Two Groups: Multigrade or Single Grade
Part A: Multigrade/Teaching one of the Two Grades/Thirty Minutes 1
This second option can be used when you have two grade levels to teach. You will follow the your math textbook in order beginning at the first lesson-through the end of the book. Each grade level will receive instruction AT THEIR GRADE LEVEL.
Gather the first grade level near you and a whiteboard or chalkboard, so they can hear your instruction and you can use any visual aids or manipulatives with them easily. At this teaching station, you must have all of your teaching materials-teacher manual, manipulatives, calculators, worksheets, work to return, and individual whiteboard slates for BOTH GRADE LEVELS. I like to use a 4 drawer plastic storage unit. In the top 2 smaller drawers I place my grade level manual, worksheets for that grade, and work to be returned for that grade level for that week of instruction. In the lower two larger drawers I place all the manipulative that I will need for that week of instruction. I label the grade levels on the outside of the drawers. On top of the unit I place whiteboard slates, dry erase markers and socks to erase them, calculators, and some extra pencils for student use.
What is the other grade level doing while you are teaching the first grade level?
The other grade level is rotating independently between two different activities which are 15 minutes in length.
Half of the students are working on finishing the assignment that you gave them yesterday, or a worksheet that you gave them today to do before you meet with them. Perhaps they are working with a manipulative to complete this assignment that you have used with the group in the past during previous math lessons. Another idea is to use certain days to write about math learning. This time is to REVIEW, PRACTICE, RESPOND and EXPLORE. It is not a time to introduce new concepts.
The other half of the students are at their math stations that you assigned to them. You don’t have to give each child a particular math station, but you can direct them to work on stations 3, 5, 8, and 9 this week. With a partner or individually they obtain a station box and go to the area of the room that is labeled with that station number to work on the activity. If you are using the Everyday Math program, Everyday Math games are contained in some of the math station boxes.
Part A: Single Grade Level/ Teaching One Half of the Students
The process is the same as described above, with the two groups receiving the same lesson in a smaller group setting.
Part B: Students move to either the teacher lead small group, or to independent work.
An auditory signal is used the last minute of instruction to signal the students to clean up their materials and get ready to move. Then a minute later the signal is rung twice and students move quietly to their next area. This must be modeled and taught to the students at the beginning of the year. You must be FIRM about the behavior that you expect. State your expectation all year long…”I love how the students at the math stations worked with quiet voices today.” “I noticed how quickly everyone has their materials out and is ready to work.” “I’m posting this quality assignment of Evan’s, since this is the quality I expect from all of you. Great job Evan.”
Part C: Small Group Lesson to the Other Grade Level/ Thirty Minutes
The same process as described above begins for the second grade level.
What's the benefit of this grouping?
Each student receives instruction with grade appropriate materials but the size of the group is smaller than typical whole group instruction. It’s easier to interact with them individually and see what they are doing as they work on their math. When you use manipulatives, you only need a smaller amount of the manipulatives, since you are working with half or one half of one grade level in multigrade classes. Tests or short quizzes are given during this time too. Some quizzes can be given orally with students responding orally or on their whiteboard slates.
All students have time to practice and investigate concepts with math stations.
What type of classes would this work with?
Single grade classes dividing the number of students in half. (Guided Math) You teach the same lesson twice. I would not suggest placing students into high and low groups. Mix up the ability levels. There is better interaction in each group.
It is possible to have a lower/medium and a medium/high group, but you will not stay on the same lesson each day. One group will work at a faster pace and you will need to plan two lessons. This type of grouping can promote more use of manipulatives with the low/medium group to assist in their learning.