Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Is Elementary turning into Junior High?

Friends I am writing today with a dilemma...We are being asked to level our students for math and switch classes based on their levels.  Now the Early Childhood person in my says no way they are not ready for this!  Then again I see the argument for it.  They would be in classes with their specific needs in mind.  What do you all think?  Has anyone ever done this?  If so, help me understand and swallow this very big pill.

I know some of the difficulty is that I am giving up control of my students and entrusting other teachers to teach them.  All the while I am still accountable for them.  I then must take on a whole new group of kiddos (that part I love because I get to meet so many other 2nd graders) that I need to train, label seats for, communicate with parents that I don't know, mark grades, and have these math students be sure to bring their supplies back and forth from home to school.  Oh...I also have my regular students that have to do all of that and more for.

In some ways I feel like I am not being trusted to differentiate in my own room so it is being done for me.  I hate feeling this way.  I pride myself in meeting the needs of my students and I rather enjoyed running a math class with a variety of needs.  They learn from each other and the problem solving is amazing.

Then again I do know from trying this last year having learners in my room that struggled a bit were more at ease in a classroom of students with similar skills.  They did very well and progressed to where they needed to be by the end of the year.  I just did not feel that I was organized and totally on board.  I felt like I could not communicate with parents the way I communicate with my homeroom (I can't believe I just typed homeroom.  I didn't know that word in elementary school.)  There are good things and things I am not sure about with this idea.

Please help me get on board with this.  I want to do what is best for my ALL of my students.  Give me some tips or hints how to make switching classes make sense in grades K-2:)