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Lesson Plans


multiage classrooms

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Didij
Tue, 30 Dec 1997 23:32:08 -0500 (EST)

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Gina, Recently you asked about ways to work with multi-age classrooms. I have
had a number of multi-age groups, usually because there aren't enough
students in a grade level to make up a full classroom. This year, one day I
am at a school whose preference is to create multi-age groupings, and I have
2 K/1 combos. They are delightful! I have to check my class lists to see who
is a K or a first grader, because quite often I cannot tell either by
behavior or by work. Both grades tend to share a lot of themes which I have
been able to incorporate into our artmaking: seasons, Eric Carle, oceans,
family. I have always considered K and 1 programs as mainly experiential and
the time to begin learning skills they will need in the future. At the
beginning of each class, I demonstrate how to use the materials, we discuss a
theme (or non-theme possibilities), and let them choose what to draw/make.
Because the class lasts one hour, some cannot remain focused. They each have
a sketchbook to use when they have completed their regular work; I read
stories and/or we share while others continue to work/clean up. They are not
allowed to do classwork during art time (we have art in their classroom). I
have an artroom at my main school, where the 2nd-5th graders, including a 3/4
class usually work at media centers of their choosing, so there is no danger
of repeating a lesson. We usually have 2 or 3 group lessons per year, and
there is enough room for variation so no one ever complains about having
"done this before." We also do a lot of observational drawing, often as a
warm-up exercise. Hope this is helpful.

Diane Jaquith
Burr Elementary
Newton, MA


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