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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:35 PM
Am feeling a bit curious about this...... Ds1 is going to grade 2 this year. This is his second year at this school. So class list went up today & he has 2 children from his class last year in his new class. Not concerned about this ds1 is very social & he usually doesn't play with children from his class. But it did make me wonder about how classes are made up ......
Is it children that are at similar levels?
Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:23 PM
Our school has only two classes per grade level. It is anything but random. From what I know, a lot of time and thought goes into the development of the rosters.
I know that the following factors are some of the things considered:
* Children who would do better with a particular teacher (learning style or needs better suited to a particular teacher's strengths) go with that teacher
* Kids who require extra support -- be it for behavioural reasons, special needs, giftedness, learning support needs, etc. etc. -- are divided amongst the classes as evenly as possible
* Each class aims to have mixed abilities (i.e. not all of the top performers in one class) and mixed personalities (e.g. not all of the 'quiet' kids together). At the same time, to the extent possible, they do work to ensure that kids have academic peers (for instance, trying to ensure that there is more than one gifted kid in a class).
* Sensitivity is given to key friendships where possible (for instance, if a child who struggles socially has one close friend, effort is made to keep those kids together)
* If there is a gender imbalance, sensitivity is paid to having an ~equal number of, say, girls in each class
And then there's the "Dealing with parental pressure" element. Some parents are very vocal about which teacher they want their child to have or not have. Our school tends not to bow to unreasonable parent demands, but they will take into account reasonable requests.
Edited by baddmammajamma, 24 January 2013 - 01:30 PM.
Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:47 PM
Thanks for your response. I don't envy the poor people who have to put together class lists at all.
Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:09 PM
I know they aren't random at our school either. I don't envy them. I can imagine its quite difficult. We usually have 3 classes per grade. (Although K-2 are usually 2x or 3x straight classes and at least 1x composite and 3-6 is always 3x years 3/4 composites and 3x years 5/6 composites.)
I will just add to what BMJ said and add that they also have to take into account that certain children even if they are good friends tend to bounce off each other or distract each other so they also try to have them seperated too. My DD#2 and her BFF are prime examples of that. Good girls but they distract each other too much and pay too much attention to what each other is doing rather than what they should be doing. Put them in a class with other kids and they are better and even if DD#2 is with her twin sister she doesn't pay attention to her or get distracted.
DD#1 is in High School now. Throughout her primary years they tended to mix them up quite a bit. The end result was that by the time she headed off to high School she had been in at least one class or more with most of them so they all knew each other quite well when they left for High School. She has her friends and classmate friends. The classmates are actually quite good friends and they will sit together when they can etc even though they don't really socialise outside of the classroom. Makes things more comfortable having a familiar face in her classes.
Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:27 PM
BMJ's post is pretty comprehensive. When allocating classes we consider:
- A child's needs academic/ social/ behavioural. Teachers try to ensure that classes are as balanced as possible so that children can mix with a broad range of their peers.
- A teacher's teaching style/ child's learning style. We do our best to match each student with the teacher that will help them achieve their best outcomes socially and academically.
- Special needs. Ie we try not to have all the children with additional learning needs in one class. Though sometimes if we have several children with a specific need they may be placed together and receive additional support from the learning support teacher (though all children with specific needs do get additional support).
- Friendships. We try to ensure that each child has a few good friends in their class. Likewise, we try to ensure that children who may have had a difficult year with one another or who do not work well together are separated.
- Parental requests are also considered. They are respected if their desires are in the best interest of their child, not because someone thinks that Mrs So and So is a nice teacher who always dresses well.
- Gender balance. Ie not having a class of 6 girls and 24 boys and another with 18 girls and 12 boys.
- Teacher experience. Is there a particular teacher who possesses a certain skill or qualification that will benefit a specific child?
- Language. The needs of ESL students are carefully considered.
In fact, class allocation is a very time consuming and carefully thought out process. Teachers take great care in ensuring that children are placed in the best possible class.
Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:49 PM
Balancing needs of the child with strengths of the teacher.
Keeping chn who clash apart
Balancing behavioural issues
Organising children who have funded EA time to try and provide the most benefit to the students
Balancing special needs
Providing a friend for the child
If your DS struggles with friendship changes this year at the end of year request he keeps one good friend if possible. DD is a social child but has remade friends each war due to class changes. I've politely explained this to her teacher and listed some of her friends from the different classes and asked of she could have one. She does :-)
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