One of the challenges of teaching multiple grades is meeting the many range of needs. Of course, this is the challenge with a straight grade class as well. But with multiple grades comes a greater span of abilities and needs.
I tackle this is by doing most of my teaching in small groups that are leveled by ability and need. Last year I had about 4 students per group. I rotated through activity and lesson centers for Math and Reading.
I love hearing about how others structure their classrooms. The Thinker Builder wrote about how to organize small groups recently. I think using his ideas will help me fine tune my small group instruction and make my center time even more effective this year. He talks about how to level the groups according to academic need, but also uses graphics to show how to organize the small group teaching block.
I LOVE a good visual!
My center schedule will be a chalk board I made from poster board covered with chalk board contact paper. This will have my groups coded by color and I’ll be able to make adjustments without messing up my beautiful center schedule. I’m a little bit perfectionist in the strangest ways.
By using the Thinker Builder’s center schedule and displaying it, I’ll feel more confident that I’m tackling the range of instructional needs in my multi-age class. The students will know what to expect from me and my instructional aide will be able to jump in easily when I’m unexpectedly called out of the room.