Tips and Tricks for a Split Class
on in for some split class tips!
I have gotten lots of
e-mails from other teachers asking if I have any advice or tips
on having a split class... so I thought this would be the
perfect thing to add to my website!
My biggest piece of
advice is to run your split
class like a unified class... not like two
groups of kids who happen to be learning in the same classroom.
For me, this means doing the majority of our learning together,
not sitting in grade-level groups, and rarely addressing my
students by their grade-level labels.
I also am a firm believer in
high standards and expectations for all
children. As someone who had experience only teaching 2nd
grade, I found that I continued to teach at the level I was used
to and my first graders have absolutely risen to that standard.
It was very exciting for me to see how much my first graders
were capable of when the bar was set so high for my second
One of the most exciting things about teaching a
split class is watching friendships that may not have happened
if my students had been in a more traditional classroom setting.
Academics in a Split Class
|Math is the only subject where
my students do not learn together. Because we use
the program Everyday Mathematics, I adhere to the
curriculum for each grade level. While one grade
level receives instruction from me, the other engages in
self-selected math activities.
|I use the Daily Five to manage
my reading instruction and it is an incredible tool for
differentiation and delivering appropriate instruction
to every student. The structure of D5 allows me to
teach 15 mini-lessons each week in the areas of phonics,
comprehension, and grammar. Fifteen mini-lessons
is a lot and enables me to teach a wide variety of whole
class skills followed by 15 small group sessions each
|We do all of our science and
social studies learning together. Second grade
skills and knowledge build on those in first grade, so
all students were taught all units and each grade level
was assessed on their own specific content. This
allowed for my 2nd graders to review and reinforce prior
knowledge and my 1st graders to expand their knowledge,
if they were ready to!
|I use a combination of Writer's
Workshop and more traditonal "assigned" writing where
students complete writing assignments that are graded
for specific skill mastery. Through daily modeling
and shared writing during our morning meeting, students
are instructed on author's craft and necessary writing
skills. They are allowed to practice during
workshop time, when I confer with individual students or
small groups. Several times a month, students
complete assigned writings which are graded and placed
in a cumulative writing folder so we can see growth and
develoment throughout the year.
Hopefully this brief overview has
been helpful! Feel free to contact me via
e-mail if you want to chat further!