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Home : 2003 : Jul : 31

    Combo Class
    By Lori

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    I have taught a combined grade 1/2 classroom for the last years and going into my third ( I am a 3rd year teacher). Each year the make up of my classroom has been different. The first year was high 1's, low 2's the following year it was average 1's, average 2's, I anticipate that this year will be average 1's and average 2's again. Whatever combination you get you'll make it work.

    I begin the year with a lot of review of printing, sounds, etc. This review is good for the grade 2 students to hear again.

    As for social, health, science I teach in themes and do my best to integrate all of the areas and objectives that I have to meet according to my curriculum. I just change my expectations for the grade 2 students. I expect them to write more, read more, etc. For example, In February I have the students do reports on a Rainforest animal. I would have the grade 1's research and writing as a group (with myself as the guide). With grade 2, most students can start doing some research independently and write the report. I would edit and they would do a second copy ( or final draft).

    I use guided reading and literacy centres in Language Arts. This was my saving grace. If you don't know about it research it. You can find all sorts of stuff on the web. Basically the students work independently at literacy centres and this frees time up for you to work with smaller reading groups. Students can be grouped according to their reading level, or even by strategies that they still need to learn. Groupings should be flexible.

    My math program is both seperate and combined. I teach the same concepts at the same time but my objectives for each grade are different. For example, with the unit Time, I would teach/review hour and minute hand. Grade 1's are only expected to read the clock by the hour and half hour. Grade 2's are expected to read the clock to the minute. It is kind of like a 3 ring circus. I do a mini lesson, activity or game for the whole class, get one grade started on a centre or assignment while I teach more or give instructions to the other grade then flip flop, get the one grade working and instruct the other grade.

    Be organized, be well planned, and be flexible. Have an awesome year!

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