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