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self-contained multigrade classroom strategies

self-contained multigrade classroom strategies

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Next year I'm teaching a combined 7/8 grade class at a small school. The class is going to be about half seventh and half eighth graders. Each grade has their own curriculum. Science, Health, and the specials will taught together, but the core subjects they will work at their own levels. I did a practicum experience in special education that was a 1-5 grade class, and subbed in some special ed resource rooms, so I have a little experience with a multi-grade format. I know I will have to be organized and plan well with both curiculums. Has anyone ever taught a multi-age classroom before? What strategies especially for classroom managment work best for a combined 7/8 grade since I'll have to teach one grade while the others are working independently?

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Ray Dorso's picture
Ray Dorso
Director of Special Services, New Milford School District

First and foremost, the key to effective classroom management is ensuring that the students are engaged and interested in what they are learning. This past year, I had a a middle school teacher assigned to a very similar situation, a combined class of 7th/8th graders for science. Scholastic has a program called expert space, you can get a free trial, ; the teacher and students liked the site.

Lastly, the classroom rules should be the same for both grade levels. I like Canter's Assertive Discipline as a good starting point. 3-5 five rules (posted) with the consequences of each infraction also posted.

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