Combination class of 3rd/4th grade - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 20 Old 09-26-2011, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
spatel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My Daughter is in 4th grade and she was moved to 3rd/4th combination class due to too many students in 3rd grade. I'm not sure if it's good for her. She is average kid with A/B score. Any ideas about combination classes ? I talked to her Principal  for moving her to 4th grade group students but he isn't ready to change her group. I think it's too much distraction since one set of students will be taught for 3rd grade while others will be taught for 4th. How can students concentrate ? Please provide you thoughts / suggestions. Will this be good for her OR Should I consider changing her school ?

 

Thanks.

spatel is offline  
#2 of 20 Old 09-26-2011, 07:49 PM
 
FarmerBeth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Northeastern Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 803
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My daughter did fine with this arrangement, and many rural schools in our school board have to have split classes due to low numbers.  I sub as a teacher's aide, so I've been in lots.  If the teacher is experienced, I don't see where there would be a problem, especially for a kid with A/B grades and no special needs.  I'd give it a shot before thinking of pulling my child, personally.  In the real world, we deal with multi-aged settings and varied tasks in a workplace all the time, and North America was founded on one room school houses that put out some very literate people. If she has special needs or notice a problem, that's different, but you don't know without further trial.


Busy keeping up with three children and an awful lot of chickens!

FarmerBeth is offline  
#3 of 20 Old 09-26-2011, 11:35 PM
 
whatsnextmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,942
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)

My DS did a K/1 combo and a 4/5 combo as the older grade each time. They were really great years for him actually. I don't know how your school decides who goes to the combo but in our district, it's the strongest, most independant students from both grades who are placed in them. TThe teacher did have a big job teaching 2 grades but she also had a class full of responsive, respectful and focused students. It was so relaxing to DS to be in classes with no behavioral issues.

 

I can't say your school handles combos the same but it's worth a real try especially if you've liked this school in the past.


Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
whatsnextmom is offline  
#4 of 20 Old 09-27-2011, 03:39 AM
 
Justmee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: In the kitchen
Posts: 3,560
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I also think it's worth a try. There are a lot of educations benefits to mixed ages, and some schools are doing them now for education reasons, not for reasons of too small classes, etc.

 

If there is a problem you can always try to work it out or switch sections, but I would give it a fair shot first.


Mom to:

Three big girls  twins.gif (10) + joy.gif (almost 9!); 

One little boy ROTFLMAO.gif(6) and a full on toddler diaper.gif  (8/12) born with TAPVR heartbeat.gif (repaired at 6 days old).

Justmee is offline  
#5 of 20 Old 09-27-2011, 04:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
spatel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Actually, my daughter will be with 3rd grade students which worries me. If she is in 4th/5th combo, I guess I would have been fine. But, won't she be treated like 3rd grade student sometimes ? I'm also not sure how it will effect on teaching. How can teacher teach both grades in same class ? This the way I'm told: while teacher is working with 4th grade students, 3rd grade will be doing something like reading. And when teacher moves with 3rd grade, she asks 4th grade group to read. Their class time is split, so how can they cover all required materials for 4th grade. Also, some students may not be able to concentrate when teacher is working with other group. So, these are some concerns I have.

spatel is offline  
#6 of 20 Old 09-27-2011, 07:15 AM
 
Peony's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 25,328
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

My girl's school only has combo grade except for K so DD1 is in 3rd grade in a 3/4 classroom. We went through 1st and 2nd grade in the same type of set up. It has never been a problem regardless of what grade she has been in. The reading level in her current class ranges from 2nd grade to 8th grade, there are dyslexic students to very gifted ones, the teacher makes it works. I've never heard a complaint yet in our years of being here that the older kids get bored. I've found if anything, the teacher teaches to the higher grade more then the younger one.  DD1 is covering material that I was surprised to see her learning in 3rd grade. In our school, the grades learn similar concepts, just the younger kids learn an easier one and the older kids a more advanced version. The older grade isn't treated like the younger grade.

