" they would ha#e learned more and performed better on the 4DAG pro#incial testing. *!(#'%S H#!( C+'C#('S 5arents are tuning in to split6grade concerns. <reg 1eid" chair of the Gntario 5arent Council" says the combined6grade issue will be raised at a future meeting for study and research. M/e=re starting to hear the concerns"M he says. M/e=re hearing it from both sides N teachers and parents. 1eid says the council needs more information and may in#ite go#ernment officials or teachers= groups to shed some light on the sub7ect. He says one of his sons is in a <rade (%> split grade and Mhe=s en7oying it. He=s ha#ing no problem whatsoe#er.M )ue 1obertson" #ice6president of the Gntario ederation of Home and )chool Associations" says while parents prefer their children to be in a one6grade class when possible" they accept split grades as a fact of school life. M.hey know it=s a numbers game"M she says. )he suggests a split6grade course as one of the se#en core sub7ects of the new professional learning program for teachers. Annie Iidder" a founder of 5eople or 4ducation" says it=s hard to find a consensus on split grades. M5eople ha#e #ery strong feelings pro and con"M she says. M-f you=re asking as a parent" some people lo#e them and some people hate them. - don=t like them that much but other people think they=re really fabulous. M-t certainly hasn=t been something that we=#e seen any kind of a groundswell of concern about. - wouldn=t say it=s right up there with your school closing or not ha#ing enough books.M S+&# SCH++,S '##. C+&7I'#. 2(!.#S 9artha oster" president of the Gntario 5rincipals= Council" says they=#e heard nothing

about combined6grade issues at the pro#incial le#el. )he says there are concerns when a teacher=s time is split between two grade le#els but some schools are so small that a number of them need combined grades. M.hey need that to sur#i#e"M oster says. M-f that weren=t to happen" then the schools would close and the students would be out of their community for schooling. M.he other issue is sometimes it=s not 7ust small schools. )ometimes it=s a bigger school that ends up with a funny split of students left o#er.M A split class shouldn=t be bigger" if anything" it should be a little smaller because of the split nature of the class" she says. )he supports assigning e!perienced teachers to split grades when possible. M.he reason that would be ad#antageous is that for the first6year teacher e#ery preparation is a new preparation N they=#e ne#er done it before"M oster says. M)o if a brand6new teacher had a combined grade" then he or she is doing e#erything brand new. 4#en with two or three years e!perience" then some of their preparations are ready.M oster also fa#ours keeping <rades & and ' out of split6grade classes when a school can. M-f you do need to do it (combined grade)" then there needs to be an alternati#e plan so that at times your &s and 's are isolated"M she says. S+,8I'2 %H# *(+7,#& About one quarter of elementary school students in the pro#ince are in split classes. )o what can be done to make them more palatableC 4. G" in its Split Decisions report" de#oted three pages to changes the ministry" the school board and federations can make to sol#e combined6grade problems: 4. G says the 9inistry of 4ducation must:

pro#ide teachers with greater fle!ibility in the curriculum by identifying core and less6important learning e!pectations support research studies" re#iew the funding formula and the report card.

.he report suggests schoolboards should:

a#oid <rade & and ' in split grades and a#oid crossing 5rimary% 8unior%-ntermediate di#isions assign the most e!perienced teacher to combined grades and select mature" independent learners for the classes a#oid placing the same student in split grades for consecuti#e years pro#ide more preparation time and smaller classes to split6grade teachers.

Split Decisions recommends federations and stakeholders:

de#elop lesson plans and other curriculum resources for teachers and students in combined grades work with faculties of education so candidate teachers get more com6bined6grade classroom e!perience.

%H# .IC9#'S W!) /hile Gntario grapples with the combined6grades issue" an inner6city school in 2ancou#er that embraced the multiage classroom is attracting busloads of educators. Jou won=t find one single6grade class at Charles Dickens 4lementary )chool. -n +*>*" Dickens adopted school6wide" multiage classes. )i! hundred students from Iinder6garten to <rade ( study at Dickens and $' languages can be heard mingling in the hallways of this unique school. M-t=s really child6centred"M Dickens principal 8ohn 5erpich says. M-t acknowledges kids and where they are at. Jou=re not trying to put a round peg in a square hole.M )tudents stay with the same teacher for two or three years. -t=s like a family and the teacher really gets to know the students" he says. .he 2ancou#er )chool 3oard" educators" parents" staff and students support this program. Dickens follows the 3.C. go#ernment=s curriculum" which is more fle!ible than Gntario=s. Dickens pro#ides an alternati#e program within 2ancou#er schools. -t features:

school6wide multiage classes (I%l%$" $%&%A" &%A" &%A%B" A%B" and B%'%() with a focus on continuous student progress and long6term stable student%teacher parent relationships for two to three years team teaching between pairs of classroom teachers learning acti#ities based on open6ended" integrated" thematic" co6operati#e approaches using #aried resources.

S*,I%52(!.# S%-.I#S .he split6grades debate has sparked numerous books and studies. A southern California study found the ma7ority of teachers had negati#e #iews about combined classes and preferred not to teach them. De/ayne A. 9ason and 1obert 3. 3urns sur#eyed teachers of combination classes for a +**B article in the 8ournal of 4ducational 1esearch. 9any teachers remarked that they could be beneficial under the right circumstances" such as appropriate student placement and a small class si0e. Ad#antages mentioned by teachers in the study were that lower6grade stidents are e!posed to ad#anced material and upper6 grade students benefit from reinforcement. i#e of the &B teachers inter#iewed preferred combined classes" but they were e!perienced

teachers with fa#ourable classroom conditions" such as a smaller class" gifted students or considerable leeway in designing an integrated curriculum. Closer to home" Catherine 3rowne" an elementary school teacher at Ieatsway 5ublic )chool in the /aterloo 1egion District )chool 3oard" considers multigrade classrooms a key topic in education circles in Gntario. -t was the sub7ect of her 94d degree pro7ect. 3rowne inter#iewed nine multigrade elementary school teachers in the /aterloo region for her pro7ect. )he found teachers #iewed independent and well6beha#ed students as the best candidates for multigrade classrooms. Jounger students gained by acquiring more academic knowledge and an increase in confidence as the school year progressed" her findings showed. )tudents in the older grade le#el felt important because the younger students #iewed them as the leaders. MGn the other hand" students in the older grade le#el were #iewed by their peers in the single6grade class as being less smart and socially immature"M 3rowne said. All nine teachers said they preferred to teach a single6grade classroom" though one6third elaborated to say split grades weren=t necessarily bad. ostering peer co6operation emerged as a key teaching strategy in multigrade classrooms" she found. M)tudents were encouraged to ask two other peers before asking an adult"M she said. @o#e them or hate them" people generally agree split grades are here to stay. .he new curriculum has une!pectedly thrown a wrench into today=s combined6grade classroom as teachers 7uggle time and the ministry of education attempts to support educators with #arious workshops and resources. .he test will be in making split grades more palatable for all. ETFOs paper, )plit Decisions, can be viewed at www.etfo.on.ca%inde!.html. OECTAs discussion paper on co bined !rades can be "ound at www.oecta.on.ca%pdfs%combinedgrds.pdf# T$e inistrys action plan on curriculu i ple entation "or support "or teac$ers in co bined !rades can be viewed on t$e %inistry o" Education web site www.edu.go#.on.ca & Ele entary and Secondary & Curriculu 'pdate & 'pdate, Dece ber ()))# http:%%professionallyspeaking.oct.ca%marchV$,,$%highVe!pectations.asp What (esearch and (esources !re !vailable for %eachers of &ultigrade or Combination Classrooms? A frequent question posed to the 1eference Desk is :/hat is the impact of multigrade or multiage classrooms on student achie#ement and what strategies should be used in such classrooms;C Although the terms :multigrade; and :multiage; are often used interchangeably" there is a distinction: Combination or multigrade classes preser#e grade6le#el curriculum and ob7ecti#es in the combined classroom" whereas multiage classes integrate instruction and curriculum across the grades. /hile research generally has not found a significant difference in student achie#ement between multigrade and single6grade classes" researchers stress

