Schools, teachers, and classrooms can vary greatly in their set-up, routines, and environment. In the past, we have discussed experimental schools, private schools, and charter schools. All have their own theories and ideas on how to give students the best possible education.
The type of classroom and success that you have in your classroom greatly depends on your personal values, ideas, and comfort level. Many teachers are stuck in the idea of the traditional classroom.
The traditional classroom has one teacher and a group of children who are about the age and are in the same grade level. However some classes do not follow this traditional set-up. Some schools have multi-level or multi-grade classrooms.
A multi-grade classroom can sometimes be called a split grade classroom. A multi-grade classroom consists of one teacher and a group of students such as the traditional set-up. However unlike most classrooms, the students are not all from the same grade level.
The students are usually a mixture of two consecutive grade levels. For example the students may be a combination of third grade and fourth grade students. Other multi-grade classrooms may consist of more than two levels. I have also heard of 1-2-3 classrooms with students from grades first, second, and third.
In a classroom such as this, the teacher teaches to the different levels. She may have a second grade lesson for the second grade students and then have another lesson on a lower level for the first grade students.
Multi-level grades in one classroom is not a new concept. It has been around for years. I can remember having multi-grade level classes at my elementary school.
Some teachers are more open to the idea of teaching more than one grade level of students in a class. However, the idea makes other teachers a little uneasy.