Our Multi-aged classrooms planned for the next school year will be a switch from multi-grade classrooms. The reason the change is being made is that our current practice is more multi-age than it is multi-grade. The difference between a multi-age and multi-grade classroom, is that in a multi-age classroom, teachers work with the individual needs of each child rather than grouping kids together based on which grade they are in. Changing the terminology helps change the thinking and some of our methodology to improve student learning. Trinity’s practice has been and will continue to be working with the individual needs of each child.
For example, in a multi-age setting, a child gifted in math, yet struggling with reading can work with peers that are at the same level of math and the same level of reading without having the “grade” label put on what they are doing. Research shows that students become more focused on the learning task assigned to them and less focused on what grade they are in. In the past we have moved students to a different grade in a different classroom for differentiated learning. In a multi-age setting teachers will work with groups that are at the same academic level.
Multi-age classrooms also place teachers in settings that maximize their talents and may have them sharing skills in other classrooms. One change for next year will be having Mr. Nyen leading the senior class (5th, 6th, & 7th), Mrs. Frerichs leading the junior class (3rd, 4th,), Mrs. Harris leading the sophomore class (1st, 2nd), and Miss Tarr leading the freshmen group (K & PreK). We will use part-time teachers, like Mrs. Escobosa, to provide instruction in specialty areas.
This new thinking requires frequent assessment (much of what we do with MAP), revised student goals, and involvement of the parents. While the process used to teach will change, the rigorous curriculum objects we already have will not change. They will continue to be presented in ways that engage students to become independent learners as well as give them skills future employers are looking for. There will also be more opportunities where students are working collaboratively on projects that give them technology, science, math and leadership skills they will need for the next generation.
Project Based Learning
Trinity offers vigorous Project Based Learning at all levels.
Our PreK class provides families with a half-day and full-day option for your 3 or 4 year old. Each day is blended with a mix of learning opportunities, exploratory play time, music, art, and Kindergarten readiness activities.
Freshmen Class (Kindergarten)
Our full-day kindergarten class is designed to combine learning with fun. Activities are designed to ensure each student is ready for 1st grade. Since all children don’t learn at the same pace, the class is set up to develop each child’s learning needs.
Sophomore Class (1st – 2nd)
This classroom is a multi-age classroom that ensures students are working at their level of reading and math vs. at the grade level they are placed in. Adjustments are made throughout the year to make sure each student is being challenged to reach their highest learning level. The school year is full of field trips into the community for educational experiences outside the classroom.
Junior Class (3rd – 4th)
As students continue through Trinity, the individualized learning opportunities continue. The use of technology increases in this class and students start exploring learning opportunities through projects and activities.