that sustained and coordinated teacher preparation is key for effecti#e instruction in multigrade classes (9ason Q 3urns" +**(W 9ulryan6Iyne" $,,(W 2eenman" +**(). .hey recommend that schools pro#ide teachers of multigrade classes with coordinated support" professional de#elopment" and time to de#elop and integrate curriculum for multigrade classrooms. 2eenman cautions that :the decision to create combination classes or not should depend on more than research results alone. )uch factors as the si0e of the school" the distribution of students across grade le#els" class si0e per teacher" workload" teacher commitment and e!perience" support pro#ided for teachers" and the concerns and wishes of parents may all play a role; (p. $(A). urthermore" <uskey and @indle (+**() note in their re#iew :it is not how you group students for instruction" but what you do within those groups that is important to learning; (p. +,). .o help teachers and administrators find research6based information on effecti#e instruction in multigrade classrooms" we offer a sampling of publicly a#ailable resources" as well as a list of the most pertinent research in peer6re#iewed 7ournals. or full te!t copies of articles and additional research contact the Ask A 14@ 1eference Desk. !chievement of Students in &ultigrade Classrooms$ #vidence from the ,os !ngeles -nified School .istrict (Wor:ing *aper 'o W(5;<=5I#S) X5D Y %ariano, *#T#, + ,irby, S#-# .())/0# 1A-D Education# .his $,,* 1ALD working paper has not been peer re#iewed or formally edited" but does pro#ide a useful short summary of the research and conclusions from its own study of multigrade classes in @os Angeles. )mall negati#e effects were found for student in these classes. Howe#er" none was large enough to be considered statistically significant e!cept in Ath6grade mathematics. %he !dvantages and .isadvantages of &ultiage Classrooms in the #ra of 'C,7 !ccountability X5D Y Son!, 1#, Spradlin, T#E#, + 2lucker, 3#A# .())/0# Education 2olicy Brie", 4.50, 564# 7ndiana 'niversity, Sc$ool o" Education, Center "or Evaluation + Education 2olicy# .his brief pro#ides an informal re#iew of research on multiage classrooms and profiles models of multiage grouping in Ientucky" 9ichigan" and international schools.)ong" 1." )pradlin" ..4." Q 5lucker" 8.A. ($,,*). 4ducation 5olicy 3rief" ((+)" +Z(. -ndiana ?ni#ersity" )chool of 4ducation" Center for 4#aluation Q 4ducation 5olicy. Combined 2rade Classrooms ((esearch &onograph 'o 4) X5D Y *ataille8D9 or9, D# .())40# Ontario %inistry o" Education, *iteracy and -u eracy Secretariat .his $,,( research summary is part of series written by educational scholars at Gntario" Canada" uni#ersities. .he monograph defines combination classrooms as those that include children from two or more consecuti#e grades with one teacher and generally ha#e specific ob7ecti#es for each grade le#el. Combined 2rades$ Strategies to (each a (ange of ,earners in 9indergarten to 2rade ; X5D Y Ontario %inistry o" Education, *iteracy and -u eracy Secretariat# .())40# Although it discusses Gntario (Canada) curriculum" this $,,( manual may still be useful to teachers in the ?nited )tates looking for strategies for combined grade classrooms that meet indi#idual" grade6specific e!pectations. .he guide also offers recommendations on how principals can support teachers of combined grades and how to answer parents= questions.

%he &ultigrade Classroom$ ! (esource Handboo: for Small> (ural Schools :incent, S# .Ed#0# .5///0# -ort$west 1e!ional Educational *aboratory .now Education -ort$west0# .his se#en6book series was produced in +*** by the 1ural 4ducation 5rogram of the Lorthwest 1egional 4ducational @aboratory to address multigrade teacher training in rural schools. .he books pro#ide an o#er#iew of the research" identify key issues teachers face in a multigrade setting" and offer resources for multigrade teachers. +ther (eferences (a#ailable on request) <uskey" ..1." Q @indle" 8.C. (+**(). 1esearc$ on ulti8a!e; ulti8!rade classes< 1eport to t$e Teac$in! and *earnin! 7ssues =roup# 1etrie#ed from 41-C database. (4DA$,*+B) 9ason" D.A." Q 3urns" 1.3. (+**(). 1eassessing the effects of combination classes. Educational 1esearc$ and Evaluation, >(+)" +ZB&. 9ulryan6Iyne" C. ($,,(). .he preparation of teachers for multigrade teaching. Teac$in! and Teac$er Education, (>(A)" B,+ZB+A. 2eenman" ). (+**(). Combination classes re#isited. Educational 1esearc$ and Evaluation, >(&)" $'$Z$('. .he 1egional 4ducational @aboratory (14@) 1eference Desk is a ser#ice pro#ided by a collaborati#e of the 14@ program" funded by the ?.). Department of 4ducation=s -nstitute of 4ducation )ciences (-4)). .his response was prepared under a contract with -4)" Contract 4D6,'6CG6,,+'" by 14@ Lorthwest administered by 4ducation Lorthwest. .he content of the response does not necessarily reflect the #iews or policies of -4) or the ?.). Department of 4ducation nor does mention of trade names" commercial products" or organi0ations imply endorsement by the ?.). <o#ernment or 14@ Lorthwest. http:%%educationnorthwest.org%resource%+(,$ http:%%www.google.com%urlC sa[tQrct[7Qq[Qesrc[sQsource[webQcd['Qcad[r7aQ#ed[,C4,D 7A Qurl[http\&A\$ \$ www.dpi.state.nd.us\$ title+\$ resource \$ research.pdfQei[kdfh?u0eG-ryiAfA*JDADwQusg[A D7CLH*?7?#.fpyi32GAqHpIf52 mI,6AAQsig$[<+fJ1/mGD.iH4*C-tVl*&DQb#m[b#.B**&,+,&"d.bmk &ulti5!ge %eaching &ulti5!ge> Split> Combination (Whatever )ou Call It) %eaching )o you]#e 7ust found out you ha#e been assigned to teach a combination classroom. - can imagine you are slightly panicked" wondering how you are e#er going to do this. How can do two grades (or more) at once and meet all the needs of the kidsC How can - teach two curriculums at the same time... a lot of what ifs and howsKCK @et me assure you... JG? CAL DG -.K 9ulti6age teaching is not to be seen as a burden but taken on as a challenge. A challenge that you can succeed in and come to lo#e. -]#e always

belie#ed in the philosophy that if - ha#e to do something that - am not familiar with" -]m going to take it on as a challenge" go full force" and make it workK