 

I wasn't sure how I felt about the mixed classrooms at first, I was actually thinking that when DD1 went into 1st grade that it would be way too much to be with 2nd graders (she is dyslexic and was a complete non-reader then) but it turned out to be a moot point. The older kids loved helping her and she was never teased. When she went on to be one of the older kids last year in the classroom, she got valuable experience learning how to mentor and assist the younger kids. I love that the kids aren't broken down strictly by one grade, the age range in her class is between 7-10,  I don't see the "you aren't exactly my age/grade so I'm not going to play with you" that I remember from my own school years. 


There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.
Peony is online now  
#7 of 20 Old 09-27-2011, 07:57 AM
 
whatsnextmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,942
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by spatel View Post

Actually, my daughter will be with 3rd grade students which worries me. If she is in 4th/5th combo, I guess I would have been fine. But, won't she be treated like 3rd grade student sometimes ? I'm also not sure how it will effect on teaching. How can teacher teach both grades in same class ? This the way I'm told: while teacher is working with 4th grade students, 3rd grade will be doing something like reading. And when teacher moves with 3rd grade, she asks 4th grade group to read. Their class time is split, so how can they cover all required materials for 4th grade. Also, some students may not be able to concentrate when teacher is working with other group. So, these are some concerns I have.


It's more likely that the 3rd graders will be treated like 4th graders than the other way around. Your concerns are normal but most people end up pretty satisfied with combos largely because the kids placed in them are the easiest to work with.

 


Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
whatsnextmom is offline  
#8 of 20 Old 09-27-2011, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
spatel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thanks for all the responses. I have meeting with Principal again and will over with him about the concerns too. I'm still bit reluctant to keep her in 3rd/4th grade combination as she is in 4th grade. I hope all turns out good.

spatel is offline  
#9 of 20 Old 09-27-2011, 10:03 AM
 
TiredX2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: it appears to be a handbasket
Posts: 20,475
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Another person who likes split classes.

 

DS is current in a 3/4 split (as a 4th grader).  He was in one last year as a 3rd grader.  So far, so good.  I think it's *best* if they can do both years in the grade, but either way there are some wonderful advantages of split classes.  If you are advanced or behind on any one subject it tends not to be as big of deal as in a single grade class, for example.

 

Good luck on finding a good fit for your family.


 

 

TiredX2 is online now  
#10 of 20 Old 09-27-2011, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
spatel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Had a talk with Principal of the school but don't think I was satisfied. Actually, in just about 3-4 minutes of initial discussion, he mentioned that "according to North Carolina state Law, Principal has the right to place a child in any class and it's a final say". Is this true ? I'm not aware of this. I was just flat out denied from my request to remove my DD from combination class. I am thinking of checking few more days and then consider changing school if it doesn't work out.

spatel is offline  
#11 of 20 Old 09-28-2011, 05:33 AM
 
FarmerBeth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Northeastern Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 803
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I still think you should try it before deciding.  What I'm seeing here is that you seem to have your mind made up even though you asked an opinion.  It's your choice to make and you know what's best for your kid, it's just that changing schools is a big decision to make without really waiting to see how it works.  If you've liked the school so far and switch, what if the new school is less satisfactory?  Also, wanted to say that I've seen gifted kids by several grades ahead of ability still thrive in split situations, and that the reality is as Peony mentioned, that in any class there is already more than a one grade range difference of ability.  In my daughter's grade 4 class (not split) there are kids reading at high school level down to about grade two level and requiring remedial studies.  The math might have slightly less of a range, but still a range.  I'm guessing, that as whatnextmom said, your daughter was placed in a split because she is a strong student and independent.  She'd probably get to be with other strong, independent students (I'm living somewhere very different, but I do know that generally students with special needs and behavioral problems aren't put in splits) and be able to move along at her own pace feeling less encumbered.  If my gifted child can manage in a grade four classroom reading at college level and writing at about grade 8 level (as do other people's gifted kids) then probably your A/B student can, too.  Please excuse me if I'm coming on too strong, you'll have to work out what's best for your family, it just seems to me you are making a big decision without really weighing it all out.


Busy keeping up with three children and an awful lot of chickens!

FarmerBeth is offline  
#12 of 20 Old 09-28-2011, 06:20 AM
 
Emmeline II's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 8,817
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by spatel View Post

Had a talk with Principal of the school but don't think I was satisfied. Actually, in just about 3-4 minutes of initial discussion, he mentioned that "according to North Carolina state Law, Principal has the right to place a child in any class and it's a final say". Is this true ?

