I was lucky enough to be a guest blogger for Jen while she went and got herself married!
I've had a few requests about teaching a combo/split class. This is the first of several posts I'll be doing on organizing, managing, and teaching such a unique class.
- If you number your kiddos, number it like you would a straight class. I number my kids 1-24 to make life simpler when we line up and everything else we do with numbers. I don't separate my first and second graders.
|This is our job pocket chart using our numbers|
|Here is our writing wall, with everyone in number order and using our first day of school photos I mentioned above. The writing is differentiated, but that will be for another blog post!|
- Other teacher friends suggested putting my 6 firsties at one table and the rest of my 2nd graders at other tables. This was a complete nightmare because my firsties had very strong personalities and struggled working together. It has worked best to spread everyone out! It also provides for an opportunity to create an environment where everyone is one unit, rather than two.
A view of my classroom. Love putting my kiddos in groups.
Color code everything…seriously. All 1st grade work is green and 2nd grade work is in blue. This goes for our daily schedule, sight words on our Word Wall, center work, and so much more! Trust me, you will want to separate everything. I tried to make one schedule and one plan book and that was not working…at all!
|1st grade daily schedule|
|2nd grade daily schedule|
|This isn't the most glamorous photo but this is a snapshot of our math board. I used the photo props from the 1st day of school to organize the board. I used Corinna's “I Can” statements for 1st and 2nd grade. If I could do it over, I'd color-code those as well, but I ran out of copy paper.|
- Have 2 plan books. You'll thank me later, promise! I tried one plan book for about a month and just simply wasn't working. I couldn't fit everything in and it was just too darn confusing. I also created my own lesson plan template to help my sanity!
|Color coded of course!
Here's a copy of the template I created. I don't love using the teacher planners from the Teacher Store because I you have to input the same schedule week-after-week. Ain't nobody got time for that!!! This is a 1st grade schedule so where it says 1st, I put the lesson for 1st grade. Where it says 2nd, I input what my firsties will be doing while I'm working with 2nd grade.
This is the table at the front of my room where I keep my TEs for both grades. You can see 1st grade is on the left and 2nd is on the right. Holy cow, I thought keeping one set of TEs was enough work, keeping two is another level of
I make sure to post the Standards to differentiate between the two grades. It also helps when admin and parents are in my class. And let me tell you, Principals love seeing this kind of stuff. You can grab these posters here!
If you've taught a combo, what were your challenges?