9y 3ackground 9y career as a multi6age" split" combination classroom teacher started with my #ery first assignment... student teaching. - student taught in a +%$ multi6age classroom. .his classroom had A$ kids in a co6teaching e!perience. .wo teachers" an aide" and myself" were all in#ol#ed. .hat e!perience landed me my first 7ob in a +%$ split classroom. rom there - ha#e gone on to teach in split classrooms for se#en yearsK +%$" $%& and &%A combinations. )o far only three years of my career ha#e been in a single grade classroom. 3elie#e me" my first year in my own +%$ classroom was not easy" not because - had two classrooms but because it was my first year teaching. - did not ha#e anyone to guide me through how to deal with two grade le#els. /hen - found out - was going to do another +%$ split at another school in my district" - thought - ha#e to make this better. - ha#e to find a way that this is going to work for both me and my students. And that is what - did. - set out to perfect how - can be a successful multi6age teacher. G#er the ne!t four years - continued to ha#e splits and - lo#ed each year. How - 9ake it /ork .he reality is" a split classroom is no different than a straight grade. Jou are going to ha#e students of all different le#els regardless of two grades or not. .he age old fall back is to put high%independent workers into a multi6age classroom. or a few years - did ha#e these kids. 9y last se#eral years - actually requested students of all background and abilities. )eeing that - run my classroom no different than a straight grade" high%independent kids were not necessary. 9y last two years in a &%A split - had students reading le#els ranging from +st to 'th grade. had an >, point spread on my 9A5 scores. Howe#er" when - look at the three years - was Ath grade" - had 7ust about the same amount of spread of abilities. - think when you take on split teaching" you need to step back and not look at your students being in two grade le#els but rather the range in indi#idual abilities. 1egardless of teaching situation you most likely are going to ha#e a wide range" that is 7ust the reality of today]s teaching. - was lucky that we had curriculum requirements but was free to structure my classroom the way it would work for me. - highly suggest you sit down with your administrator to figure out what is e!pected of you. /hat sub7ects can you combine" what is separateC .he more you can combine" the better. 1eading%/riting%/ord )tudy

- follow a 3alanced @iteracy format. 9y reading and writing mini6lessons are done whole group. Jour indi#iduali0ation%grade le#el standards will be met during writing conferences and guided reading time. - also used the Daily B format. - found that the structure of Daily B helped with gi#ing me the time to indi#idual conference and meet with groups. 4#en with my <uided 1eading" students were in heterogeneous groups. - had both grade mi!ed into reading groups based off their Q5 reading le#el. 9ath 9ath was the tough one. 9y first year teaching - nearly went insane 7umping back and forth between the two grades. Coming back my second year - #owed not to make myself insane again. .his is how - de#eloped the <uided 9ath format. - found that meeting in small groups for math allowed me to meet the curriculum requirements of two grades but also kept me sane. 4#en when - mo#ed to a straight grade" - still kept the <uided 9ath format. .o learn more on how to handle math in a multi6age classroom check out my posts on

How .o )tart...

)tations and )cheduling...

9ath and 9ulti6Age

)ocial )tudies%)cience

- think the hardest two sub7ects to figure out are social studies and science. .he first se#eral years of split teaching these two curriculums were the same. - was lucky enough that - was able to send one grade le#el to the other straight grade classrooms for science. .hat took one curriculum set off my hands.

4#entually" thanks to the district" was able to teach science whole group. )plit classes had separate science units that could be taught whole class.

/hate#er your split is... - wish you luck and assure you that you can make it a successful e!perience for both you and your students. 1emember that small group%indi#idual conferencing is the key to making this successful (as it would be in a straight classroom). .alk with your teammates and administrator to see how they can support you. Gne last thing... remember to keep a positi#e" - can do this attitudeK http:%%www.guided6math.com%p%multi6age6teaching.html %ips for %eaching Combined Class?&ulti52rade Classes What/s Here -f you=re teaching a split class (multi6grade or combined class) and need ad#ice on classroom management and organi0ation" you=#e come to the right placeK Jou=ll find practical tips from teachers who ha#e taught in multi6le#el classrooms and combined classes at all different grade le#els. %ips and %ric:s 1rom %eachers in Combined Class Schools

7ve invited teac$er8blo!!er %ary %ueller o" =uided8%at$ to s$are ore about $er e?perience wit$ teac$in! split classroo s# T$ank you, %ary, "or t$e $elpin! tips@ Did you 7ust find out you are teaching a split%combination%multi6age classroomC Are you in a bit of a panic mode trying to figure out how on earth you are going to handle two (sometimes more) grade le#els at onceC .en years ago" my teaching career began in a split classroom in a #ery large school district in -llinois. irst of all" - can=t belie#e that - 7ust wrote ten yearsK )econdly" now that - am counting" - can=t belie#e that se#en of those years ha#e been in combination classroomsK All of those questions and panic moments went through my head with the news of my first assignment. 3ack then" - ne#er knew that first year" in a +%$ split" would set me on a path of more split classrooms and would help positi#ely shape who - am as a teacher today. -n the beginning" - saw combination teaching as a welcome challenge. .his was a challenge that - was not going fail at. - was always looking at what - did and figuring out how - could make the structure better for both my students and -.