 

Yes.

 

G.S. 115C-288(a) empowers public school principals to grade and classify pupils in their respective schools.  

G.S. 115C-364(c) states that the official student entry point into North Carolina's public schools shall be at the kindergarten level.  The law, however, does not mandate how long the student must remain in that kindergarten class.

 

I don't have personal experience with a split class, but the posts I've read about them here seem to be all positive. As with most things in school, the results seem to depend a lot on the teacher's skills and experience, but whether the split is intentional or due to enrollment issues, and whether the lessons are multi-level or strictly by grade, seem to be significant factors as well.

 

Google Search: split grade classrooms : http://www.google.com/search?q=grade+split+classrooms&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

 

Split-Grade Classrooms | Developmental Studies Center Blog

 

Need advice regarding split classes... - Democratic Underground

 

Mixed Blessings: Split-grade Classes | The GTA Patriot


"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
Emmeline II is offline  
#13 of 20 Old 09-28-2011, 06:23 AM
 
ollyoxenfree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,933
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)

 

OP, you are right to seek out a good learning environment for your child. I'd make sure that the 3/4 split isn't going to suit her, though. For a lot of reasons, I think multi-age learning situations offer many benefits. Has the teacher and principal explained their reasons for placing your dd in this class? The teacher trusted with the split grade may be the stronger teacher who will better suit your dd's learning style. 

 

Split grades are very common now, at least where we have lived. My dc have both been in split grade classes and they did very well. At a new school, you are still likely to encounter them, if not this year, then eventually. I'd be careful about leaving a school where your child is otherwise happy and her learning needs are being met, since you may not avoid split classes at the new school. 

ollyoxenfree is offline  
#14 of 20 Old 09-28-2011, 08:35 AM
 
whatsnextmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,942
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by FarmerBeth View Post

Also, wanted to say that I've seen gifted kids by several grades ahead of ability still thrive in split situations, and that the reality is as Peony mentioned, that in any class there is already more than a one grade range difference of ability. 


Yes, my DS who has done combo twice is an accelerated learner. Honestly, there was LESS ability range in his combos as the younger kids placed in the combo were stronger than many of the  older grade kids omitted from the combo. The lower grade might not have been at the same skill level but they were strong learners and that actually took less time from the teacher individually. Because so much of the work was done independently, DS was really allowed to work at his own pace which he loved. I have to add that it was great for my DS in regards to leadership opportunity. He was kind of the beta male in his own grade and the kids struggled to see him as anything else. However, the lower grade kids often deferred to him and DS found that he is an excellent leader. It did wonders for his self-esteem and that's followed him into middle school when he really needs it!

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by spatel View Post

I am thinking of checking few more days and then consider changing school if it doesn't work out.


A few days just isn't enough to make a determination. Being in a combo is no less disruptive than moving to a new school. Remember, your child is not alone in this. She wasn't chosen as a punishment. Your hearing positive stories about smart kids doing well in combos. I'd not uproot your child out of fear and no experience.

 


Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
whatsnextmom is offline  
#15 of 20 Old 09-28-2011, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
spatel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

At last decided, I am going to give it a try and check her report for first semester. If her grades fell below, then will do something.

But, still I wasn't told why my DD was selected for combination class.

Thanks for all the responses. Really appreciate it as it did help me a lot to make my decision.

spatel is offline  
#16 of 20 Old 09-28-2011, 07:39 PM
 
LynnS6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pacific NW longing for the Midwest
Posts: 12,565
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My brother and I both went to schools where there were 4th-5th-6th grade students in each class. It was wonderful for me. I got to essentially 'skip' a grade so I could do 5th grade stuff, then 6th, and then they had a special group for those of us who were above 6th grade level by the time I was finished. My brother, who had some learning issues, was essentially able to do 4th grade twice, then 5th grade. He still struggled in Jr. High, but he'd gotten the fundamentals down.

I'm glad you've decided to wait it out. The principal may be very reluctant to tell you -- it could be that they just randomly decided; it could be they put kids of a certain temperament; it could be based on ability (chose kids of higher ability so they don't need so much individual teacher attention; needed a mix of boys and girls). But I'd be surprised if you ever got them to 'fess up.

