It seems like class size is always in the news, It's becoming quite the sticky subject. And rightly so. In our experience as teachers who have worked with both small and large classes, we've found that as class sizes grow, not only does your child's mittens go missing, but so does a piece of their independence and sense of belonging. The more students in each class, the more the teacher can't connect with each family to offer feedback and support. This is why we believe small class sizes are at the upmost importance to maintain. Your child needs to be given the opportunity to shine.
In our experience, here's 10 reasons why children succeed in small classes:
STUDENTS ARE RECOGNIZED
In a smaller class, it’s more difficult for students to hide and get left behind. It's easier for teachers to recognize student behaviour, moods, and effort. Fewer students means that everyone gets attention from the teacher, especially when they need it most, and they are supported each and every day.
LEARNING IS ENHANCED
Not only can students learn more in small classes, as there is more time to dig deeper into subjects, but they can also learn faster. The class progresses through the curriculum more quickly as it is easier to assess who is learning and to what level. This means there is more time for hands-on learning experiences and enrichment activities. Learning is enhanced by the confidence students develop to share their opinions and ask and answer questions, which also benefits their peers.
CONFIDENCE IS BUILT
In a smaller class, students are less intimidated and feel less risk to come out of their shell and participate. They are recognized for who they are, valued as a core member of a group, and are able to express their opinions, take part, and try new things. They build confidence as a valued individual and learn to respect themselves and others for what each individual brings to the group.
TEACHERS CAN TEACH
Teachers can move around the room more freely, interact with students in a smaller space,, do more activities together as a group or individually, have more flexibility to use different instructional approaches, and have more time to explore additional material. Modelling, discussing, and experiencing become a regular part of every lesson, deepening the engagement of each student. Teachers have more opportunities to observe and assess the class as a whole and the students as individuals.
CLASSES BECOME A COMMUNITY
With fewer students per class, individuals can connect more closely with their peers and become more confident and comfortable when it comes to sharing their ideas and perspectives. These connections lead to lasting friendships and an understanding of how to work with well with others. Students naturally learn to respect and connect with peers, no matter their differences, as they are recognized for their character and contribution to the group. Differences are celebrated and working together is a natural way of learning.
Small groups mean fewer voices, which means that the students those voices belong to have more chances to speak up in class. They can apply the knowledge they’ve acquired as they participate in discussions and express their opinions.
FOCUS ON LEARNING
In learning environments with a limited number of students, teachers can spend more time teaching the material and less time getting the attention of those who get distracted. Teachers can also cater to students’ different learning styles and ensure that they stay engaged and understand what is being taught. With fewer students, comes fewer distractions and fewer discipline problems which means more focus on enjoying learning.
Teachers have more time to individualize their feedback, ensuring that each student understands the material and parents are well-informed. Teachers can ensure each student gets the help he or she needs and is reaching his or her potential. Families are involved and students feel more connected to their school and learning.
MORE OPPORTUNITY FOR ONE-ON-ONE
Students and teachers often work together one-on-one, which gives teachers the opportunity to customize instruction and guidance, and students receive their instructors’ and mentors’ undivided attention.
IDEAS ARE SHARED
With fewer students in a class, there is more time for each student to share their own ideas, express their opinions and describe their perspectives. Students can gain from each other and enrich their learning by connecting to it and their peers. This allows students to make meaning of their learning, which can later be applied to deeper concepts and carried with them throughout their lives.
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