.hroughout my years in +%$" $%&" &%A splits and three years in Ath grade" - reali0ed that split teaching is really no different than a straight classroom. - found that - did not change how taught or how - structured my day in a split classroom than - did for my straight grade. Here are some things to think about when planning your combination classroom. 3 %al: to your administrator to find out what is re@uired of you Do you ha#e to teach two separate curriculumsC /hat sub7ects can you combineC How can your teammates support youC " %hin: of your class as a range of abilities rather than two different grade levels .he reality is a straight grade can ha#e 7ust a big of an ability spread as a combination classroom. A I recommend a balanced literacy format .each reading and writing lessons as a whole group" and then break up into small groups for guided reading or indi#idual conferences. .his is where you will meet the needs of your students. B %ypically you will have to teach two separate math curriculums - highly suggest you look at the <uided 9ath format. .his will sol#e how to teach two math curriculums and gi#es you a chance to indi#iduali0e math instruction. = 7e prepared before the school year begins with information for parents /hen those class lists go up" you are bound to ha#e questions from parents. 3eing prepared to show them how you are going to effecti#ely handle two grades will ease their fears. Create a brochure or newsletter with your teaching schedule" what curriculum you are going to co#er" and details how you are going to meet the needs of your students. ; Stay positiveCC <et in the mindset that this is going to be a great e!perience" not 7ust for the students but you as wellK <ood luck with your combination classroom teaching assignmentK - know that you can and will succeedK or more information and to read more about how - structure my math or multi6 age classroom check out my website" <uided69ath. Duestions !bout Split Classes and &ulti52rade Classes .he following questions were submitted to me as part of the Ask Angela Anything blog post series. Jou can submit any teaching6related question anonymously to maintain your pri#acy and student confidentiality. -=m including the two questions below here on this page instead of in the column to make it easier for teachers of combined classes to find answers all in one place. I am teaching a 2nd/3rd grade split. Ive heard to call one level the juniors and the other level the seniors. My gut tells me not to start day one saying my 2nds or my 3rds but is it inevitable? Whats the best way to manage the classroom to create a team yet honor their grade levels? I dont want any o my third graders to eel li!e they are still in second. "#ane Hi" 8aneK .here will be times when you need to refer to them by grade le#els" and at those times" personally" - would call them second graders and third graders. 3ut you can also let each grade le#el choose a name for themsel#es that reflects their unique identity as a class

within a class. -t can be part of your first week of school acti#ities" kind of like some teachers do with reading groups. - think that would be a nice way to build a sense of community and gi#e kids ownership o#er the classroom. .hey could also create a class name so they ha#e one cohesi#e identity" too. or e!ample" your whole class could be the whales" and your second graders could be the orcas and the third graders could be the belugas. .ell the kids about your dilemma on what to call them" and ask for their inputK - bet they=ll come up with something way better than either of us could think of. I have applied for a Eob in a combined B?= classroom and I have a good chance that I will get an interview I don/t have any experience in multi5level rooms> I don/t even :now what :inds of @uestions to as:> and> although I can see how the Cornerstone boo: could be a help with this type of classroom> is there anything that your boo: does not mention to help me organiFe for this type of room? 5G - would imagine that the Ath and Bth graders would work together on many assignmentsW you=d be able to differentiate your instruction and acti#ities by ability le#el and not 7ust grade le#el. .his would probably be the way the principal would like it" 7udging by what - see in recent educational trends. -f you would teach that way" then it would probably be helpfulZin preparation for the inter#iewZto come up with a few specific e!amples of how you would do this. -n terms of organi0ing" you may need to keep some things separate (maybe different bins for them to turn in their papers" etc.) but for the most part - don=t think the grade le#el split would change much about the room layout. (ecommended (esources .he 9ultigrade Classroom: A 1esource Handbook for )mall" 1ural )chools is a (freeKK) se#en book series you can download. -t co#ers class management and discipline" organi0ation" instructional deli#ery" and more. http:%%thecornerstoneforteachers.com%free6resources%your6teaching6scenario%combined6 classmulti6grade6classes Combined classrooms concern teachersH association C3C Lews 5osted: Gct $A" $,+& *:+& 59 A. @ast ?pdated: Gct $A" $,+& *:B* 59 A. k aceboo ,

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.eacher cuts hurting schools" parents worry

At many smaller schools on the -sland combined classes are nothing new. .he 4nglish @anguage )chool 3oard said as it stands about $' out of A, schools on the -sland ha#e some combined classes. )ome schools on 5.4.-. ha#e added multi6grade classes in the wake of teacher cuts" to the frustration of the pro#ince]s teachers] association. .he pro#ince cut &A positions last year and another A, this year. At many smaller schools on the -sland combined classes are nothing new. .he 4nglish @anguage )chool 3oard said as it stands about $' out of A, schools on the -sland ha#e some combined classes. 3ut the president of the of the 5.4.-. .eachers] ederation said when one teacher has to teach two grade le#els at once the teaching quality can suffer. :-t is double the workload and you ha#e to match the curriculum up with the students] needs"; said <illes Arsenault. :/e=re stretching our teachers too thin when we]re doing that.; 3ut o#er at the 4nglish )chool 3oard" the leader of curriculum deli#ery disagrees. :/hen you]re planning for two grade le#els" it]s different from planning with one grade le#el but we do ha#e supports in place for teachers who are new to that"; said .ammy Hubley6 @ittle.

:3ut really" once you]#e done it once you]#e done it.; Hubley6@ittle said there]s strong e#idence that the makeup of a student]s class has little impact on how well they learn. )he said all classrooms" no matter how many grades" will include students at #arying le#els. :-t]s not unusual e#en in a class that would be e#en one grade for students to be working in slightly different areas of the curriculum.; .he 4nglish @anguage )chool 3oard said it=s confident students will start to see impro#ed results on pro#incial assessments and international testing in the years ahead. -t said taking steps to impro#e teaching methods will ha#e a greater impact on learning than class si0e or composition. http:%%www.cbc.ca%news%canada%prince6edward6island%combined6classrooms6concern6 teachers6association6+.$$$A'*+ Home E @ocal Lews E 1i#erside County E .emecula E .emecula Headlines #.-C!%I+'$ Combination classes on the rise in elementary schools

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@uiseno 4lementary )chool teacher 4rin 8erec0ek works with first6grader Adison 5ogue" B" during a math assignment in a classroom that combines first and second grade students on .hursday" )ept. $," $,+$. .he 9urrieta and .emecula school districts ha#e seen a dramatic rise in the number of combination classes this year.

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W#7,I'9 54 2-D4G: .494C?@A: 3enefits 6 and challenges 6 of a combination classroom W#7,I'9 -L@ALD )CHGG@) 3@G<: Gne reporter]s perspecti#e

At .emecula @uise^o 4lementary )chool" +B :fabulous first6graders; and +B :super second6 graders; ha#e separate math lessons but the same teacher. irst6 and second6grade teacher 4rin 8erec0ek is one of a growing number of teachers in southwest 1i#erside County who are teaching combination classes with students from multiple grade le#els. -n .emecula" the number of combination classes has doubled since last year" rising from +' to &$. -n 9urrieta" combinations ha#e more than tripled" from ++ last year to &B this year. 4#en 1omoland" a small I6> district" has seen an increase in combination classes. District officials say after years of budget cuts" they can no longer afford the e!tra teachers needed to ensure that all students are in single6grade classrooms. .he three districts also ha#e cut their teaching staffs N mostly through early retirements and other attrition" but also through layoffs in .emecula and 1omoland N and increased class si0es in an effort to reduce costs. :-t=s not what we want" but it=s what we ha#e to work with"; said Char <ollogly" director of curriculum and instruction for the 9urrieta 2alley ?nified )chool District. .he classes are more work for teachers" who ha#e to plan for and teach two sets of lessons. Combinations also can be a difficult to sell to parents" who worry that their students aren=t going to learn as much or might get o#erlooked in class. 3ut educators say combination classes aren=t all bad. )ome research has shown an academic benefit to students in mi!ed6grade classes because the younger students are e!posed to more rigor and the older students ha#e a chance to teach and ser#e as role models for their younger peers. 14CGL -<?1-L< I-D)

California education officials say there is no data to show if such classes are increasing across the state in an effort to deal with e#er6shrinking budgets. Combination classes ha#e long been a part of school life" simply because students don=t show up to school in e#en class sets" said 8odi 9cClay" assistant superintendent for educational support ser#ices for the .emecula 2alley ?nified )chool District. 3ut in years past" a .emecula school with se#eral classes of $' or $( students would ha#e been left alone. .his year" the classes are being reconfigured so all of the classes reach &, students" e#en if that means creating combinations. :/e=re 7ust staffing tighter"; she said. .oday]s 5oll/hat]s thisC Combination classes" where a teacher has two grades of students in one class" are on the rise in some -nland area schools because of the ongoing budget crisis. How do you feel about combination classesC

.hey]re great. Jounger students get e!posure to ad#anced curriculum and older students ser#e as role models for their younger classmates.

