Have you multi class of infants next year??
I had Junior & Senior infants for a number of years. While it can seem challenging in relation to planning and classroom management, the children can really benefit from working collaboratively.
Aistear topics can be the core of lessons across both classes, for Oral language, Music, SESE, Art and many more. Using the Ready Set Go programme in Maths allows for topics to be taught to the whole class. Senior infants can also work with junior infants for some number games. It can be a balancing act but routine in these lessons is important for both you, as the teacher, and the class. One hugely beneficial rule I had in the class was quiet working time. I explained to one class it was quiet working time while the other class worked with teacher. In this way, the children knew they would get their time with teacher along with levels of expectation for quiet working time. This unfortunately does not happen overnight, it is a long process in September and into October to establish routines, expected behaviours and of course consequences in classroom management.
I have used varied classroom management strategies. I highly recommend the strategies within the Incredible Years Programme, focusing on positive behaviour and reinforcing expected behaviours. I used a sunshine and clouds as an in-class strategy. All children began the day with their name on the sunshine. There were three clouds, white, grey and black and a child’s name may be moved onto the clouds for continued misbehaviour. The children whose names were on the sunshine at the end of the day got a sticker or stamper on their chart.
If anyone would like more information on multi-class don’t hesitate to send me an e-mail.