Lynnteapot2.GIF, academicreading.gif,geek.gif wife, WOHM  to T jog.gif(4/01) and M whistling.gif (5/04)
LynnS6 is offline  
#17 of 20 Old 09-29-2011, 07:19 AM
 
FarmerBeth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Northeastern Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 803
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I'm glad your giving it a shot before uprooting to a new school.  You probably won't be told why, but it really usually is stronger, independent learners in split classes if the school has enough kids to have options (some school only have splits for some grades due to low numbers).


Busy keeping up with three children and an awful lot of chickens!

FarmerBeth is offline  
#18 of 20 Old 09-29-2011, 07:59 AM
 
whatsnextmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,942
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by spatel View Post

At last decided, I am going to give it a try and check her report for first semester. If her grades fell below, then will do something.

But, still I wasn't told why my DD was selected for combination class.

Thanks for all the responses. Really appreciate it as it did help me a lot to make my decision.

 

I'm glad to hear it. Schools don't like to announce why they place children. I suspect it is because your DD is a strong, independent student. However, if it gets out that is the reason, other parents start freaking out that their own child wasn't on that list and they feel they are somehow not going to get the opportunities others are getting. This happened our last year of elementary when DS was in the 4/5 as a 5th grader. The 5th grade families not included went on a rampage but I have to say, it was DS's best year because those kids WEREN'T included (lots of behavioral issues in that group.) Good luck to you and your DD. I suspect it'll go a lot better than you think.


Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
whatsnextmom is offline  
#19 of 20 Old 09-29-2011, 08:47 AM
 
beanma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: with the dustbunnies & sugar beans
Posts: 8,159
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)

Put me down for liking the split grades, too. My kids went to a private school prior to this year and all the grades were split, preK/K, 1/2, 3/4, 5/6, etc. I think it was really great and when we moved to public school this year and I heard that there was going to be a 4/5 class this year I mentioned to the principal that my rising 5th grader had been in split classrooms always and I thought she would do well in that class if that's where they decided to put her. It has been a wonderful fit for her. I am soooo glad she's in that class. She has a fantastic teacher, too. In 4th and 5th grade here (also in NC) they break out of class for separate math and social studies/writing classes with different teachers, so they have grouped the kids into 4 different academic groups (5a, 5b, 4a, 4b) and when 5a goes to math 4b is doing science or something. It's working out fine so far. They are together for homeroom and reading I believe. 

 

Hope it works out for your dd.


Mamatreehugger.gif to two girl beans, Feb 2001hearts.gif and Nov 2003coolshine.gif . DH geek.gif, and two crazydog2.gifdog2.gif . Running on biodiesel since 2004!
 
"All you fascists are bound to lose" — Woody Guthrie
beanma is offline  
#20 of 20 Old 09-29-2011, 08:39 PM
 
ChristaN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Colorado
Posts: 3,229
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I'll be the one hold out here as someone who does not like split age classrooms, at least for the kids in the older grade.  We had some of them growing up and my brother, who was placed in a split one year as part of the younger grade group, found that he wasn't socially or emotionally mature enough to be with the older kids.  He was teased and laughed at for still believing in Santa, for example.

 

The school my dds attended when they were younger offered a split with parental option of requesting that placement or requesting not to have that placement when dd13 was a 2nd grader.  I asked that she not be placed in the 1/2 split and was glad I did so as the year went on.  The parents of other 2nd graders who needed academic challenge felt that their kids made little academic progress that year. 

 

I think that the one room school house example is a totally different thing on the other hand.  There you have 20 kids from K-12 so most of them are on completely different pages.  It is more like a group homeschooling co-op with a facilitator in that situation b/c the teacher isn't likely to be standing in front of the class and teaching anything to a group.  S/he's more likely to be devising individual lesson plans for every student and moving throughout the classroom working with small groups or individuals. 

 

I don't know that I'd pull a child from a school she's attended up until now due to this one thing unless you have not been happy up until now, but I would be keeping a very close eye on the situation, her academic progress, and I'd be somewhat irritated by the principal's attitude of 'I can do whatever I want, so take it or leave it.' 

ChristaN is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off