lcharles1212 asks:

When a classroom is combined of first and second graders should one be concered of the affects of different learning stages between the two?

My daughter was recently placed in a combined class of 1st and 2nd graders. According to the principal she was placed in the class randomly. My daughter is upset because she feels like she was held back a year, since most of the students in the class are first graders. The school is stating that she is not being held back that the class will have a first and second grade curriculum. After researching I have learned that first and second graders learn differently. Will this class have a detrimental effect on my daughter?

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In Topics: School and Academics
> 60 days ago

pigtoria writes:
My son started second grade last week.  His school has a different situation than the one you described for your daughter but I hope it helps to answer your question.  One of the second grade teachers was a first grade teacher last year.  All last week, I see so many perplexed and confused looks on the faces of children from this class.  The confused face is gone this week.  They know that they are in second grade now and are learning “second grade” things.

With budget cuts and increased of class size, combined class is inevitable in every school.  All credential teachers have training in teaching K-12 classes.  They have taken a good amount of child development/education classes to know that children of all ages learn  differently.  They are also aware of the curriculum for the different grade levels.  Your daughter will have her own “second grade” lessons where the second grade curriculum is presented solely to second graders.  There will be grade appropriate homework assignments and tests to accompany the lessons.

When I was taking child education classes a couple of years ago, I’ve heard some wonderful things about combined class.  In general, children have benefited – both in education and development – from combined class. The younger children have their older peers to explain class lessons to them if they didn’t understand it from the teacher.  The older children benefit a lot from explaining lessons to the younger children.  They’ve learned the material last year and by having the opportunity to explain it to someone else, it refresh the memory of what they’ve learned.  Also, helping the younger children raises the self-esteem of the older children.  In all, children of both grades benefit.

I know that your daughter will fine in a couple weeks when she begin learning second grade curriculum.  Have a wonderful school year!
> 60 days ago

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aqblickley writes:
Hi there,

In addition to the previous response that you received, I thought you may be interested in seeing the answers that a user in a similar situation received.

Below, I've included a link to the previous JustAsk question, which contains four answers -- one being from a certified child psychologist.

Hope this helps, and thanks for using JustAsk!

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