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Multiage Classrooms

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Anne Stuhlman

on 28 April 2011

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Transcript of Multiage Classrooms

Multiage Classrooms What are they? The contemporary multiage classroom promotes integration of instruction across grade levels, with students having the opportunity to choose their own level of study. Are they similiar to one-room schoolhouses? So what is similiar and what is different? But, there are some similarites...
such as multiple ages in one room Why did one-room schoolhouses stop being used? 1. Horace Mann, secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education, introduced the concept following a trip in 1840 to Prussia where he saw such a system in operation. Using the organizational structure of the factory as a model, children were grouped by age to make the delivery of information cost and time-efficient. 2. The Industrial Revolution encouraged mass production and efficiency. The "graded" levels introduced by Mann were in keeping with the times and were easily accepted. Each teacher needed to know only one portion of the total learning, students were kept together with their age group for ease of teaching, economy, and efficiency. 3. Today, textbook companies help perpetuate the age-graded concept. Publications are most often by grade level.

NCLB has also had an impact in maintaining graded classrooms with grade level assessments mandated for every state to maintain federal funding to state departments of education. What are they? Did anyone challenge the changes that took place? Goodland and Anderson challenged the large range of separated classrooms in 1959 with their novel The Nongraded School. This lead to the early research on multiage classrooms and the unique grouping structure that is used. What current research tell us? Research points to many positive aspects of a multiage classroom when compared to traditional age-graded classrooms.

benefits students academically
younger students learn from the lessons that are given to the older students
students learn to work independently and cooperatively at an early age
students are better prepared for problem solving inside and outside of the classroom
students are able to work with/communicate with students (people) of all ages
students show more self-esteem and respect for themselves and others
students develop a better attitude toward school There are some non-negotiables which insure that classes function effectively and students reap the full benefit of the multiage configuration... To realize the full benefit of multiage classrooms it is important that students remain in a class taught by the same teacher(s) for more than one school year. Structure, routine, support and training are necessary for successful multiage classroom configurations. Time must be allowed for frequent common planning time. Classes usually run smoothest with multiple teachers, where responsibility and workload can be shared. So what does this mean for Region 12 Schools? All three elementary schools would see multiage 4-5 classrooms in the fall. WPS could also see multiage 2-3 or a transitional K-1 as well.. Changing the elementary classroom structure is necessary due to our declining enrollment. Grades four and five have the most students and the most teachers. Teachers would be able to work together as a team to collaborate and initiate the transition from same-age classrooms to multiage classrooms. Training for teachers in more involved differentiation and scaffolding of instruction is key for the success of the multiage classroom structure. The number of the classrooms depends on the school enrollment per grade level. The configuration (4-5, 2-3, K-1) would be constant to always allow students the benefit of the second year with the same teacher. "Homeroom" classes will need to be carefully chosen. Homeroom groups will be based on social compatibility (groups that work well together) rather than academic readiness. These multiage homerooms will have some instructional delivery, but there will be large parts of the day where students will be regrouped in flexible groupings to allow for optimal educational experiences. Based on students' ability levels, they will move from room to room, or teacher to teacher, to receive instruction in math, reading, writing and world language. Early elementary students can be mixed by developmental level to learn new objectives without being held back or pushed forward before developmentally ready. In the upper elementary, students can be mixed into classes based on academic abilities as well as interest. Having students work with other students who are at the same learning levels, allows them to work comfortably without feeling pressure of falling behind or being kept from moving ahead. Burnham will have a K-5 enrollment of 61 in only four years. By that time, we can have well-established K-1, 2-3, and 4-5 multiage classrooms. Booth will have a K-5 enrollment of 74 in six years. By that time we can have multiage classrooms with their own traditions. Booth could be a model school delivering outstanding multiage instruction and programs. Washington's K-5 enrollment will dip down to 112 and then rally back up to nearly 130 in the next ten years. Multiage classrooms will allow for the changing enrollment without compromising instruction or students' opportunities for the best possible education. The upper elementary groupings provide students the opportunity to work in groups based on academic levels, as determined by CFAs (small, quick pretests). These groupings are flexible and will change with each new topic of study...or CFA. Benefits of multiage classrooms include:
students are provided with the ability to work in academic level appropriate groups, without being held back socially
provides appropriate social interactions at the students' different development stages In multiage settings students learn valuable skills that they will carry with them throughout their lives. The skills students develop in a multiage classroom include -
how to work independently and problem solve at a young age
older students learn leadership skills
effective independent study habits
how to work effectively with others Test scores show that students who attend multiage classrooms have equivalent or better test scores than those of students who attend age separated classrooms When students gain these skills, it is easy to recognize an increase in self-esteem and self-respect that they have for themselves. In multiage classrooms students learn to accept themselves and others as individuals, who all have different viewpoints and opinions. All of these advantages of multiage classrooms contribute to the students' overall learning experience. This creates a happy and relaxed learning environment for students which improves their overall attitudes toward school. The multiage classroom becomes a place of learning where students are very accepting of one another, but are also challenged to work hard and achieve more than what is expected in a same-age classroom. ....Multiage Classrooms....Multiage Classrooms....Multiage Classrooms.... ....Multiage Classrooms....Multiage Classrooms....Multiage Classrooms.... Multiage Classrooms....Multiage Classrooms....Multiage Classrooms

