Years 2-6? SIX different grades? How can one teacher manage that?
These were all the questions I asked myself after first finding I was placed in a multi-age classroom on prac. Although I had specifically requested for this type of context for my Professional Experience, I don’t think the whole idea of this hit me until we received final notification of our approved placements. So, I decided I would do a quick Google search to get some advice to prepare for what was in store for me. I came across this document by the Queensland Studies Authority which helped me to picture the experience I was about to embark on. Looking back at this now, there was one point that really resonates with me on the topic of multi-age classrooms:
- Learning is referred to as “phases of learning” rather than “age or year level appropriate”
How true this is! I was amazed to see how different year levels were all capable of different things, whether it be expected or unexpected of their age group. What astonished me even more was how it is actually possible to introduce the one assessment task to six different grades! While each grade had different expectations of the task, I loved how the class was able to be taught as one and how students would offer support to each other, regardless of their age.
The above is just one way I saw how teaching multiple different grades is manageable, if not helpful, due to the extensive collaborative learning opportunities available because of the various ability levels present.