Multi-Age Classrooms

Harriet Tubman Charter

Our School

A Typical Day in the Classroom

  • 8:00- 8:30 Welcome and Morning Meeting

  • 8:30- 10:30 Reading Class

    (reading instruction, phonics work, small group instruction in guided reading, and time for independent reading)

  • 10:30- 11:15 Enrichment

    Drama, Music, Art, or Physical Education

  • 11:15- 11:30 Snack

  • 11:30- 12:30 Math

    small group instruction and learning stations

  • 12:30- 1:00 Lunch

  • 1:00-1:45 Outdoor Play,

    Gardening, or Group Games

  • 1:45- 3:45 Afternoon Studies

    Kindergarten goes to Afternoon Kindergarten (PMK), where they study science and social studies in developmentally appropriate centers.

    1st and 2nd-: Science, Math, and Social Studies Instruction

The Multi-Age Classroom

In the multi-age classroom, 10 students of each grade make up the K-1-2 classroom and stay with their teachers for three years. Students learn together and in fluid groups to address their unique learning needs, and students benefit from the presence of older and younger students.

The curriculum in the multi-age classroom is designed to be both academically rigorous and developmentally appropriate. Students are taught primarily in small, fluid groups that are designed to address their unique learning needs while helping them achieve rigorous grade-level academic goals.

Muti-age classrooms benefit ALL learners by:

  • Creating a special connection between parents, students, and teachers over a three-year period.
  • Differentiating for students at their level, meaning that struggling students get help and advanced students get appropriate challenge
  • Developing independence and a love of learning
  • Giving older students opportunities for leadership and younger students exposure to higher level thinking and learning
  • Teaching students in small groups for increased learning

Research Shows:

Cognitive Development

  • Because students engage with others of a variety of developmental levels, cognitive development is increased.(1)
  • Students in multi-age classrooms scored 58% higher on standardized tests than those in traditional classrooms. (2)

Social and Emotional Development

  • Students have more opportunities to practice pro-social behaviors like giving and sharing. (3)
  • Students in multi-age groups develop greater social responsibility and sensitivity to others. (4)
(1. Anderson and Pavan, 1993. 2. Stone, 1995; McClellan, 1994; Lodish, 1992. 3. Lodish, 1992. 4. Chase and Doan, 1994)

K-1-2 students participate in the following curriculum and programmatic components of their day:

Morning Meeting: Each day, Morning Meeting welcomes students to school and excites them about the work of the day. In the K-1-2 breakfast meeting, students sing songs, receive awards, and talk about the school values. When students transition back to class, each homeroom meets together as a classroom community. They sit in a circle, greet each other and listen and respond to each other’s news.

Math: The elementary school math program is designed around the Singapore Mathematics curriculum. Students are taught all topics through the concrete, pictorial, abstract approach. Deep conceptual understanding and problem solving are emphasized.

Reading and Writing: Students are taught both reading and writing through the workshop model. Teachers model what good readers and writers do and students are given ample independant time to practice those skills in their own reading and writing. Additionally, each students is taught reading in a small focused, guided reading group each day. These groups are based on student’s individual reading levels and teachers track student growth regularly.

Science and Social Studies: Science and Social Studies are taught around broad themes such as the seasons, community, living things, and neighborhoods.

Bridge: This unique enrichment class is connected to the regular curriculum, and expands on that learning by providing students unique theme and project-based experiences that connect back to the skills taught in their homeroom classes. For instance, students designed and built milk-carton houses to create a neighborhood art installment using geometry concepts, developing fine motor skills, and expressing themselves creatively.

Enrichment: Students are offered 2 enrichment classes each day including, PE, Art, Music and Bridge. The curriculum of each class is designed to expose students to a variety of extracurricular experiences that develop deep, non-academic interests and talents.

PMK: In the afternoon, all kindergarteners go to PMK (afternoon kindergarten). With a smaller teacher-student ratio (1:8), this part of the day promotes academic growth, the development of fine motor skills, and social/emotional growth.