The Power of Integrated Curriculum


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Overview and Purpose

Imagine teaching a reading lesson on determining text structures. Then you teach a writing lesson on nonfiction writing. Next you teach a science lesson on natural disasters. After lunch you have to teach a lesson on graphing. Now imagine your students reading nonfiction books about hazardous weather and taking notes using their text structures so that they can present to the class and create a green screen news broadcast. They follow this by designing housing to protect against their weather type and graphing the history of their hazardous weather over the last 100 years. Why teach in isolated chunks when integrating can deepen learning, increase retention and rase engagement?

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This course will revolutionize the way you teach and the way your students learn. Through modeling and guided practice you will learn how important integrated curriculum is and how it will improve your teaching and the learning of your students as well as increase retention and deepen understanding. The target learners for this course are elementary school teachers who have Lucy Calkins as their reading and writing units of study. Lucy Calkins writing and reading programs are described here and are integral to being able to integrate using this mini course: "This method of instruction focuses on the goal of fostering lifelong writers. It is based upon four principles: students will write about their own lives, they will use a consistent writing process, they will work in authentic ways, and they will develop independence as writers. Writing Workshop is designed for use in all grade levels. Each grade level has specific units of study tailored to meet developmental and curricular needs. Students have a large amount of choice in their topic and style of writing. The teacher acts as a mentor author, modeling writing techniques and conferring with students as they move through the writing process. Direct writing instruction takes place in the form of a mini-lesson at the beginning of each workshop and is followed by a minimum of 45 minutes of active writing time. Each workshop ends with a sharing of student work" (Calkins, L. 2011).

The course will be run using 4 sections each with a model, a chance to see the research and evidence and then try the skill themselves.

Needs Assessment

This mini course will address the need for teachers and students to integrate their curriculum and deepen their learning. It also addresses the need for higher order thinking, learning and assessments that integrate the real world and 21st century skills.

Performance Objectives

  • Given research-based evidence on teaching using integrated curricula, participants will list at least 3 reasons why integrated units lead to higher-level learning.
  • Given the teacher-model and explanation of choosing a science or social studies topic to drive an integrated unit, participants will chose a science of social studies topic from their grade-level curricula to use in their unit of study.
  • Given teacher-models and explanations of how to integrate science and social studies standards, participants will chose the science and social studies curricula units or standards and align them into their unit.
  • Given teacher-models and explanations of how to integrate reading and writing standards, participants will chose their Lucy Calkins reading and writing units to match their science and social studies curricula.
  • Given models and explanations of examples/scenarios, participants will be able to integrate at least 3 math standards into their existing units of study.
  • Given all subjects aligned with standards and a list of performance tasks/projects, students will choose/create a project-based or performance based assessment for each subject.

Course rubrics can all be found here.

Course Units

This mini-course includes the following units. Click the title of a unit to go to its page.

Unit 1: Why Integrate Curriculum

This unit will lead to the participant understanding what integrated curriculum is and the value and importance of an integrated curriculum.

Unit 2: Choosing Curriculum to Integrate

Participants will understand how to integrate their own curriculum and choose their curriculum to integrate.

Unit 3: Align All Curriculum

Participants will complete a curriculum map and create goals, outcomes and objectives for the unit.

Unit 4: Create Assessments

Participants will understand what project-based projects and performance tasks are and their purposes and create their performance tasks or projects for the unit, adding them to their curriculum map. ...

Extended Resources

...See the course page for all resources and extended materials...

...Please see Veronica Malloy for resource list...

...To join Google Classroom you will go to google --> apps --> classroom--> enter class code --> x0mvf2