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Old 04-13-2012, 07:08 PM
 
Location: here
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Default 3rd/4th combo class

If anyone has any experience or insight into combination classes in elementary school, I'd love to hear them. Due to enrollment numbers and budget constraints, our school will be offering a 3rd/4th combo class next year. My son will be in 3rd grade.

How are these classes usually taught? For example, do both grades get the same social studies lessons? Will the lessons the following year be a repeat for the then 4th graders? Would the 3rd graders still have a chance to intermingle with the other 3rd graders, and 4th graders with 4th graders? I suppose these are questions I can ask the school. I'd love some opinions though.
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:18 PM
 
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Our combo classes were taught with kids grouped by ability in each subject. Kids moved from class to class actually for math and reading. Social studies and science were taught in heterogeneous groups, so kids from each grade mingled with kids from both grades.

My ds actually was always with the older grade in math because he was a really good math student. In reading he was in the middle group. My daughter was the opposite though she was good at math. She was better at reading and did a pull out great books for that with kids from several grades.

We actually liked the combo classes, but the kids did not stay with one teacher for the whole day.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:58 AM
 
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In our combo classes, it is one teacher. She groups students together by ability for math and reading. For science and social studies, the whole group will learn from one year of the curriculum. For example, in the state curriculum guide, landforms might be slotted to be taught in third grade and weather in fourth. The whole class will learn weather this year, and next year, they will learn landforms, regardless of what their actual grade is.
It is somewhat confusing, as if you're not happy with the class after a year, and wish to withdraw, I don't know what they would do, as your child would have learned 4th grade science material already, and be learning it again in fourth grade, but won't have actually seen any of the 3rd grade material. I don't know if that's the way the do it everywhere.
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:19 PM
 
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Our only experience was a K-1 combo class. It worked very well for that age group. I think I would like it as the parent of a 3rd grader, but not as the parent of a 4th grader, assuming my child was a competent student. I imagine it would be very helpful to a struggling child.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:58 PM
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Location: Foot of the Rockies
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My daughter was in a 2/3 combo many years ago, as a third grader. They did have the same social studies topics. They did the 3rd grade topics b/c those kids had been in a regular 2nd grade class. The next year they did the 2nd grade topics. (DD was no longer in that group, as she was in 4th grade by then.) Basically, it's a two year curriculum for social studies.

I don't know exactly how everything was done. It worked out well for my daughter.

When I was a kid, I attended a small, multi-age school. When I started there, the school had three grades in a room (1-2-3 and 4-5-6). The teacher basically taught one grade level at a time while the others did work at their desks. Later on, they built an addition and there were just two grades per room, same set-up.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:31 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
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Many moons ago, I was in combination classes. I was a 1st grader in a 1-2 class, a third grader in a 3/4 class, and a 5th and 6th grader in 5/6 classes. I thoroughly enjoyed it--I was able to push ahead in math each of those years, which I loved. The only year that was trouble was my 6th grade year. The teacher had run out of stuff to teach me (I had finished the 6th grade curriculum in 5th grade) and used me as a tutor for the other kids.
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:37 AM
 
Location: here
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thanks for the responses. I was in a 3rd/4th combo as a 3rd grader too. I don't remember exactly how it was done, though. I'm a little confused on the 2-year social studies concept. What if there was no longer a need for a combined class and those kids went back to normal classes? Wouldn't they miss a lesson and repeat a lesson?

As of now, I'm not going to volunteer my son for the class, but if he ends up in it anyway, I have several questions to ask.
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:09 PM
Status: "Happy Halloween!" (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibbiekat View Post
thanks for the responses. I was in a 3rd/4th combo as a 3rd grader too. I don't remember exactly how it was done, though. I'm a little confused on the 2-year social studies concept. What if there was no longer a need for a combined class and those kids went back to normal classes? Wouldn't they miss a lesson and repeat a lesson?

As of now, I'm not going to volunteer my son for the class, but if he ends up in it anyway, I have several questions to ask.
Well, they did go back to regular single grade classes at that elementary school, and I don't know how they handled that issue. It's possible they just skipped some of it and moved on.

I would like to add that the principal and the teachers at my kids' school said the purpose of multi-age was NOT to advance bright younger kids and/or remediate older kids, for some who have presented that idea. (Not you, I know)
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Old 04-19-2012, 02:56 PM
 
Location: here
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Well, they did go back to regular single grade classes at that elementary school, and I don't know how they handled that issue. It's possible they just skipped some of it and moved on.

I would like to add that the principal and the teachers at my kids' school said the purpose of multi-age was NOT to advance bright younger kids and/or remediate older kids, for some who have presented that idea. (Not you, I know)
this is one of the only points made on the flier that was sent home. I am very curious to find out how many parents will volunteer for this.
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:35 PM
 
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What did they say the purpose was? Just curious.
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