Today I wanted to talk about how I plan for that split class. Over the years I have had many composites up to Grade 3 and over the years I have worked in different states with different curriculums, so when you plan you really have to have a good knowledge of your curriculum and where your class fits in. In NSW the curriculum is organised by Stages as follows
Early Stage 1 (Kinder)
Stage 1 (Yr 1, 2)
Stage 2 (Yr 3, 4)
Stage 3 (Yr 5, 6)
So if you have a 1/2 class planning is quite easy because you only have to look at the outcomes and indicators for that Stage. However, if you have to cross the Stages eg Yr 2/3 it becomes a bit tricky because you have to look at outcomes and indicators from 2 Stages.
Keeping this in mind I plan both seperatly and as a whole group. I have included a copy of my term overview, apologies for the plainess of it.
You can see here that I have outlined the Outcomes and Indicators for BOTH stages. Now I will show you a classroom term plan for both Year levels
(This is really plain, I have prettied my planning up so much more now!)
This plan is very broad in its detail and from this term overview I will fine tune and plan my week in more detail. This does not show my reading groups plan which is separate to this and works on ability groups rather than Year levels.
I think this can show you that even though you have to cover a larger amount of content alot of it is broad enough to cover two levels. In this plan it shows that my whole class were working on Narratives, now the structure of a Narrative does not change, but my expectations for what each student produces is where the differentiation is. I use a Rubric for both year levels to show this. Unfortunately I couldn't find those Rubrics to show you but there are many available or you could make your own. You can see that my spelling rule was the same for both Year levels however my spelling lists were where the differentiation occurred. The only place that was completely different for the Year levels was in handwriting, this was because in Year 3 students learn to join letters and write in cursive, while students in Year 2 are still printing. However my Year 2 students often picked up on the cursive early.
I hope this has helped some people who are going into teaching a composite class, I am more than happy to share more of my ideas in the future on the joys of teaching a composite class. Please leave a comment
to share your ideas as well.