As we embark on another school year, we keep in mind that our practices start with these questions first.
How does this impact the student?
Is the choice, practice student centered?
We spring board from those questions and ask, How does this impact the adults involved? What are next steps for implementation?
While we always assume best intentions on everyone's part, we have made the decision to join our grades 1 2 and 3 together in a collaborative teaching modeling using blended learning and flexible grouping. Our initial decision for this move was student centered because of a few key factors. Since our grade 1, only had 4 students and with no immediate interest for growth, we realized it was best to blend into another class. The energy, the tone, the learning will all increase. Although small may seem to some as ideal, with too small of group, which grade 1 was, it often does not allow for conversation, collaborations, cooperative learning and or alternate view points.
Thus, we have decided that beginning on Monday August 26th, Grades 1 2 and 3 will begin their learning day together in room 2 with Mr. B along with co-teachers (me) Miss Jill, for reading and writing and Mrs. Garalde for math and religion. There will also be one full time classroom support assistant, Ms. Lauren.
With a wide range of skill level flexible grouping and blended learning will take place through the day and be concentrated in reading, writing and math. For social studies and science, art music PE the class will typically work on projects and in small groups with guided instruction and independent time with support from the teacher. While differentiated instruction and scaffolding a key element to great teaching practices, regardless of grade, with flexible grouping it is key. As we continue to strive to meet all students individual needs, intervention for skill based development, as well as grouping for advancing students will continue to be part of our daily instructional model. Lessons will be centered around different themes for reading and writing, with a focus on shared and independent reading and writing, along with listening and speaking. Our first lesson will focus understanding about who "YOU" are, and how our family and friends help define who we are. Math will focus on basic skills, word problems and using graphs, charts and word problems to identify the solution. This week we will also retrieve baseline data in these key subjects to create the flexible groupings. The classroom will continue to be filled with a language rich environment for all subjects and themes. I invite you tomorrow to join us in room 2, and see our new surroundings. I will be there to welcome this new group together and can be available for a personal meeting, should you want to schedule one with me.
We thank you again for believing in our school and staying committed and involved in your child's education.