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Multi-Age Classroom in Use at Agnor-Hurt Elementary School

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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

Students in kindergarten through fifth grade are all learning together at Agnor-Hurt Elementary School.

A new teaching model is in place with a multi-age classroom that was built over the summer. About a hundred students spend their days there, learning all the traditional subject matter in a non-traditional way. 
     
Their assignments are divided into different academic levels, that aren't based solely on the standards set for their specific grade.

“Part of our job should be to create independent learners and so that's what you're seeing.  When you look around you're not seeing chaos, you're seeing learning,” said Michael Thornton, a multi-age classroom teacher.

You can see children writing on the walls, the floor, on laptops and tablets, using what they like, and moving the furniture to suit them.

This is about more than traditional school subjects.  The teaching model focuses on independence, teamwork, and things that will later translate into job and people skills. But reading, math, and science are all there.  Worksheets and online tools organize their assignments by levels ranging from less to more challenging. 
     
At the end of the year, the students will face the same standardized testing as all other students, but teachers say they aren't worried.  They believe this model accelerates learning and the students will do just fine on standardized tests.

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