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Thu Mar 1, 2012, 12:19 AM

Son might be going into combined class next year.

Our son will be heading to years grade this August and he might be sharing a combined class with 2nd graders. He should be ok emotionally as he just turned 6 and will know a lot of the 2nd graders from after-school, his pre school days and the neighborhood. But I am not sure this will be good for him academically. Anyway, I wondered if someone might have similar experiences to share before I "set my hair on fire".

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Reply Son might be going into combined class next year. (Original post)
RandySF Mar 2012 OP
yourout Mar 2012 #1
JNelson6563 Mar 2012 #2
MikeOlsen Mar 2012 #3
eridani Mar 2012 #4
bikeboy Mar 2012 #5
IllinoisBirdWatcher Mar 2012 #6
NYC_SKP Mar 2012 #7
RandySF Mar 2012 #8
NYC_SKP Mar 2012 #9
mopinko Mar 2012 #11
murielm99 Mar 2012 #10

Response to RandySF (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 12:27 AM

1. All three of our boys did Multi-age in 1st and 2nd and did great.

They had the same wonderful teacher(Mrs Mize).

I would say she had a part to play in our oldest son now being a 3rd grade teacher.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 12:30 AM

2. I was in a split class.

My experience was 4th grade, we were in with 5th graders. It helped that we had a very good teach. It wasn't terribly different from a regular school year, really. One grade did assigned work while the teacher addressed the other and then a switch. And of course there we things we did the same/together.

It was pretty much a non-event but, again, we had a very good teacher that we all liked and respected so there weren't any problems. If you're fortunate enough to also have a good teacher for your child's class this could be a very good experience!

Oh. lastly, I did learn a few things from over-hearing the 5th graders' lessons, fwiw. I distinctly remember that was when I learned the only number you can't divide is zero~~when Mrs. Van Dellan taught it 5th grade math students.

Julie

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Response to RandySF (Original post)


Response to RandySF (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 12:47 AM

4. This was very common during the leading edge of the baby boom

Schools expanded dramatically in the early 50s, and the intermediate stage often involved mixed classes. The last of the pre-boomers needed just one first grade class. The first boomers necessitated a mixed class step, and from then on there were two first grades. It worked out fine for me.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 12:48 AM

5. 0. Son might be going into combined class next year.

Both of my sons were educated in split class rooms in elementary school and they both did very well. Split classes most often have the highest caliber teachers capable of delivering a curriculum that supports both grade levels and they are able to separate their time equally between the two groups of students. The split classes also in our East Bay School district, (WCCUSD) tend to be smaller due to the split and what the demands are on the teacher( preping for two grade levels every day). Setting your hair on fire is not the answer. Joining the PTA and SSC (school site council) and volunteering in the class room is the answer. As parents, every positive action we take in our children's education has a positive outcome from my experience. The other thing that happened for both of my sons is that they saw other students doing class work that they aspired to do and in the end made them better students. Check out the teacher, if they're doing splits they gotta be good. Just my 2 cents. My oldest will graduate HS this year and his brother next year. they're both pretty cool dudes.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 12:52 AM

6. I taught mixed grade classes for years

1-2 team, 3-4-5th grade team, 4-5, 5-6. I loved each of those years (more than half of my total career) and so did the kids. Being the only "split" in a school because of enrollment issues is often a problem because of other teachers' and parents' perceptions which then reflect upon kid perceptions. Working in a building where there are multi-age teams is fantastic for kids. So much cooperative learning goes on. Our assumption always was that most kids from the lower grade would stay with the same teacher the following year. Instead of 30 new kids to figure out in September, half the class comes back, knows the teacher and the structure, and they get right to work. Not only that, they guide and mentor the new half of the class.

Look at both history and the "real" world before forming an opinion. The majority of children throughout US history were in multi-age classes including the one-room 1-8 schoolhouse. Only in cities and recent suburban history have the graded classrooms become the norm.

As for the real world, do you work in a business, a department, or on a team where every employee must be exactly the same age to qualify as a team member? Do you "set your hair on fire" when an older or younger member joins your business team?

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 12:58 AM

7. All other matters being equal, a mixed grade setting is more natural and can be a better thing.

 

One of the features of modern "education" is the unnatural sorting of individuals by date of manufacture.

Crazy shit. Good luck, RandySF, with a parent like you he'll be fine.

You should become a co-host of the education group!

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #7)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 01:00 AM

8. Oh, I'm no expert.

I'm just a public school parent navigating the world of education.

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Response to RandySF (Reply #8)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 01:03 AM

9. Education is everyone's business. Only one group would be better...

 

...as a host or co-host of an education discussion board than parents, IMHO:

Students.

But I think your son might be a bit young, still!

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #9)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 12:54 PM

11. +++

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 02:08 AM

10. My son was in a combined class in 4th grade.

It was good for him, because he was able to have math with the fifth graders in his class.

My son did well.

They had a good teacher, and I don't know of any students or parents who were unhappy with the arrangement.

FWIW, I was in a combined first and second grade classroom, for the first half of first grade. It was fifty years ago.

When we moved after Christmas, I found out that I was far ahead of my new classmates in a larger community, in a strictly first grade classroom. We were using the same textbooks, too.

I think your son will be fine. Just keep up your interest in his progress.

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