About Multiage Classrooms
Multiage classrooms are composed of students who are more than 1 year apart. An ¡HolaKids! classroom may have students from 2 through 5 years old and students remain with their teaching team for their entire time at the school. Multiage classrooms reflect the natural groupings found in our neighborhoods, communities, workplaces and in the world. Our experience shows that this approach provides opportunities for the exchange of ideas, modeling of behaviors, practices of responsibility and nurturing, and the development of leadership and social skills.
Each Child Develops at Their Own Pace: In the multiage classroom the child is able to develop at their own pace. We recognize that learning is less about a specific age and more about pace and stage of development. Thus, the learning areas overlap over a range of ranges. Because the multiage classroom covers a range of ages, a child has years to naturally develop rather on their time table with the curriculum adjusting to their needs. This allows us to support children who need additional help as well as provide extra challenges to those who are progressing at a faster pace.
Ongoing Evaluation: Teachers regulary evaluate the students in the areas of cognitive development which allows them to meet the learning needs of each child as they progress through the preschool curriculum. These areas include curiosity and interest in their surroundings, imitating actions of adults and children, understanding fundamental concepts (such as first, second, etc.), progressing in language acquisition, demonstrating self care, social and emotional development, fine and gross motor skills, as well as academic development. The structure of the multiage classroom allows the teachers to easily place students in appropriate small learning rotations that meet their instructional needs.
Deeper Student / Teacher Relationships: The multiage classroom fosters deeper student-teacher relationships as they truly get to know and to trust one another over the years. The students remain with their teaching team for their entire time at the school versus switching classrooms.The children become intimately familiar with their environment, and begin to understand themselves as learners. The classroom community is strong and family-like with the children and teachers supporting and caring for one another.
Siblings Attend Together: In multiage classrooms, siblings share their experience and learning is a part of their relationship and development. Siblings experience the shared community values of our classrooms and have the benefit of speaking together at home in one of two languages! This also becomes a perk for parents as they now have one pick up and drop off location.
Cooperative Learning: The multiage classroom encourages cooperative learning skills where competition is minimized in favor of collaboration as children learn to work with older and younger classmates and children become friends across the age span. There is a symbiotic relationship between the older and younger children - as older children grow from the opportunity to lead younger children. Leading, whether in guiding a new student or giving a bit of attention to a younger student who may be having a difficult time away from his parents, is a critical growth experience for a child. Academically, older children remain relentlessly curious and challenged, and they have the ability to demonstrate their capacity for concentration and caring to the younger students who look up to them. Likewise, younger children observe and learn from their older peers' more sophisticated, complex problem solving and critical thinking.