.hey should be a#oided if at all possible. in a mi!ed6grade class" a teacher]s attention is di#ided and students suffer academically.

-]m not sure. )chools will make or break up combination classes if needed during the school year as students mo#e in and out" but educators say they are mindful of the impact those mo#es ha#e on students and try to limit them as much as possible. 2ail 4lementary )chool in .emecula recently created another combination class rather than break up a combination class of students that had already been together for se#eral weeks. :/e don=t like to mo#e the kiddos after the school year has started"; 9cClay said. -n 9urrieta 2alley" one of the most common combination classes is kindergarten and the new transitional kindergarten program for children who aren=t quite old enough to enroll in kindergarten. -n those combinations" the students in two grades spend only &, minutes together" because half of the students come for the morning and the other half come in at midday and stay for the afternoon" <ollogly said. .he goal is to preser#e a smaller learning en#ironment despite class si0es that are climbing to &$ students per teacher. ACH-42494L. D43A.4D

1esearch on the effecti#eness of combination classes seems mi!ed. )e#eral studies from the +**,s raise concerns that students in combination classes didn=t do as well as their single6grade peers. A $,+, analysis found first6graders in combination classes performed the same as their peers in single6grade classes in 4nglish. -n math" students in the combination classes performed slightly better. 1esearcher 8aime @ynn .homas e!amined the effects of I6+ and +6$ combination classes on academic achie#ement while she was completing her doctorate in economics at ?C )an Diego. :.here was no relation between combination classes and educational achie#ement"; said .homas" who began studying the issue because she was in a combination class as a child. :-t doesn=t look like there=s a real detriment.; @ocal educators say the key to a successful combination class is careful planning and selection of teachers and students. Administrators seek strong teachers" particularly those who ha#e taught one or both of the grades. )tudents selected for the class tend to be those who are working at or abo#e grade6le#el" are independent workers and ha#e few beha#ior problems. .eachers are already accustomed to altering lessons based on the range of abilities in their classrooms" so ha#ing two grades doesn=t affect instruction as much as people might think" said 9cClay. 8erec0ek" .emecula 2alley ?nified=s current elementary school teacher of the year" #olunteered for the combination class assignment" e#en though she knew it would require more planning on her part. :- wanted to get rid of the stigma that combo classes are bad"; she said. Gften combination class teachers rely on their colleagues for support and help to ensure that all of the students= needs are being met. At .emecula @uise^o" 8erec0ek=s students go to another first6 or second6grade teacher=s class for science" social studies and 54. .hey also participate with that class for grade6le#el field trips" assemblies and other acti#ities. /hen half her class is out with another teacher" 8erec0ek has time to work on grade6le#el math standards with the other group. .hose lessons allow 8erec0ek to work one6on6one or in small groups with students who may be struggling" she said. :/e share kids all the time"; she said. .he concept of combination classes still is sometimes difficult to sell to parents who worry that their child won=t get enough attention. )ome parents ha#e asked to opt out of such a class" and schools try to accommodate those requests when they can. 8acquelyn Cerasuolo" whose son .roy is a first6grader in 8erec0ek=s class" said she was a little apprehensi#e when educators first suggested .roy for the combination class" because the concept was a new one for her.

3ut when Cerasuolo learned how the students were selected for the class" who the teacher would be and how the class would operate" she decided to gi#e it a try. )he said she=s glad she did" in part because .roy is being e!posed to higher le#el concepts than he would ha#e in a traditional first6grade class. :-t doesn=t fa0e him whatsoe#er"; Cerasuolo said. :He=s doing ad#anced work" and he=s doing great at it.; ollow 9ichelle @. Ilampe on .witter: _9ichelleIlampe and read the -nland )chools blog: blog.pe.com%schools http:%%www.pe.com%local6news%ri#erside6county%temecula%temecula6headlines6 inde!%$,+$,*&,6education6combination6classes6on6the6rise6in6elementary6schools.ece .oing the ISplits/J ! case for ICombined/ classesC $%eaching is the greatest act o optimism.& ''(olleen Wilco)'' -n my eight years of teaching" - ha#e yet to teach a Rstraight= grade. )o far" all of my classes ha#e been multi6age" or Rsplit classes. And each year" - ha#e a parent%guardian who does not like the idea of their child being in a *split classes. +ome concerns and ,uestions that are o ten raised

/ill my child be rushed%slowed down by the other grade le#elC /ill my child be taught curriculum%content they ha#e already done the year before or they will ha#e to re6do the following yearC /ill my child be taught only half the curriculumC How will my child be treated by those younger%older than him%herC

cc flickr photo by eleaf How do you respond to the folks who belie#e a *split class is detrimental to their child=s learning e!perienceC Gr to those who feel there will be lasting negati#e effects on their child=s academic or social de#elopmentC

.his all" - will once again be teaching a *split class. - ha#e been assigned to teach a I%+ class. .his is often a contro#ersial *split" as many people associate kindergarten with play and grade one with academics. )ome people find it difficult to imagine these two grades in one classroom and loath the thought of their child being Rsub7ected= to a *split. $+peech is the mirror o the soul. as a man spea!s/ so he is.& ''0ublilius +yrus'' Howe#er" at a ull Day Iindergarten conference in 9ay" keynote speaker" Colleen 5olitano encouraged us to change our language when discussing *splits and to focus on using terms with more positi#e connotations" such as *combined or *blended. )he implored teachers to highlight the benefits of multi6age groupings. - lo#e this approach and resol#ed right then and there to use the terms *combined and *blended instead" as - set out to con#ince folks of the merits these multi6age classroomsK

cc flickr photo R.ypical= by Abi63ee -ndeed" my own perspecti#e on *split classes is quite positi#e. 5erhaps that is because my first few years of school were in a two6room school house" in a small westcoast logging #illage" and - had a fa#ourable e!perience in this multi6age setting. Gr perhaps it is because - ha#e taught se#eral multi6age classes in my short career" and -=#e done a lot of thinking (and e#en some pre#ious writing) about combined classrooms. - strongly belie#e that multi6age classrooms are not all that different from Rstraight= grade classrooms. Any classroom with +B to &,` students is going to ha#e a wide range of abilities and de#elopmental le#elsK Di#ersity is e!pected. - also belie#e there are many benefits to blended groups" and as - embark on the coming school year" - know that sharing positi#e messages about combined classrooms with parents" will be important.

