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Old 07-20-2011, 04:31 PM
 
25 posts, read 95,472 times
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my son will go to 2nd grade and is a posibility that he'll be assigned to a 1st/2nd grade class. He was above his grade in reading and math.

Are split grades in elementary school good for the kids?

Can someone tell me from their experience, what is the quality of education that their kids have received in split classes (going with the lower grade)?

How can I refuse to have my child in one of this classes, without ofending someone ?

Should I talk to principal or the teacher?


Should I talk before the selection or after?

Thanks for your advice!
Michelle
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
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I would not allow it if he is above grade level. Both of my girls were in split classes (all classes were split in their elementary school) but they were placed in the lower grade because they were ahead and that placement meant they could work ahead with the next grade up.
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:42 PM
 
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This is the first time I've ever heard of such a thing. And to be fair, I'll admit upfront I know nothing split grades, so I'm not giving advice but just validating your concern, along with looking to other to learn from the discussion.

I'd be just as concerned as you are. If your child is placed in a split class while other children have other opportunities, I'd certainly expect you to question why your child does not get the same experience (and opportunity) as other children in the district.

If the idea is to put children of similar proficiency without regard to age and grade in the same class, I'm totally against it. That's like dividing students into two "classes"... smart ones and other.

Anyways, I'm interested in learning about this concept.
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,702,140 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBest View Post
This is the first time I've ever heard of such a thing. And to be fair, I'll admit upfront I know nothing split grades, so I'm not giving advice but just validating your concern, along with looking to other to learn from the discussion.

I'd be just as concerned as you are. If your child is placed in a split class while other children have other opportunities, I'd certainly expect you to question why your child does not get the same experience (and opportunity) as other children in the district.

If the idea is to put children of similar proficiency without regard to age and grade in the same class, I'm totally against it. That's like dividing students into two "classes"... smart ones and other.

Anyways, I'm interested in learning about this concept.
It's, most often, used to deal with over crowding. If a school has 14 extra kids in 4th grade and 14 extra kids in 5th grade, that means they can hire one teacher. If she teaches 4th grade, then 5th grade classes are overcrowded. If she teaches 5th grade then 4th grade classes are over crowded. If she teaches a split, she takes the extra kids.

Some schools do what my dd's school did and group kids by ability. Higher performing 4th grade students will be in with lower performing 5th grade students or with higher performing 5th grade students on a tracked system (gifted program).
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:25 PM
 
24,511 posts, read 34,122,907 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
It's, most often, used to deal with over crowding. If a school has 14 extra kids in 4th grade and 14 extra kids in 5th grade, that means they can hire one teacher. If she teaches 4th grade, then 5th grade classes are overcrowded. If she teaches 5th grade then 4th grade classes are over crowded. If she teaches a split, she takes the extra kids.

Some schools do what my dd's school did and group kids by ability. Higher performing 4th grade students will be in with lower performing 5th grade students or with higher performing 5th grade students on a tracked system (gifted program).
I see. Thanks for the explanation. It still leaves me concerned... but it also seems like a reasonable way to handle overcrowding if they have no other options.
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Virginia
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I've seen it happen in my building occasionally, but I wouldn't want to teach a combination class. I don't know how the state standards are covered in a combination class. Math and language arts might not be too difficult, but for science and social studies in particular, our topics vary quite a bit from one grade level to the next.
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:31 PM
 
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My kids were in split grades in elementary school for every grade except 3rd. Both of my kids were above grade level in some things and average in others.

Both had really good educations and my son actually considers his year in 3rd grade to be the only one where it was wasted for him. It took me almost the whole year to get him cross-teamed for math in that grade and even that was not as helpful as it could have been because they cross-teamed him to a lower 4th grade math when he was doing 5th or 6th grade math.

For the most part, this worked well in our elementary schools. The kids were grouped for math and reading with kids who were of like math or reading levels and there were always kids close to their level.
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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My daughter was in a 2/3 one year, in third grade. It was good for her, different, but no better or worse than when she was in single grade classes. Many people get the idea that multi-age classes are to remediate the older kids and/or to accelerate the younger kids. Our principal kept saying, over and over again, that that just wasn't so, at least at our school.
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:02 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
872 posts, read 2,551,449 times
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Has the teacher taught the split class before? If so, are there any parents at the school to whom you could speak regarding their children's experiences in the classroom?

At our school, split classes are based on enrollment numbers. Some years there are split classes on campus and some years there aren't. It is quite an arduous task for the teacher because s/he needs to address all of the standards for each grade level. Some of those standards mesh a bit, but have to taught to more depth for the upper grade level. Some of the standards are quite different and must be addressed specifically for each grade level. Teachers at my school who have taught splits usually manage it through centers; for example, they will have a whole group science lesson with the 2nd graders while the 1st graders rotate through math centers. They have a para in the room for part of the day. The teachers who have had splits have made it work and the students have been successful, but those teachers are experienced and innovative teachers anyway and are consistent with their classroom management.

If possible, you could try to talk to the principal a week or possibly two before the school year begins. I would not approach it as "I refuse to have Bob in a split classroom," but rather, "I understand Bob might be placed in a split classroom. I have a few concerns, which are X, Y, and Z. How are those concerns typically addressed?" You could request for your son not to be in the split classroom, but it is a possibility he could be placed there anyway based on enrollment and other factors. If your son is placed in the split, make sure to attend Back to School Night/Meet the Teacher Night/anything like that your school has and ask the teacher if you can discuss your concerns.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:08 AM
 
833 posts, read 4,369,988 times
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I was in a split grade when I was in 5th grade (a 4th/5th grade split).

It was actually one of the best grade school classroom experiences I ever had. The teacher did a wonderful job incorporating everyone into lesson plans, and did a great job including everyone based on their skill level. Now this was back in the early 1980's but for me, it was one of my best elementary school experiences. I came away with some friends I never would have met had it been just a 5th grade classroom. I was one of the older 5th graders in the class and it was actually great for me because I learned leadership skills and how to apply them to a group setting.

From my experience, I don't think you have a lot to worry about. Your child could come away from this classroom experience a better leader, and more well-rounded in the long run.
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