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Whew -- how's that for a title?<br><br>
It looks likely that DS will be in a 1-2 split next year (he'll be in first). The first graders come in an hour earlier and leave an hour earlier, the seconds come in an hour later, leave an hour later. The teacher has an excellent reputation.<br><br>
We adore DS's current teacher, and she totally gets him. She feels confident he'd do well in this class. His reading is very advanced (at least third grade, maybe higher), and he's not too shabby at math, either.<br><br>
Since this is pretty much a done deal, I'd appreciate any tips or good stories. While if I put up a huge stink they'd probably find a place for him in the "regular" first grade class, I think this could be a good opportunity.<br>
thanks,<br>
-e
 

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You may be interested in heading over to the gifted forum and look at the answers to a fairly similar question I posted (not restricted to public schools as I had some specific Montessori concerns, but a lot of people had public school experiences to share which were overwhelmingly psoitive).<br><a href="http://mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=1212823" target="_blank">http://mothering.com/discussions/sho....php?t=1212823</a>
 

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Our school does it and I haven't loved it. In fact, it's gone so badly this year (grades 1/2) that they've decided to discontinue mixed grades for first and second graders next year.<br><br>
I don't know how it is in the older grades since my kids are in 1st and 2nd but, I think there is such a difference between 1st and 2nd grade that it just didn't work well.
 

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All of my kids have been in split classes.<br><br>
My oldest was in a 1/2 in grade 1, my middle one in a 1/2 in grade 1 and my youngest is in a 2/3 in grade 2.<br><br>
They generally place the kids who can work more independantly and don't need as much academic help into the bottom of a split grade as the teacher will have times where's she's instructing to the other grade while the other grade is working.<br><br>
This year my dd in grade 2 is getting to do a project that is normally not started until Grade 3, simply because she's in the split class. She'll have 3 years of this project. IMO this is the biggest benefit. The kids in the split classes get exposed to more education as they're in the room during 2 grade teachings. Usually the younger grade is taught first & the older grade is given similar but harder/more work on the same subject. Even though the younger grade is supposed to be working on their level they are picking up what is happening in the older grade.<br><br>
the only downside we've had to the split grades was this year with my youngest in the 2/3 split. my middle dd is in Grade 3 & I'd warned them prior to the start of the school year that there was a chance they'd be in the same class. My middle dd was quite put out at the thought of being in the same class as her little(by 12months) sister.lol In the end they're NOT in the same class, however my middle dd has friends in my younger dd's class. As a result the girls are all making friends with the older/younger ones and my younger dd says her sister "stole" her friends.lol She didn't really just sometimes my younger dd's friends end up playing with my middle dd's friends. Chances are it'd have happened even without them being in the same grade & a cement brick width separating the classrooms.<br><br>
I've warned the girls that since they're 1 grade apart that this will NOT be the last time they may end up in the same class, especially when they hit middle-highschool.
 

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Dd2 is in a 4/5 split in grade 4. My only issue with it is that she tends to rush her work (that the 4s are doing quietly while the 5s are being taught) so that she can listen in to the 5s. But she's not behind, and is getting the work done.
 

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My daughter isn't even in preschool yet, but I was in mixed grades through 4th grade. In 1st and 2nd grade I was in a 1-2 class then in a 2-3 class, and the last 2 years I was in a 3rd and 4th mixed class. I had a great time and it was good to be able to see what the older kids were doing.<br><br>
I don't remember having any issues with it, even though I was always one of the smallest kids around.
 

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I've been teaching multi-age for six years now. I've done 3/4, 4/5, 6-8, and 6/7. The middle school grades are a whole other ball of wax. But I loved teaching the elementary grades like this. I can only talk about my experience, but my 3rd/4th day would look something like this:<br><br>
Morning meeting<br>
Reading--very individualized, which is should be anyway with only one grade.<br>
Writing--I would teach specific skills every year, even if it was a review for the older kids. The review was never wasted on them; I would hold them to slightly higher standards.<br>
Spelling--My spelling program was completely individualized.<br>
Math--We would physically separate the two grades for math. It's not easy to find another teacher available to take over one grade of math, but we felt it was important and made it happen.<br>
Science and social studies--I would have one class period a day known as "Theme." That theme could be a science topic, social studies, or both. The theme curriculum was on a 2-year rotating schedule, so I would teach the same thing every other year.<br><br>
I have found that different grade combos have different social concerns. For example, we are thinking that it makes more sense to combine the 6th graders with 5th than with 7th. When I started I was nervous about how I was going to make it work, but I found it was not much different than one grade. Even in one grade, you have a wide range of abilities and maturity levels. With multi-age you might have a larger span to deal with, but not always. Currently we have a K/1 classroom, 2/3, 4/5, and the 6-8 are combined in different combinations throughout the day. Math groups are almost always split up by grade, but there is some flexibility in that too (we have several kids who are skipped ahead 1 or more grade levels in math).
 

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This is a very interesting thread for me because we've been told DD will be in a split 1/2 next year at Grade 1.<br><br>
My partner is really positive about it as he was in a lot of split classes as a kid. He feels that kids who are doing ok/more mature get put in split classes. I don't know how true that is. Anyway, his positivity has made me quite excited for DD.
 

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I was in a K-3 split for four years and then a 4-6 split for three years. This was an alternative program in a public elementary school. This was also quite awhile ago, but it worked out really well for me. Instruction was very individualized. I was frequently quite a bit above grade level and the split grades class meant I was never held back. I also had a lot of older friends and I was happy to be able to be in a class with them. I actually don't remember any negatives at all.
 

