The Multi-Age Learning Community in Action
I began teaching quite a while ago. I was young and inexperienced in most things when I was hired to teach reading and language arts to seventh graders in what was then a rural junior high school. I was lacking in many ways. I had not been an education major in college, had never taken a course in teaching reading, and had not previously taught adolescents. The school, too, had its gaps. It was...
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At a small elementary school in a northeastern town in the United States the staff remains baffled. Even though the principal and teachers work diligently at integrating Common Core State Standards, results on the high stakes tests continue to decline. The teachers and school leaders feel they are doing all they can do based on their current knowledgebase and skills. They teach from...
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The Multi-Age Learning Community in Action
Teachers in a multi-age learning community school sit at extended lunch meetings for two hours discussing the things that went well and the tasks that seem to be a challenge for them during the day. These meetings are part of the MAC PLC collaborative conversations that take place once per week. Diane, a teacher for the “Detectives” (7- and 8-year-old learners), complains that...
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The Multi-Age Learning Community in Action
The principal of the newly formed School of Literacy Learning Academy has problems getting her teachers to collaborate and plan curriculum on a yearly basis. Most teachers work on planning lessons based on what the textbook tells them to do. The administrator tries to convince the staff that when multi-aging students are in a classroom, they should not follow each grade-level textbook and teach to...
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The Multi-Age Learning Community in Action
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The Multi-Age Learning Community in Action
John, the teacher in the Global Community Multi-Age School, has a conversation with the school leader about creating a caring school environment. John asks the leader, “How can I get my students to care about other learners during the school day? It doesn’t look like that students get along well with each other. Also, the parents seem to be isolated from the tasks of the...
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The Multi-Age Learning Community in Action
A teacher voices her opinion by saying, “Our students are just not performing well on tests and in class lessons. We are trying to follow the standards, but we find that the students cannot understand objectives. Is there another way to approach our classrooms to target the individual needs of the learners? Can we think about the multi-age approach?”
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After interviewing teachers that are making the switch from traditional to multi-age classrooms, many questions surfaced. Some common questions:
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Multi-age professional development is an ongoing process. Elenora, a teacher leader and Investigators (4–5) classroom teacher in the Discovery School, asked some questions during a professional development planning meeting: “How do I plan for a 4–5 group of students? Do I follow the grade textbook scope and sequence for each grade level? How do I support collaboration with...
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The Multi-Age Learning Community in Action
Mary Kay, the Poets (grades 2–3) teacher, asked her PLC to focus their meeting agenda on a very important question that she continues to grapple with: How do we use mandated social studies and science curricula that are tied to grade level topics in a multi-age classroom? Jake, the Authors (K–1) teacher, mentioned that he also struggled with this issue. He asked the team,...
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The Multi-Age Learning Community in Action
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The Multi-Age Learning Community in Action
Ms. Lagoon is a teacher for the Anthropologists (grades 4–5). She teaches in a multi-age school that focuses on Cultures in the World. She realizes that class assessment is much more than creating and scoring paper-and-pencil tests. She finds that since she has taken over a multi-age classroom, she needs help deciding on just how to assess students’ performance in reading,...
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The Multi-Age Learning Community in Action
Just into six months of implementing the multi-age program, the Discovery School staff members were feeling that they needed to have feedback on how successful or unsuccessful the program was moving along. The staff decided that reflecting on the PLC process and creating instructional rounds and lesson study would be just the way to collect data. The teachers and leaders of the school...
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The Multi-Age Learning Community in Action
~Cally is a multi-age teacher. She really enjoys her job. She loves to share ideas with other teachers, plan lessons together, and participate in opportunities to improve her performance with her students. Cally has a discussion with other teachers about their successes that they have in the program implementation. Cally says, “How are...
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The Multi-Age Learning Community in Action
Rowman & Littlefield has made the appendixes included in this book available as a single PDF formatted for easy and clear printing on 8.5" × 11" paper. Download a PDF of all the appendixes for The Multi-Age Learning Community in Action by accessing the “Features” tab on the Rowman & Littlefield book page:...
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MAC Elements
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OCTOBER
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LESSON TOPICS
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The Multi-Age Learning Community in Action
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The Multi-Age Learning Community in Action
Barbara Cozza, PhD, is an associate professor, assistant chairperson, and program director for the EdD in Instructional Leadership, in the Department of Administrative and Instructional Leadership at St. John’s University, Queens, New York.
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