One Room School House: Multiple Age Groups
When working with multiple age groups the challenge becomes making sure that you do not make the job harder for yourself but at the same time addresses all the individual levels of your students. Today we will use Day 14 May Flay Activity. The Activity is called Would you rather?
The discussion part of this is actually pretty easy to modify for children with whom you may have a hard time due to their attention spans. Another way to ask for their opinion is “Which do you like better?” If they seem like they are not understanding the question then you ask them to pick the picture they like the best. If you have older children you can add on to the question by asking them to give you a reason for why they picked what they did. You maybe able to ask the younger children but I have found that this can go off onto a tangent that could lead down a dark rabbit hole. This rabbit hole of toddler stories means you are going to be told about everything BUT the reason why they picked something.
“I picked a frog because sharks live in the oceans and last summer I went to legoland and we saw a bird and Daddy got mad cause I threw up ice cream and it came out of my nose”
But imagine it longer and them getting mad because their friend is trying to talk too.
The reason I picked this activity to illustrate including all ages in the classroom is because it is the easiest one. For this activity it is better to have the whole class participating due to them learning how to graph and learning new math terms. Because of that it is important that it runs smoothly. When you have so many different levels of development in one room it is hard to figure out how to address all of them.
With the 2-5 age ranges the most important part is:
Keeping the acitivity short for those with short attention spans. Once the acitivities reach a certain time cap the children may begin to disrupt their friends and then it won’t be fun anymore.
Making sure the children understand what they are doing. Break down the activity and show them how you play the game. It is very important that you give an example of how to answer the question and to present it in different ways in case someone does not understand it.
Lastly, be prepared to change up any part of the activity on the fly. If you notice they are just not into it, sometimes it may just be time to move on. Mother Goose Time gives out the Would You Rather? Activity every month, but we do not do it every month because sometimes the energy level is too high for us to sit still.
At no time should you skip an activity because it may seem too much. All things presented can be modified to work with a large group just my adding a couple of words or removing parts of it. For this activity I removed the part where we build a habitat. It extended the activity too much and felt it might lead to some confusion. I did add it to outside play.
I will talk about this some more soon with another example!
Remember, Learning Is Messy!