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    departmentalizing
    By tia

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    we have departmentalized in 6th grade at my school for several years.

    depending on how many students/classes we have and who the teachers are, here is what we have traded students for:

    math/science/social studies
    math/social studies
    science & health/social studies
    math/social studies/language (writing)

    we feel there are several good reasons for doing this.

    in our district, we have junior highs with 7, 8, 9th grade, so our 6th graders leave us with little "switching classes" knowledge--well, OURS don't. we believe this is a good program to get kids ready for junior high--constant transitions, different teachers, personalities, and expectations. not having one teacher who babysits and reminds them all day--we still look out for our own kids, but we really stress their responsibility this year.

    the kids love it--getting to move around, not being stuck with one teacher (hey, we like not getting stuck all day with some of the kids too!).

    our parents love it--we have never had a single complaint about our departmentalizing. (well, that i've heard of!) and this is our 9th year.

    it's a good thing for teachers because we can really focus in on one of our beloved subjects--if we're more "into" it, we're going to do a better job of teaching it--we do stay up-to-date with what is going on in our district and in the other classes for those subjects. also, we can plan better lessons because we're really focusing on that one area. also, after teaching one lesson, i find better ways to introduce an idea, or i give better directions to the next two classes.

    i think that was everything i wanted to say about that. let me know if you need any more information. tia



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