2/23/2017 0 Comments
Integrating Learning Across Subject Areas: WHY & HOW to Make Cross-Curricular Teaching Happen
One of the early records of this idea can be found in 1899 in John Dewey’s The School and Society, where he said, “Relate the school to life, and all studies are of necessity are correlated.” And what isn’t a surprise is that it’s incredibly beneficial for our students too.
It’s no secret to teachers that students have different learning preferences and interests. They may zone in and out of a subject that they aren’t crazy about, but focus attentively in another. When certain concepts are taught in more than one classroom, students will grab onto that information at some point. If they missed it in morning reading, they may get it in afternoon math.
Middle school students are just really starting to dive into learning and how it connects to the world around them. And the world around them also consumes most of their attention. A lot of times they aren’t super focused on school. That’s why an integrated curriculum works so well with middle school students.
How Our Middle School Students Benefit from Integrated Curriculum
When you teach a themed-based unit students can learn math, science, social studies, and reading all at one time. And it’s not overwhelming for them either, it’s actually the opposite. Students not only connect and create real world connections, they are also more engaged in the classroom. Here are just a handful of the benefits:
● Encourages lifelong learning
● Motivates and challenges students
● Deeper understanding of concepts
● Application of skills that are learned
● Builds problem-solving skills
● Structures learning around themes
● Hosts a variety of learning styles and theories
● Captivates learners
● Better test performance
When students know that the things they are learning actually applies to more than just one lesson in a classroom, they end up being more motivated to learn it. It strengthens their willingness to learn it as well as their ability to retain the information. By making connection through real life or across different subjects, learning is fused together to make a more fulfilling and tangible learning experience for our students.
ADDED BONUS: Integrated curriculum offers repetition of information, but with variety!
John Medina, a renowned molecular biologist stated in his book, Brain Rules, that “the capacity of memory is initially less than 30 seconds. If we don’t repeat the information, it disappears.” So basically, a lot of what we are teaching them is just going in one ear and out the other. Medina continues and states, “the way to make long-term memory more reliable is to incorporate new information gradually and repeat it in timed intervals.”
By teaming up with other teachers and incorporating various subjects throughout the day, students will encounter some of the same information. It will reiterate important content that students may have missed or forgotten from previous lessons. Students can hear the information in the morning in one subject, then that knowledge is refreshed later in the day during a different class, making them far more likely to remember what is being taught.
However, part of the problem with integrated curriculums is that it can be hard to create an effective way to present it to our students. And that’s where Spiral Studies come in. We’ve combined our expertise to make absolutely turn-key integrated units for you and your team.
We make it easy for teachers to connect the subject areas by planning and developing cross-curricular units, lessons, and skill packs for grades 6-8. All you have to do is print and integrate!
Check out all of the details and get the material here!!!
This team and our materials make integrating a breeze. You'll be stunned how well-coordinated these are.
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