Combination Classroom Support
Within any grade, teachers are confronted with multiple challenges. As a combination class teacher, additional decisions need to be made on dealing with two levels of curriculum, having a large range of ability levels, doubling the amount of standards to be accountable for and many other items.
Traditionally there are two approaches to teaching a combination class. The first is where the teacher has the class divided into separate grade level groups and the lesson plans have two separate learning objectives. The teacher usually teaches one group while the others are working independently and then switches half way through the period.
A second approach is to view the group holistically and teach common concepts. Teaching in this manner means that the teacher picks the most relevant materials from both curriculums while trying to maintain a basic scope and sequence. There is usually one main lesson that is delivered to all and then individual needs are met within small group instruction periods. In most cases teachers tend to use only the one curriculum that best matches the average level of student abilities.
Both of these examples have their advantages and disadvantages. Although there is not an “easy” way to teach a combination class, there is a way to blend elements from the two methods mentioned above that covers common content objectives holistically yet meets with grades individually for uncommon topics. District trainings are offered in the early fall on this topic which teachers are highly urged to attend. For additional information please consult the Professional Development Website, explore the link listed below which contains the training materials or contact the Elementary Mathematics Department.