Why we are a multi-age classroom
Over the years the classroom has changed and evolved. Some of the changes are due to the children and their individual needs and interests, while others are due to the Teachers that have contributed their education and experience throughout the years.
When I first started, the classroom was split into Pre-K and Preschool with very little interaction between the two groups. Over time, the philosophy of the classroom has changed. We now spend a large portion of the day together; learning, playing and growing as one large group. The students ages range from almost 3 years old to almost 6 years old. They spend their time interacting with children who are similar in age and skill, as well as children who are at very different stages of development. They are able to learn so much from each other; not only because of the differences in age and skill, but they each bring different levels of experience from their lives outside of the preschool.
When planning our themes and activities we take into consideration the large span of skills that are represented and what needs to be incorporated in order to challenge all of our students. A large variety of materials can be found in all of the areas in the classroom and the students can often be found working together to accomplish different activities that may be challenging for some. Books are read to younger students by older ones, paper is held by others in order to support scissor skills, and large building block towns are built by groups of children.
The multi-age setting is beneficial for all age groups, both academically and socially.
—Teacher Rachel, Seattle Preschool Director