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    Multi-grading (long)
    By Karen

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    I teach grades 3-6 in one classroom... only 9 students, but it is interesting at times. I try to have a couple subjects/activities that students can do without help. I often start with Spelling. They can write words or get in small groups and quiz each other as you work with the opposite group. They should be able to do Penmanship without help, other than occasional spot-checking.

    This next idea takes a lot of time initially, but I took time to coordinate my Math lessons so that I did not have to lecture separately for 5th and 6th grades. Their books were different, and their examples were different, but the lessons themselves were not usually that much different. If you have time, that would be helpful. For instance, when you do multiplication with one, do it with the other... simply refer to the different page numbers, but put practice problems on the board for them to work, and go with it. Once in the while the lessons were very different (such as more advanced work for the upper grade), but usually the younger kids could just do a practice page on that topic. If that didn't work, then I just had to be flexible and teach them separately.

    For history and science, you might have a reading/silent quiz/study notes day for one grade while you lecture the other; then flip flop it the next day. You might have them read both days' worth on the day that you aren't going to work with them as much... then give them more attention while the other class reads the next day.

    In the future, I'd try to get your principal to see the benefit of combining Science and History and putting them on a yearly rotation (fourth one year/fifth the next). The higher quality teaching that you can give the kids would be worth in the long run.

    Multi-grading can be a blast! Have fun with it!


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