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My ds goes to a school that only has split grades. It's an experiential school that is 1/2, 3/4, 5/6..... There are only 15 kids in a class and grade.except for math and reading all the kids learn the same material in 2 year cycles. For math and reading the kids move all over the school; you may see a first grader in a 3rd grade math class.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>34me</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15380758"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My ds goes to a school that only has split grades. It's an experiential school that is 1/2, 3/4, 5/6..... There are only 15 kids in a class and grade.except for math and reading all the kids learn the same material in 2 year cycles. For math and reading the kids move all over the school; you may see a first grader in a 3rd grade math class.</div>
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Wow. that sounds like a really cool school!<br><br><br><br><br>
I was in a 3rd/4th in 3rd and 4th grade. I loved it. I really loved my teacher, so having her for two years was great. Then I was in a 5th/6th in 5th grade. I didn't like it so much, but mostly just because I was in a class with a lot of bullying; not because of the split. I think usually it works out great.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ecoteat</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15380356"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The middle school grades are a whole other ball of wax. But I loved teaching the elementary grades like this.</div>
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I know this is kinda OT, but could you elaborate on this a little?
 

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Thanks so much for all the replies! I loved hearing that so many of you and your kiddos had good experiences. Assuming it does indeed happen, I will confidently send DS off to a split next year.<br>
thanks,<br>
-e
 

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My 1st through 3rd grade class was combined, I believe it was an advanced program but I'm not sure. It was wonderful, the teacher was great - kind and good at teaching. Having older and younger kids together worked well, we often had different work and lessons separated by grade level. I mostly remember her reading to us, and the other class units we went to each day like music, art, PE, and computer. On field trips we combined ours with the deaf class too, and so we learned sign language. I recently got in touch with my teacher and she had great things to say about those days too.
 

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<b>ecoteat</b>- I'd also be interested in hearing your opinions on mixed grades in secondary schools. It's likely that my kids will be going to a mixed grade/ similar-to-a-democratic school for grades 7-12.<br><br>
To the OP- my kids go to a school with mixed grades. There is a classroom with grades 1-3 and grades 4-6. For my kids, it's been an overwhemling success. It's worked pretty well for my children who are working above grade level.<br><br>
I think that as long as the classroom is a planned mixed grade classroom with plenty of administrative support (as opposed to a school deciding to create a mixed grade classroom merely because of odd numbers), your child will be okay.
 

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I was in a mixed grade classroom for 2 years in elementary school. I think it really depends on the teacher and the curriculum.<br><br>
In my case, I was in the older grade for each split and it was awful. For example, when I was in the 1/2 split, the teacher taught mostly to the 1st grade level. I was way beyond that and bored. Plus when I moved on to 3rd grade there was stuff I was expected to know I was never taught. But, in the situation I was in the split was just fine for those in the lower grade.<br><br>
I would definitely look into how the teacher accomodates the differing curricula and such of the two great levels.
 

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Regarding mixed levels in middle school grades...<br>
My school sounds similar to 34me's; we have about 6-10 kids per grade in my tiny public school, so they have to be combined. The K-5 acts almost as a separate entitiy from 6-8. I've been there 6 years. I taught 3 years 3/4, 1 year 4/5, and the last 2 years I switched to 6-8. Right now I teach a 6th grade math class, a 6/7 science class, and an 8th grade science class. Last year I had 6th math, 8th math, and two periods of science that were a mix of 6-8 together.<br><br>
Even with mixed age classes, middle school grades tend to be more departmentalized, so the structure of the day is very different than a self-contained class. My students might have the same teacher for 2 or 3 classes, but they move around the building a lot more from class to class. I teach a 3-year rotating science curriculum. This year was interesting when I was teaching human reproduction, for example. What 6th graders can understand and how they respond to the information is quite different than 8th grade. We teachers think it would be better if we had a 5/6 class and a 7/8 class, but we don't have the staffing right now to make it work. (If my position was increased to full time it would work, though!) There is a HUGE emotional and social span between the 6th and 8th grade. Academically, they can all usually handle the same content in my class, but for more skill-based things like math and writing, more differentiation needs to happen. Actually, my 8th graders are my weakest students across the three grades--their chronological age and academic experience don''t seem to matter much when it comes to how they handle the content of my class.<br><br>
During those years a lot more emotional and social development happens than academic. So while the 8th graders seem many years ahead socially, it almost seems like some of them stagnate in their school learning for a while. We've decided to avoid mixing 6th and 8th graders whenever possible next year. We might even keep next year's 8th grade on its own, even though it is only six kids.<br><br>
I do love teaching my funky mixed middle school classes though! Adolescents are so much fun (most of the time!).
 

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Thank you for that info ecoteat. My ds's school which is K-6 is moving in with a 6-12 school that is also experiential learning next year due to our building being a million years old and so that the district can do some buget cuts by combining the schools. So far we have decided to keep our 6th graders seperated from their 6th graders at least for this year. Ours are just coming from a very differrent place. Then the 7/8 will be combined and the 9-12 will be in the 3rd "wing" of the repurposed elementary school. Next year will be very interesting.
 

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Thanks for answering ecoteat! I can definitely understand how the social and emotional issues of middle-school aged kids would be importance when designing classes. I appreciate you sharing your experiences.
 

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I love it!! We are in a Montessori school, which is typically 3-6, 6-9, 9-12 (ages, not grades), but since this is a charter school they have it broken down to K/1, 2/3, 4, 5/6 and then middle school 7/8. Personally, I feel the mixed age groups work - the younger one's learn from the older children and the older children feel in a leadership/teaching position to the younger children.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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