cc flickr photo by ntr$& I eel strongly that the !eys to a success ul combined classroom e)perience are

differentiated instruction and thoughtful" ongoing feedbackW open communication with parents and students about the learning en#ironment and each child=s learning progressW a focus on skill de#elopment and process" rather than content co#erage and productW the use of pro7ect6based and inquiry learningW and the empowerment of students to take ownership of their learning.

cc flickr photo by courosa .hese are goals for my own classroom this year. Certainly" - feel that if thoughtful" intentional designs and plans for the abo#e are effecti#ely implemented in a combined classroom (a or in any classroom" reallyK)" there are many benefits of multiage groupings that will become apparent:

cc flickr photo by Iathy Cassidy

4ffecti#e multiage classrooms allow children to work at their own skill le#els and to take ownership of their learning. /here the child could benefit from enrichment" they acquire the skills and resources to work independently. .hey are pro#ided with opportunities to interact with others who push their thinking. /hen e!tra help is needed" there are opportunities to re#iew concepts and skills" and to recei#e help from peers. 4ffecti#e multiage classrooms allow children to gain leadership and confidence. Iids learn to work together in mentoring relationships and use one another as resources" rather than relying only on the teacher. .hey gain a sense of confidence from these opportunities to practice being leaders and role models. 4ffecti#e multiage classrooms recogni0e kids for their strengths in all areas of de#elopment and encourage friendships across grade le#els. .his builds community and instills a sense of responsibility to care for one another. Inowing children in different grades pro#ides kids the opportunity to choose friends from a wider range of children.

cc flickr photo by 3renda Anderson

How do you feel about combined classesC Ha#e you had positi#e e!periences with multiages groupingsC /hy or why notC /hat responses would you ha#e for parent concerns about *split classesC $We dont see things as they are/ we see them as we are.& ''1na2s 3in'' .his entry was posted on .hursday" 8uly $*th" $,+, at &:&A pm and is filed under ?ncategori0ed. Jou can follow any responses to this entry through the 1)) $., feed. Jou can lea#e a response" or trackback from your own site. http:%%thehi#e.edublogs.org%$,+,%,(%$*%doing6the6splits6a6case6for6combined6classes% )trategies for a Combined6@e#el @anguage Class by Ieiko Abrams @ake 3raddock )econdary )chool 3urke" 2irginia

and 9ichiko )prester @angley High )chool 9c@ean" 2irginia

and Joko .hakur alls Church High )chool alls Church" 2irginia

Gn the /ay ?p .oday many 8apanese teachers teach le#els &" A" and%or B in a combined6le#el situation. .eachers often must do this for budgetary reasons or to accommodate students] needs. /hen schools offer the A5 8apanese @anguage and Culture course" many teachers will encounter the difficulties of instructing a challenging A5 course and another6le#el course (such as 8apanese A or 8apanese &) in the same classroom. 1egardless of the reasons and conditions" the teacher must teach" and the students are e!pected to achie#e a performance le#el that they would normally reach in a regular classroom situation. .he #arious challenges include not only academic matters but also classroom management issues. .o ease these challenges" we would like to suggest some strategies for teachers of combined6le#el language classes. /e also include some suggestions for A5 course instruction in combined6le#el classes. 9any factors must be considered including academic content" classroom conditions" time" the number of students and their moti#iation" curriculum" and so forth. /hile one strategy may work in one class" it may not work in another class. .hus we encourage teachers to try different tactics until they find the best way to meet the needs of their students. irst" we define three different cases:

+. Students Wor: Individually !ll of the %ime .he content of instruction is completely different" and students rarely work together with students from the other le#el. $. Students Wor: %ogether &ost of the %ime .here are some differences in requirements or e!pectations or content" but they mainly collaborate and work together. &. Students Wor: %ogether !ll of the %ime )tudents in different le#els learn together all of the time. .hey follow a specially designed two6year curriculum" and the content is e!actly the same. .he e!pectations are almost the same. Case +: )tudents /ork -ndi#idually All of the .ime .his may be the most common case" when the teacher thinks that students cannot work together because of the contents of the curriculum or the nature of the sequential and cumulati#e study. -f the class has only a few upper6le#el students" the teacher can treat them as independent learners" pro#ided that they are mature and moti#ated students. Howe#er" in most instances" there are more students in each le#el" and students are neither particularly mature nor diligent without good super#ision. Here are some practical solutions. @ogistical )trategies

.ry to get a larger classroom to accommodate different6le#el students. -t may not be easy" but talk with your super#isor and stress the difficulties of combined6le#el classes. -n the classroom" place each group separately so that their speaking will not bother the other group too much. Another important rule is to place them carefully so that the teacher can super#ise both groups at the same time" e#en if the teacher is teaching one group at a time. )ome teachers find that placing one group facing front and the other group facing the side works well. -n this way" each group has its own presentation board (or wall)" and the teacher can monitor the acti#ities of both groups either from the front or from the side. Arrange each group so that they ha#e their own blackboard (whiteboard) and%or screen for an o#erhead pro7ector%computer monitor. -f you cannot arrange a second set of those for the other group (most of us cannot)" keep one wall as the designated presentation area and use large papers for presentation and instruction. /orksheets and e!planation packets are fine" but students often find those boring. .hey may also lose moti#ation to come to class if they only work on packets by themsel#es. .hese students already ha#e less time for interaction with a teacher than students in a regular class" so you must moti#ate your students to come to class to learn and interact with a teacher and peers. .his is especially true when you teach the A5 8apanese course" because the A5 4!am e#aluates students] functional abilities to react and respond. Combining those blackboard%screen%paper presentations and worksheets

helps students moti#ate and stay on task while e!periencing different scenery.

4nlist #olunteers and parents from the community who can be your assistants6for e!ample" college students who are studying to be teachers" e!change students" nati#e6speaker parents. Jou may also request a teacher assistant. Although they may not be able to instruct" they can monitor students] acti#ities.

)cheduling )trategies .he key to success in this kind of combined6le#el classroom instruction might be scheduling. 9ost teachers find the following way to be manageable and practical" especially in a long block class.

Gf course" teachers may make #ariations and slight modifications to the schedule abo#e" but it seems to work well. -f you ha#e a short class period (AB minutes or so)" you may concentrate on only one le#el of instruction one day and switch the ne!t. Gften teachers assign a quiet acti#ity (e.g. reading" writing" completing a worksheet" or research) to one group while conducting a speaking acti#ity with the other. )ome teachers ha#e the whole class do a speaking acti#ity at the same time" whether they are doing the same one or a different speaking acti#ity. .o ha#e producti#e students6only time" you can take the following measures. )trategies for )tudents] .ime

5repare written daily and weekly schedules (including assignments) for each group and make them a#ailable to the students. Gften teachers are too busy going from one group to another and don]t ha#e time to remind students. -n this way" the students are responsible for their learning. Also" prepare the answer key for homework and%or worksheets. )tudents can

check the answers by themsel#es.

