Wow...it's been a while!! I have been SWAMPED with lesson plans and papers for my methods courses. For the last 2 weeks I have been working on an Integrated Unit for my Capstone class....I decided to do it on the Mexican Revolution. It has been a ton of work and I am hoping to be done with 90% of it after today. This assignment has been very hard for me...everything I have learned about education has been about connecting all of the content areas. In many of my classes, we have discussed the problem for students that arises when they only learn math during the math period, science during the science period, and so on.
I am absolutely in agreement that the content areas should be integrated whenever possible, so students can see that the subject matter does not exist in isolation. However, perhaps the most difficult part of all of this is that I have seen little to not content integration in my experience thus far. How can this even happen, when you have pacing charts telling you what and when to teach, you have literacy and math blocks that must be totally uninterrupted minutes of math and literacy instruction? I feel like the reality presented to me throughout my schooling is NOT the reality that I am living now! Doing this Integrated Unit has been very tough for me because I have been thinking "inside the box" for most of this semester...it's been hard to come out. However, as I am planning these lessons, I see how AWESOME it will be when I actually teach it next semester!! The learning activities that I have planned (re-enactments, biome dioramas, Mexican Hat Dance Performance, Cooperative Learning Activities) will totally draw my students into the learning experience!!
When I take over my 5th grade classroom next semester, I want to have an "outside of the box" frame of mind. The amount of worksheets that my kids get every week is SICKENING! I understand that there is a time and place for them...but that time is not every day for every subject!! It will be difficult and require a lot of time to plan, but providing my students with rich learning experiences and a variation in learning activities will only enhance what they learn in my classroom!!