The Benefits of a multi-age classroom
At Torah Academy, children learn in multi-age classes and the benefits are many.
Individualized Learning Opportunities
Typically, within any grade, students are at varying levels of understanding and mastery. A two-year grade span in one classroom affords children a broader range of enrichment or support, based on their individual learning needs. This is accomplished organically as each child is given opportunities to be intellectually stimulated at their level of ability and encouraged to grow beyond their status quo without an external time table. This type of differentiated instruction provides advanced study for children who are gifted and support for those who need more review.
Fosters creativity and innovation for teachers
Teachers who have the same students for consecutive years have opportunities to revisit curriculum and present topics and skills in new ways. Teachers are then able to be mindful about how to reach each student and maintain an open-ended classroom filled with enrichment and encouragement.
Continuity of skills and relationships
At the start of a new school year, teachers need time to get to know their students - their unique personalities, academic abilities, and general interests. When students are with a teacher for a two-year span, the getting-to-know-you stage has already been accomplished for students who have been with the teacher the year before, so they are all ready to jump right in where they left off in the spring. The teacher can then form positive relationships with and clarify expectations for the new children entering his/her class, enabling all students to dive in to their learning adventures more quickly and efficiently.
Leaders and Learners
In the adult world, people of varying ages work side by side collaboratively on ideas, projects, and goals. Multi-age classrooms are a template for those real-life experiences by giving children a chance to be both learners and leaders with their older, and then younger, classmates. Friendships spanning classes and grades are common, and children have a larger variety of friends. This creates a cooperative school community where each student feels valued and connected.