Russell Yates and Heidi Mattern
My former teaching partner and I made a transparency of the
following outline to act as a sort of agenda for our first parent
information meeting. It helped keep us and the parents focused
on the information we wanted to get across.
Multiage Information Presentation
Why do we want to make this change to a team-taught, multiage
- Currently we have students for only one year.
- We have no opportunity to learn from other teachers.
- Students learn in spurts, at a varying rate, within a structure
that moves them sequentially from grade to grade.
What we've done to prepare for this change?
- Taught 2nd and 3rd grade classes.
- Read books and articles, visited multi-age classrooms, attended
- Implemented some multiage techniques in our classrooms this
How will we teach two grades at once?
- Classroom layout
- Begin with 3rd grade subject matter in science and social
- Students will work with one of us to learn specific skills,
- Students will work side by side on projects, and whole group
or small group explorations.
- Examples: math, reading, projects (space, animals, social
- All essential skills and content area will be covered for
each grade level.
Here is one of parents' biggest concerns: "My child
needs enrichment," or "My child needs extra help. How
will you meet his or her needs?"
- The issue is not so much which grade levels are in a class,
but rather, what is the teachers' program, style, and philosophy.
- Time is provided each day to pursue learning at students'
own level and pace.
- Materials are available for students who need extra practice,
and for those who have mastered skills and need to move on.
- Students will be taught how to work independently, and with
- Research shows multi-age classes benefit ALL students academically
and emotionally. Older students act as role models, and younger
students are stimulated to meet the expectations of the older
We want to become facilitators for children's learning, not
just dispensers of knowledge
- Provide models and methods for sharing what students learn.
- Build upon students' interests.
- Arrange classroom so individuals and groups can work independently.
- Emphasize responsibility.
- Active learning and creation of products: (Models of habitats,
plays, videos, experiments, class books).