5ro#ide an opportunity for students to lead the group and encourage the students to work as a group. Jou may assign a leader or ask for a #olunteer" but that leader is responsible for leading the group to complete the assigned class work. A leader can go o#er the answer and keep peers on task. 9ost students like to be a Mteacher of the dayM and beha#e well. A5 8apanese students can form a strong learning team because they are moti#ated and mature. 4ncourage them to unite in working on the same goal. Hold students accountable for completing the daily work and staying on task. .he teacher should collect the work to e#aluate and check the speaking performances. /hen students ha#e speaking acti#ities without the teacher]s direct super#ision" some students may not take it seriously. Ha#ing the student roster on a clipboard makes it easier to document any points earned quickly during the class. .o encourage students to be responsible" the teacher may consider gi#ing students some pri#ileges or participation points for completion of the work or for good study habits. .he pri#ileges can be using a computer" reading 8apanese books" recei#ing some passes" and so on. .he teacher can also reward the student leader for good leadership. Conduct listening acti#ities with some modification. 8ust as with the regular teacher]s speaking" listening acti#ities with tapes" CD" and other media are important. 4specially for A5 instruction" many listening acti#ities are important. -n the combined6le#el class" the teacher can ha#e the students listen to materials targeted to either group. /hen the lower6le#el students listen to the upper6le#el material" encourage them to catch words or phrases and to guess the contents. <i#ing an e!tra point may help to challenge the listeners. Also" when upper6le#el students hear the lower6 le#el material" they ha#e a good re#iew and may feel confident about their ability. Ha#e students in#ol#ed in creating a yearly study plan at the beginning of the year. .his is another way to moti#ate students and gi#e them autonomy. .his works better for a small6si0e" upper6le#el student group. )tudents can create a portfolio similar to the -3 program style. 3y being in#ol#ed in setting their own goals and the e#aluation process" students are more likely to work well. or mature students" learning contracts may work as well. .his is a written agreement between a learner and an instructor about the student]s learning content" ways" process" and e#aluation. College students are good candidates for this strategy" but high school seniors in a #ery small group may want to try this as independent learners. /ith a student]s strong in#ol#ement" a teacher and a student can create indi#idual learning contracts that reflect indi#idual needs" interests" and learning styles. Ieiko I. )chneider (+***) says it Mencourages learner autonomy"M and students

Mlook at their learning consciously and critically.M or A5 8apanese students" a teacher may make a contract indicating a student]s responsibilities and e!pectations. Also" a big sign on the wall and%or a special binder or a notebook to keep students moti#ated and remind them of their responsibilities may work well. .hese strategies may be successful for mostly separate6le#el classes" but we cannot miss the good points and bad points of this system. .he good points are that the curriculum cannot be disturbed" and any te!tbook can be used for this sequential curriculum. Ian7i" #ocabulary" and grammar points can be introduced in a natural and sequential order" and re#iew can be done easily. Gn the other hand" the shortcoming is a preparation nightmare. .he teacher has to plan much of the course ahead and plan #ery carefully. .he teacher has to make many worksheets" assignments students can do by themsel#es" answer keys" and so forth. Also" good classroom management is key" so this works well with a support person. Another important factor is student work habits" moti#ation" and maturity. .his method is suitable when a teacher does not want to disrupt the current curriculum or create a new one and has good class6management skills. /hen a teacher conducts the A5 course in this situation" we encourage requesting a support person. Case $: )tudents /ork .ogether 9ost of the .ime )ome teachers use this method because the two le#els can work together" and it is easy to manage. .he most common way to do this is to ha#e the two groups study the same unit with slightly different contents and e!pectations. or e!ample" both le#el A and le#el 3 are studying a cooking lesson. @e#el A is lower le#el and learning some #ocabulary" grammar points" and kan7i. @e#el 3 quickly re#iews those they already learned in a pre#ious year and then learn new #ocabulary" grammar" and kan7i. .hus e!pectations and some assessment are different" but the contentNcookingNis the same. )tudents can do many acti#ities together" such as general speaking" reading realia" cultural acti#ity" skit making" #ideo #iewing" and listening. .he good point of this case is that the upper6le#el students ha#e a chance to re#iew the materials. Also" it is rather easy to manage the two groups. 3ecause a teacher super#ises the entire class most of the time" there is less concern for student beha#ior. .he negati#e aspects are the repeating of curriculum and the difficulty of finding an appropriate te!tbook. .he freshness of learning new materials and topics will be absent" and there will be fewer topics to e!plore. 3ecause finding an appropriate te!tbook is difficult for this method" teachers may ha#e to create their own. Gne teacher using this method mentions that he uses only about a half of each chapter in the first year. -n the second year" the students use the same te!tbook but re#iew quickly and learn more in6depth and thoroughly. .his strategy may also be practical for the A5 course in a combined6le#el

situation. -n a third or fourth year class" the teacher introduces the grammar" topics" and some functions. -n the A5 course" students re#iew pre#iously learned materials with added #ocabulary" kan7i" and more functional e!pressions. 3ecause the A5 4!am is function and performance based" teachers can organi0e curriculum with topics and functions. Although repeating the topics may not be appealing to students" adding functions is easy for both teachers and students. At the same time" students will ha#e enough time to de#elop the necessary proficiency. Case &: )tudents /ork .ogether All of the .ime )ome rench language teachers ha#e been doing this two6year curriculum for a while" with both praise and skepticism. irst" you must carefully plan this two6year curriculum for the two sequential groups (e.g. le#el & and le#el A). 4ach curriculum plan (year A and year 3) includes different topics" grammar" #ocabulary" and cultural products" practices and perspecti#es. .he teacher instructs the year6A plan the first year for the le#el & and le#el A students. .he following year" year63 instruction is presented to new le#el & students and le#el A (former le#el &) students. .hus students finish both the A and 3 curriculum in two years (in an order of A63 or 36A). Gn the positi#e side" the students learn #arious topics and regular amounts of grammar and #ocabulary in two years" pro#ided they remain in the program for those two years. -t is easier for the teacher to instruct and manage the classroom because the students are one group. )peaking and interacti#e acti#ities are easier to conduct as well as #arious other acti#ities. Gn the negati#e side" the teacher has to create a special two6year curriculum" and it may be hard to find an appropriate te!tbook. Although students in the second year of this combined class may ha#e a good opportunity to re#iew pre#ious material as it is being introduced to students in the first year of the class" they may be less interested in the material because it is not new. -n a sequential teaching plan" all pre#iously learned materials are included in the new material" but this system makes it hard to re#iew in a natural way. .he teacher has to make an e!tra effort for the second6year students to re#iew the material. -n a 8apanese class" students ha#e to study kan7i in addition to topics" grammar" and #ocabulary. /hen a teacher uses this method for designing the A5 course" different e!pectations for assessment of A5 students are necessary to keep the standards higher than for the lower6le#el class. -n the pre#ious two cases" the main group is the lower6le#el one because there are more students. -n those cases" the upper6 le#el students occasionally recei#e their le#el6appropriate materials. -n this case" a teacher can target the A5 students as the main focus by gi#ing their le#el6 appropriate realia" reading materials" and speaking and listening acti#ities to the whole class for re#iew. .hen a teacher may gi#e e!tra points to lower6le#el students for guessing or picking up the materials they ha#e not learned. .hus this method may be practical if a teacher wants to focus on the upper6le#el or A5 course.

