Why Children Might Benefit From a “Combination” Classroom
9 Advantages of Split-Grade or Blended Classrooms
Posted May 18, 2015
Many parents are concerned when their child is placed in a combined class (i.e., first and second graders or third and fourth graders together). While the demands on the teacher, and, to some extent, the students, may be greater, here are 9 advantages of “combo” classes:
- Research has shown there’s no difference in academic achievement between children in split classes versus straight grades.
- Split-grade students are less competitive with one another and more cooperative than students in same-grade classrooms.
- Children learn at different paces. Blended classes offer a wider range of curricula across 2 grade levels. Advanced students can be more easily challenged with higher-level material; struggling students can more easily return to earlier material.
- Younger children gain self-confidence and maturity by being exposed to older students; older students learn to be positive, mature role models for the younger students. (Most children come from a home environment with siblings of different ages).
- Children are carefully selected for blended classrooms; younger children are more mature and ready to “stretch”; older students have demonstrated a pattern of good behavior and social skills
- Some children will benefit by having the same teacher over two years, as the teacher comes to know the students’ abilities better. This is called “looping.”
- Students in blended classrooms tend to take greater personal responsibility for their learning.
- There is greater peer-to-peer learning in blended classrooms.
- Students develop friendships across grade levels and blended classrooms instill a greater sense of responsibility for one another, and a better sense of community. As one teacher tells her students, “we are like a family who cares for one another.”
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Resources (Read more about the benefits of blended classes)