Weizmann Day School prides itself on its small, nurturing environment. We commonly see eighth graders helping first graders, seventh graders playing with second graders, sixth graders reading to kindergarteners, etc. Parents and children alike tell us how much they enjoy this communal aspect of the school.
A positive feature of our size is the opportunity to arrange for multi-age learning. We currently have combined classes of kindergarten and first grade (K/1), second and third grade (2/3), fourth and fifth grade (4/5), and then sixth, seventh, and eighth grade (Middle School). This arrangement affords our students a larger social base while also offering the students enrichment learning across grade levels. Another benefit is that our students sometimes have the same teacher for two years in a row. Research shows that learning is enhanced when a teacher spends subsequent years with a class. The teachers intimately know their students, who then benefit significantly from a trusting, family-like relationship where the teacher really understands what best motivates the learner and recognizes how best to strengthen skills and individualize the curriculum.
Some parents initially are concerned about multi-age classes for their children. However, it does not take long for them to see the benefits of having children of different ages learn together. These benefits are not only anecdotal; they also are borne out by more than 30 years of local, national, and international research.
Some of the benefits of multi-age classes that we see at Weizmann are:
• Younger students learn from older students by observing them and collaborating with them.
• Older students reinforce their own learning by modeling problem-solving approaches for younger students. We find that older students often model more “mature” behavior around younger students.
• All students have the opportunity to move among flexible academic and social groupings that reflect their needs. For example, we schedule math and Hebrew language classes for grades 3rd-8th at the same time so that students may be placed based on ability in each discipline, frequently one or two courses above grade level.
• Students become members of a close-knit group, where each student has the opportunity to serve as a member and a leader in different situations.
• Students experience stability and continuity in class expectations, routines, and traditions.
• Students view their learning as a life-long process.
We would love for you to see some of the work from our students’ multi-age classes! This year’s Science Fair is scheduled for January 25, 2018 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Please join us there, or call the school at 626-797-0204 to schedule another time to see our students in action. We think you will agree that multi-age classes produce multi-talented students!
Weizmann’s Mission: to provide an enriching education, rooted in Jewish traditions and values, which fosters critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, character and compassion.
To schedule a tour of our school, inquire about the school, or make a donation, please call the office at (626) 797-0204 or visit www.weizmann.net.