(British Columbia, Canada)
My second experience teaching these grades together. the first was horrible I was teaching two curriculums in all subject areas. I do not want to repeat. The biggest areas of concern is social studies and science. the grades have very divergent topics: science extreme environments( space), chemistry,classification, ancient civilizations for grade 7 and modern culture and how people meet there basic needs. I can see connections but how not to duplicate what the 7's have done and spoil the material for the 6's.
You have a real challenge this year as you are aware. Teaching split divisions is always much more difficult. I taught 3/4 a few times.
I involved the grade 4's when I had to teach towards the EQAO. I had no other choice.
When I taught in a K-8 school, the 7 and 8's were on a rotary. If that's the case, perhaps when your Gr. 7's are gone, you can focus on the Gr. 6 - math and literacy/language arts for the EQAO. Or depending on how many Gr. 7's you have, you farm them off on another Gr. 7 teacher for a period or two a week.
The other thing is, you can hope that at the end of Sept. when the final enrollment is complete, there may be some grade adjustments and you may wind up teaching only Gr. 6 or 7. Also speak to your junior and/or intermediate colleagues and get suggestions/ideas from them.
Hopefully, one of the grades, 6 or 7, the students are independent workers which will be a great help.
I presume that you have looked at your curriculum expectations for both grades. Is there a common thread between them for social studies and science. Perhaps you can find a way to combine two units together.
Ross, believe in yourself- you can only do the best you can do. Your health is the most important. Don't stress yourself out!. Best of luck and let me know how it goes.
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