A multi-age classroom is a mixed-age group of children that stays with the same teachers for several years. The children are balanced by age, ability, and gender. This grouping evolves into a true family of learners.
The multi-age classroom is not a combination class where a teacher instructs two or three grade levels in their designated curricula. Ages and grades do not divide this community of learners within the classroom. Rather, in the multi-age community, every child in the “family” can become a successful learner on his own continuum of growth. Thus the multi-age classroom supports individual growth through a process approach to learning that is child centered rather than curriculum centered. The mixed-age environment requires teachers to facilitate the learning of each child rather than to instruct the class as a whole based on predetermined grade-level skills and content. At Ner Tamid, teachers consistently use both formal and informal assessments to design individualized learning goals for each child and personalize instruction. Our teachers closely follow nationally established standards of instruction to ensure that each child will be fully prepared for their next steps in education upon graduation. As a result, the multi-age classroom turns the process of education into a wonderful and successful adventure in learning for both teacher and children.
*Adapted from Creating the Multi-Age Classroom (Stone, 1996)