The Advantages of Split Classrooms

Brian kissmanThe Advantages of Split Classrooms

New York Academy has had split classrooms in its first years. This has not been by design, but by necessity as a new and growing school. However, we know the research and are taking full advantage of the benefits a split classroom can offer.

When parents are presented with having their child in a split class for the first time, they might question if their child will be able to learn effectively per their grade or level.

> How will my child be challenged with two grade levels of academic standards?
> What will they learn next year if they are in the same class?

The following points are supported by research-evidence as to the advantages of a “combo” class:

  • 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. (Especially when schools like New York Academy employ best practice that supports data-driven differentiated instruction and learning guided by formative assessments.)
  • 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).
  • 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.”

The split classrooms at NYA are working for the benefit of your child. ☺

– Reference
Why Children Might Benefit From a “Combination” Classroom
9 Advantages of Split-Grade or Blended Classrooms
Ronald E. Riggio, PHD

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