Conclusion /e ha#e suggested #arious ways to pro#ide producti#e instruction in a combined6 le#el class. 3y trying #arious strategies" teachers can deli#er successful A5 8apanese instruction in a combined6le#el class. Howe#er" we encourage teachers to appeal to the school administrators to create an independent A5 8apanese course. Also" good ad#ocacy acti#ities are important to keep a 8apanese program strong and e!panding so that a teacher does not ha#e to teach a combined6le#el class. 1eference )chneider" Ieiko I. +***. M@earning Contracts: An Alternati#e to a 9ulti6le#el ClassCM presented at A.8 (Association of .eachers of 8apanese) seminar (9arch +***). ,eiko Abra s !rew up in Hakodate, 3apan and received a BA "ro -otre Da e Ao enBs Colle!e, ,yoto, 3apan and an %#Ed# "ro =eor!e %ason 'niversity, Fair"a?, :A# S$e $as been teac$in! 3apanese in 'S since 5//5, and is currently teac$in! in Fair"a? County 2ublic Sc$ools in :A# S$e is a e ber o" t$e %id8 Atlantic Association o" Teac$ers o" 3apanese# %ic$iko ,i ura Sprester was raised in Sapporo, 3apan and received $er under!raduate education at 'niversity o" Te?as at El 2aso and $er asterBs de!ree "ro 'niversity o" %ic$i!an# S$e $as been teac$in! 3apanese lan!ua!e since 5//C# %ic$iko currently teac$es 3apanese lan!ua!e to !rades 485( in Fair"a? County 2ublic Sc$ools# S$e is also a e ber o" t$e 3apan Association "or *an!ua!e Teac$in! and t$e %id8Atlantic Association o" Teac$ers o" 3apanese# Doko H# T$akur was raised in 3apan and educated at t$e 'niversity o" %innesota and t$e 'niversity o" %aryland, w$ere s$e earned a 2$# D# in 5//)# 7nitially, s$e tau!$t 3apanese lan!ua!e at =eor!etown 'niversity# Since 5//C s$e $as been teac$in! 3apanese at Fair"a? County 2ublic Sc$ools#

http:%%apcentral.collegeboard.com%apc%public%courses%teachersVcorner%+*(&*&.html +. eHow $. 4ducation &. I6+$ A. I6+$ or 4ducators B. How to .each a Combination Classroom How to %each a Combination Classroom 3y Danny /aldo" eHow Contributor

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.o create community within a combination classroom incorporate acti#ities that in#ol#e students of both grades. Combination classrooms consist of two grade le#els in the same classroom. )chools form combination classrooms due to student population. -f a school does not ha#e enough students to make a full class in two different grades" the two classes are combined in one room. -f a school has a shortage of staff or there are budget cuts" the school may be forced to create combination classrooms. .eaching two grade le#els in one classroom can be challenging for the teacherW howe#er" thinking outside of the bo! will make instructing and managing a combination class a success. +ther *eople !re (eading

/hat Are the 3enefits of a )plit <rade ClassC

How to .each .wo <rades in Gne Classroom

Instructions +.
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@earn the standards for both grade le#els and combine them whene#er possible. 5rior to the start of the school year" compare the standards between the two grades you will be teaching and create lessons that will allow you to address similar standards in one whole group lesson. or e!ample" a writing standard in fourth grade may e!pect students to write sentences of #arying length" while a fifth grade standard may e!pect students to write simple" compound and comple! sentences. )tudents can learn all of these skills in one carefully planned lesson.

Differentiate instruction. -f you ha#e a student in a younger grade who is performing abo#e grade le#el" let him 7oin in the older grade]s acti#ities. -f you ha#e a student in the older grade who could use some e!tra practice" ha#e her teach a concept to the younger grade. -n this way she is getting practice at her le#el without being embarrassed. Create pro7ects in science or social studies where students across both grades work together based on interests to create enrichment lessons.
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9i! students up in your seating chart" so students from both grades are sitting together. Ha#ing students from both grades interact with each other on a daily basis will create a community classroom" which will help with management issues. Jou want to a#oid segregating the students based on age because this can create an Mus against themM mentality.
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?se no#el studies to teach reading. ?sing no#els to teach reading instead of te!tbooks allows you to tailor questions and acti#ities to the ability of your students at both grade le#els. Jou can also create small literature circles based on reading le#els that can ha#e members from both grades in them. /ithin these literature circles each student has a role" and while groups are meeting you can circulate from group to group" checking in and questioning students on their reading.
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Create acti#ities that all students can participate in at their le#el. or e!ample" use a math fact challenge where students progress at their own rate" or assign a research pro7ect that can be tailored to each grade]s standards. Lot e#ery acti#ity is going to work for both grades" but the more of these acti#ities you can incorporate into your daily teaching" the more time you will ha#e to work indi#idually with students. )ponsored @inks 1ead more: http:%%www.ehow.com%howV>$*>,,&Vteach6combination6 classroom.htmlbi!00$rHJDwsCU http:%%www.ehow.com%howV>$*>,,&Vteach6combination6classroom.html http:%%www.edu.go#.on.ca%eng%parents%combinedClassrooms%

http:%%www.google.com%urlC sa[tQrct[7Qq[Qesrc[sQsource[webQcd[>Qcad[r7aQ#ed[,C JD 7AHQurl[http\&A\$ \$ www.rand.org\$ content\$ dam\$ rand\$ pubs\$ workingVpapers \$ $,,*\$ 1ALDV/1'>B.pdfQei[(trh?rD*D-)/rAfo6AHwCDQusg[A D7CL<f(B5tu6 hV>pL1mlUA@,eBc7y3-DQsig$[<9U!$nVJ8A.aemf4cA!LrDQb#m[b#.B**&,+,&"d.bmk http:%%www.google.com%urlC sa[tQrct[7Qq[Qesrc[sQsource[webQcd[*Qcad[r7aQ#ed[,C sD 7A-Qurl[http\&A\$ \$ matcportfoliomontague.files.wordpress.com \$ $,++\$ ++\$ matcapplicationVmontagueVprofessionalessay.pdfQei[(trh?rD*D-)/r Afo6 AHwCDQusg[A D7CLHfsk)s)r>Ldl30<AcUmpqnn@U-0AQsig$[$2og/l2GdB8Dcksl>?eq8 wQb#m[b#.B**&,+,&"d.bmk