Class Sizes

I teach at a big school that has over 3,500 students and over 200 teachers. I absolutely love the school that I work with but with that big of a population, big class sizes become very common. Last year, I had over 30 students in every class. At the beginning of the year, my class sizes started off at 25-27 but gradually increased throughout the school year. By the end of the school year, the pre-AP classes have class sizes ranging from 15-20 students while the on-level classes have about 30 students.

My classroom management is actually better with larger class sizes. Crazy, huh? Maybe, it's because my demeanor changes and I know that I could lose control of a big class if I don't enforce our classroom rules consistently and fairly.

These are my student statistics: 35% of my students are in special education, 10% are English Language Learners, 30% are regular on-level students, and 25% dropped from pre-AP. So, I have students that need a lot of assistance and some that can teach themselves the material without any help. I have students that finish assignments twenty minutes early and some that finish two days later.

I've already looked at my class sizes this year and some classes are over 25 already.... So maybe some class sizes will reach 35 students this year???

I'm looking for more instructional strategies that will allow students to help each other more while I can focus on the students who need my assistance the most. I love the "green pen" idea so I stocked up on 25 green pens. :)





5 comments

  1. Ugh, your class sizes are certainly backwards. Our guidance counselors try to keep our honors classes maxed out at 33 kids and the other classes maxed at 30. I had a kids show up one day to a full study hall with no advance warning. I made an x on the ground with masking tape and told him he had to stand on it during attendance since I did not have a desk/chair for him. When someone signed out, he could have their seat... sad, but a little funny

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  2. The first two and a half weeks of school I had 43 students in my 7th period Algebra 2 class. I only had 38 desks in the class, so students would race to get a seat inside. Fortunately, one of the walls in my classroom is actually floor-to-ceiling windows, so the students who weren't fast enough were able to outside in our pod area/extended learning area and took notes through our all-glass wall since there were large tables in that area (the glass isn't thick, so with an open door, it's easy for everyone to hear each other). After the first two weeks, we got 2 more desks added, and 3 students were switched to online math. I'm interested to see what happens this year. All of my other classes last year were ~32-36 students, except for my one random 4th period geo class with 17 people. There were three geometry classes offered that period and they were all SO tiny, yet my 5th period geometry class had 35 students. Definitely some goofing on the scheduling side of things.

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    1. WOW! I could not even imagine having 43 students in the same classroom. I had 40 students at my first school where I was a substitute teacher and I had NO control... Kudos to you!

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  3. I also teach at a large school. We have around 2400 students at the high school (10-12) and approximately 150 teachers. My classes this year are very large, with the smallest currently at 31. My difficulty is more with paper management and making good connections with students. It takes me forever to learn names and with classes of 31-35, it's just hard to know kids on a personal basis. Let me know if you find any good strategies!

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    1. I agree! It is hard to make those connections and build relationships with class sizes above 30.

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