Don’t panic! Everything will be OK. Being in a mixed grade class is not the end of the world for your child, in fact there can be advantages to being in a split grade class – honest. But, if your child is in a split class you have a special role to play. You must be aware of how well your child is doing so you can make sure that he or she is getting the education relevant to their Grade level.
First, some reasons why kids are placed in split classes.
* It is usually an administrative issue. There are not enough children in one grade to need the services of an extra teacher for that grade. So they put two (or in some cases 3) grades together.
* Children who might need some extra time or support to cover the material in one grade level may be placed with children in that grade so they have chance to catch up.
* Students in the higher grade may need the emotional support provided for students in the lower grade.
Teachers usually spend a lot of time working out which child should be in split classes.
Now, your special role
* Make an appointment to talk to the teacher or Principle to discover why your child was placed in a split class. You need to know so you can provide extra help if your child needs it.
* Ask about the teacher’s experience teaching both grades, and why they were chosen to teach a mixed grade class. For such a class to work well the teacher needs to be experienced and able to handle the extra workload of teaching two sets of curricula.
* Meet the teacher and talk about your concerns and ask what you can do to make sure your child gets the education he or she needs. There might be homework issues and you might need access to workbooks from both grade levels.
* Celebrate the fact that your child has been specially chosen to be in this class. Tell your child that it is a privilege and a special treat because it means that the teachers have been thinking really carefully about your child’s learning needs.
Still concerned? If you want to discuss any issues contact me. Always ready to help. ( Oh, spoiler alert! I once taught a Grade 5/6/7 class and loved it!)