Multiage Classrooms....Multiage Classrooms....Multiage Classrooms

Its always been that way... Its familiar... It worked for us... But its different today... right? NO The teacher’s role is to provide leadership, support,
and scaffolding. The teacher is actively involved in
helping each student follow an individual study plan,
minimizing the possibility of a student receiving
inappropriate instruction because of lack of attention. Children are encouraged to participate
in cross-age interactions, taking on
roles of leadership and peer tutoring.
. . .the practice of grouping children of more than one age and ability level together with a goal of maximizing teaching practices involving interaction, experiential learning, and fluid, flexible small group participation among children so that they experience a continuous progression of learning (cognitive and social) in keeping with their individual rate of knowledge and skill acquisition. Grade level configurations...how did we get here? Are we going back to a one room school house? The multiage classroom is not a combination class where children of two grade levels are placed in one classroom and treated as two distinct subgroups .

This is to be avoided as it decreased instructional time by 50% for each grade level of students. the group functions much like a family in that close relationships developed students experience flexibility in learning progression Classmates work together with a blend of cooperation children are both protected and nurtured Multiage classrooms allow for the development of social skills as the teacher encourages cross-age interactions Social competence develops for older children out of their roles as leaders and nurturers Social competence develops for younger children out their opportunity to observe and model the behavior of their older classmates Some research shows that same-age classrooms may be related to higher levels of physical and verbal aggression than multiage classrooms. Studies have shown that children experience greater social isolation in same-age than in mixed-age classrooms Classes that are highly unidimensional, a construct frequently associated with same-age grouping, are reported to have more social "stars" but also more rejected and/or neglected children. Prosocial behavior emerges more frequently in mixed-age classrooms than in same-age classrooms "Sociometric status," has been identified as one of the most accurate ways of selecting children who might be at risk for a variety of serious problems later in their lives "Prosocial behaviors" include helping, sharing, cooperating, and caring for or taking responsibility for another Educators have merely accepted the age-graded organizational structure as a way of doing things within the system of public education. better, somehow, Then why has it endured? As our society has changed, so must our schools. The "factory" model of education remains the predominant educational model in America’s schools. There is increasing evidence that this age-graded model is inconsistent with a wealth of recent research on the developing human brain and the kinds of educational strategies that bring about optimal learning and development. The research overwhelmingly demonstrates that children think more, learn more, remember more, take greater pleasure in learning, spend more time on task, and are more productive in classes that emphasize learning in well-implemented cooperative groups. Findings demonstrate academic gains for students participating in mixed-age classrooms Research shows that children’s opportunities to interact with more advanced and less advanced peers strengthens their cognitive skills as well as their social cognition. Research demonstrates that behaviors elicited in younger children when relating to children older than themselves include more mature and cognitively complex interaction. These younger children also exhibit less reliance on adults and greater reliance on their peers for help in caretaking and problem-solving situations. sample of a typical 4-5 day...

9:00-9:45 Science or Social Studies
in homeroom group

9:45-12:15 Language Arts and World Language
in flexible groupings

12:15-1:05 Lunch/Recess

1:05-2:15 Math in flexible groupings

2:15-3:00 Specials (Music, for example) 4MAT (personality and learning inventories)
ENTRY POINTS (student exploration of a given topic through as many as 5 avenues )
AGENDAS (a personalized list of tasks created for individual students)
FLEXIBLE GROUPING (Based on the content, project, and on-going evaluations)
PORTFOLIOS (excellent way to help children set appropriate learning goals)
CENTERS (a classroom area that contains a collection of activities or materials designed to teach, reinforce, or extend a particular skill or concept)
GROUP INVESTIGATION (carefully guides students through investigation of a topic)
PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING (places students in the active role of solving problems in much the same way adult professionals perform their jobs)
CHOICE BOARDS (changing assignments are placed in permanent pockets)
INDEPENDENT STUDY (a tailor-made opportunity to help students develop talent and interest areas)
STATIONS (stations work in concert with one another on a common topic of instruction)
COMPACTING (begins with a focus on student readiness and ends with an emphasis on student interest)
LEARNING CONTRACTS (negotiated agreement between teacher and student that gives students some freedom in acquiring skills and understandings that a teacher deems important at a given time)
TIERED ACTIVITIES (all students focus on essential understandings and skills but at different levels of complexity, abstractness, and open-endedness) Examples The sociometric status of children (people) who have experienced multiage classroom configuration is more positive than that of those who have only experienced same-aged classrooms Dewey They are not crops. Child-centered education
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