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Multiage Handout

Russell Yates and Heidi Mattern

At the first informational meeting, my former teaching partner and I gave the following to all parents interested in our classroom. It gave a concise summary of our program and complimented our initial presentation well.


Multiage Classroom

for Second and Third Graders

Heidi Mattern and Russell Yates

A multiage educational program is a union of an organizational structure and unique combinations of teaching and learning strategies. The way learning occurs is made possible by the multiple age structure. Two teachers working together with the same group of children is referred to as "teaming" or "team teaching." When combined with a multiage program the learning environment can be greatly enhanced through the collaboration of the two teachers.

Why Multiage?

  • Allows for flexibility in the grouping of children according to need, ability, or interest; not just by age.
  • Problems associated with a yearly transition from one grade to another can be overcome. The teacher has a nucleus of children, trained in the details of the class organization who keep it going while newcomers absorb it.
  • As the student-teacher-parent relationship develops over a longer period of time, students will receive greater support for their success in school.
  • A more natural learning situation is established. Children work at their own pace. Their program is not geared to the work of a single year but can be adjusted over two or more years.
  • Benefits come to the older children from the quality of leadership and responsibility they develop.
  • Young children are stimulated intellectually by older children.
  • Children have a broader social experience with increased opportunities to lead and to follow, to collaborate and to make stable peer relationships.

It is our goal to use instructional strategies that:

  • Change the teacher's role to facilitator rather than the source of knowledge.
  • Produce cooperation.
  • Allow students to learn from each other through peer tutoring.
  • Give students responsibility and independence in both learning and behavior.
  • Build understanding of action-consequence relationship.
  • Provide choice to the student in different areas of learning that will reflect learning-style differences.
  • Allow continuous learning through the use of learning centers, small group instruction, and individual pacing.
  • Involve parents in classroom activities.
  • Encourage student responsibility and ownership of the learning environment.
  • Teach goal-setting from an early age.
  • Build leadership skills in all students.

Team Teaching

  • Allows for greater flexibility in grouping and instruction.
  • Gives students a variety of approaches.
  • Models collaboration.
  • Allows for greater observation of students in order to better meet their needs.

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