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Transcript of Integrated Curriculum
In this presentation I will be summarizing Drake and Reid's article, "Integrated Curriculum," as published in the LNS #28, September 2010.
Why Should We Integrate Curriculum?
-connecting multiple subjects to a unifying theme teaches higher-order thinking
-academic performance equal to or better than those in discipline-based programs
-greater student engagement, less prone to attendance and behaviour problems
-more opportunities for differentiated learning
-it is very helpful for students with special needs and those at-risk
A Step-by-Step Method of Planning an Integrated Unit
Tips for Integrating Curriculum
Drake, Susan M., and Joanne Reid. "Integrated
Curriculum: Increasing Relevance While Maintaining
Accountability." Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat
Edutopia. "Arts Integration for Deeper Learning in
Middle School." YouTube. YouTube, 29 Aug. 2012.
Web. 11 June 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?
FernAvery. "Integrated Learning." YouTube. YouTube, 11
Sept. 2007. Web. 12 June 2013. <http://
On top of the many curriculum expectations to cover and assess, teachers also need to address so many other initiatives like environmental education, character education and new literacies. This can leave us feeling overwhelmed on how to do it all!
Scan the curriculum for recurring ideas. Similarities represent important things for students to KNOW (core concepts, Big Ideas), DO (critical thinking and research skills), and BE (ethical issues).
Choose an appropriate theme or issue to focus your studies and brainstorm possible activities that relate to the expectations. A concept web or other graphic organizer may be helpful. Student input into this step is shown to increase engagement.
Create a culminating activity that is challenging and relevant. It should include more than one subject and allow the student to demonstrate their learning based on the KDB.
Finally, create 2-3 Big Questions to organize your daily instruction around. This ensures students acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need and that all assessments have a purpose.
What Does 'Integrated Curriculum' Mean?
-a way for teachers to address multiple expectations
-teaches core concepts and skills
-connects two or more subject areas
-unifying theme or issue
-Start small and build on your experiences
-Don't force connections, let them come naturally
-Every subject includes communication expectations; think about ways to address literacy throughout these curricula
-Create real-world math problems that are relevant
-Assess using interdisciplinary strategies from 2+ subjects
-Embed formative assessments using art and technology to increase student engagement
-Give students a voice
-Consider collaborating with other teachers/classrooms
Student Engagement: excited and motivated to work beyond expectations
Collaboration: teachers were enthusiastic about co-planning because it sparked new ideas and led to professional growth.
Literacy: greater use of non-fiction materials increased relevancy, especially appealing to boys.
At-risk Students: offered more opportunity for success
Curriculum Coverage: met many specific expectations simultaneously in one unit and in greater depth
Assessment: one assessment task could serve more than one subject