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Mixed Year 1/2 teaching

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by Tinysmall, May 31, 2011.

  1. Hello all,
    I recently went for a Reception teacher job interview and got offered a job at the school, but the mixed age Yr1/2 instead!
    My training is early years biased, and I haven't taught Year 2 at all.
    Really I'm looking for as much advice as possible before the summer holidays, so that I can spend time researching, reading up and preparing.
    I'm due a handover in July with the current teacher, so that will help, but I need to know what I should be asking!
    Any tips, advice, web sites, books, 'wish I'd knowns', must-dos, organisational advice, differentiation (how on earth do you plan and teach across two ages? Same objectives, just differentiated work, or what?) - from those who have taught mixed ages?
    I'm at that 'I know I don't know, but I don't know what it is I don't know' stage - so any advice or avenues to follow would be much appreciated!
    Thanks :)
  2. mrsshorty

    mrsshorty New commenter

    Hi Tinysmall,
    This is a good post and I would be intereasted in the replies too as beginning my first teaching post in yr1/2 too in Sept. It may be wise to post this on the 'primary' forum rather than/as well as NQT forum as more experienced teachers may have some good suggestions.
  3. I'm in exactly the same position! Feel like my questions are too silly to actually ask the school... any advice from experienced teachers on exactly the above? x
  4. Hi
    I'm also in the same position.... Mixed Year1/2 class starting in September. I got advised to sign up to the Hamilton Trust website as it's free and has mixed Year 1/2 planning. I found this great as there is also a two year rolling programme as obviously you would have the initial Year 1s for two years, therefore not being able to repeat what you do in the first year! Can't help anymore than this but just thought I'd pass on what I'd been told. Good luck!
  5. Jammy-Dodger

    Jammy-Dodger New commenter

    I'm just about to finish my NQT year in a mixed yr 1/2 class. There are really good sides to it, but I have found it hard and feel like I'm only just now really getting my head around the differentiation needed. I did a placement in a mixed yr 3/4 class while training, and that was so much easier - at least there they can (almost) all read and write!
    Some things I have learnt over the year:
    Firstly, make sure that your lessons have the same objectives and differentiate within them. In maths, I started off almost teaching two lessons in one - doing the input with yr 1, sending them off, then doing an input with yr 2 and sending them off. Chaos!!! I don't think anyone learnt anything (except me!). I now tend to use yr 2 objectives and differentiate downwards.
    Make sure that your classroom's set up carefully and the children can be as independent as possible. I have a role-play area now (not at the start) and reading corner/writing table etc. I have a small class and normally no TA support, so I now usually have one group working with me, one group working independently with an achievable objective and another in the role play area/book corner/writing table. I also insist that they find their own resources and clear away anything they use. After two and a half terms they're finally getting quite good at it!
    I'm really glad that I'm staying in the same year group next year, as I think we'll be off to a far better start! I really got chucked in at the deep end (long story) and it was very much a case of trial and error but I think we've got there in the end. I actually love it now - I think that the yr 2s have really grown up and are great at taking responsibility, and they inspire the yr 1s both to act responsibly and to try harder with their work.
  6. Oooh -yes I came across the Hamilton site via a document on the cumbria site (which also has mixed age planning advice) - but I didn't look further as it looked like I'd have to pay £26? Can you access the mixed age stuff for free then?
  7. Thank you Jammy-Dodger - you articulated all my worries so well! I have no idea how to go about organising lessons to cover teaching for such a wide differentiation range. If you have time to share any more detail I'd be really grateful!

    Thanks also for the advice re role play/writing area...the classroom currently has no role play area, and I wondered whether to extend the book corner to be a role play/interest area, particularly for the yr 1s to use. I plan to keep year 2s on task during sessions, and like you say maybe rotate groups so that they can choose role play/book corner/writing area?

    I have a feeling I'll be thrown at the deep end too. My school is very small, and my NQT mentor is also new to the school this year.

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