kindergarten/grade 1 combination class
I am new to this site and am interested in opinions/experiences of anyone who has taught a kindergarten-first grade combination class. Our parochial school is experiencing the need for such a class in the fall. I am the new Administrator (leaving the classroom after 14 years ) and would like to get ideas to pass along to the teacher of this combination class. Thank you.
Let me begin by saying that I don't teach a multi-age class, but I have opinions. We have 2 such classes at our school. The way they are set up, teaming is available between the 2 teachers which allows for more differentiated instruction. They also differentiate for math. Since the kids are with the same teacher for 2 years, the older kids can act as mentors to the younger ones. The setup probably allows for less "down" time because since they already know the expectations they can hit the ground running in September.
There are a few concerns I have about it though, too. My primary concern is that, at least in my school, 1st grade is taught twice. I think that kinders have different needs than 1st graders and that they really need time to acclimate to school. They need to go out and play. They need to fingerpaint and play with play dough and have sharing time. Again, I can only judge based on my school, but I don't see that happening. I also think that when they are ready to move on to a regular second grade a bit of preparation needs to be done. I remember a few children really freaking out when they started 2nd because of the security that they no longer felt.
I think Multiage could work for some kids and I think that a traditional kindergarten is better for others. You might want to think about giving your parents a choice. Present the facts and ask them to think about their child's needs.
Hope that helps...Good luck!
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