Teaching any grade level is challenging, but teaching multi-grades is like running a three ring circus. There are a wider range of needs and developmental levels in a multiple age classroom. Here are some resources to help you get organized.
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What is the most effective way to teach Reading in a combined classroom?
Veteran teacher Mary Mueller shares tips for teaching a multi-grade class. She suggests thinking of your class as a range of abilities rather than two grades. Creating reading groups based on ability rather than grade level helps address student needs more effectively. Smaller groups mean more attention for high needs readers.
How can I keep track of several leveled Reading groups?
Organizing these groups can be tricky. The Thinker Builder wrote an awesome tutorial for organizing your small groups. I’m a visual person, so his step by step illustrations helped me picture my student groups. This year I’m using his poster to display my reading groups in the classroom. My students appreciate knowing what to expect.
How do I keep the other students on task while I meet with small groups?
Keeping students engaged and actively learning throughout the day requires serious planning. Don’t try bending your brain to figure this all out on your own. The Daily Five has already done it for you. This little book is a life saver for multi-grade teachers. Your students will happily stay busy with Reading, Writing, and Word Work while you meet with each leveled group. The book lays out each step and lesson to be taught to get your Literacy block structured for absolute success. Note: this book is not a curriculum, but a structure that enables you to teach your school’s curriculum effectively.
Taking on a multiple grade class can be intimidating. Organize your students into leveled reading groups and structure your reading block carefully. Look for Daily 5, The (Second Edition): Fostering Literacy in the Elementary Grades in your office library or buy your own copy.