Blogs on Integrated Studies

Blogs on Integrated StudiesRSS
Nicholas ProvenzanoOctober 29, 2013

When was the last time you asked your students what they wanted to learn? Take a minute and think about that. In the go-go world of Common Core, Smarter Balance and other assessments, when do we focus on what kids want to learn?

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Andrew MillerOctober 23, 2013

While math and English language arts teachers have a much more direct call for Common Core implementation, teachers in other content areas are also being called to implement the Common Core State Standards. This may be a challenge for some. In my work with teachers across many states, I find that non-ELA and non-math teachers aren't as familiar with the CCSS, nor with implementation. In the next couple of blogs, I'd like to share the stories of science and art teachers implementing the CCSS -- their processes, reflections and advice. We'll start with science.

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Monica BurnsSeptember 17, 2013

Finding ways to integrate technology and align instruction to the Common Core Learning Standards can be a challenge. Part of making sure that students are college and career ready goes beyond rigorous class work and should include interaction with 21st century technology.

Let's take a look at two Common Core Anchor Standards in Reading. These anchor standards are written generally for grades K-12, and each has grade-specific standards that address the particular skill sets necessary for each level of students.

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Stephanie West-PuckettSeptember 13, 2013

The Maker movement is poised to transform learning in our schools. To counteract educational standards, testing and uniformity, this fresh approach emphasizes creation and creativity -- products and processes born from tinkering, playing, experimenting, expressing, iterating and collaborating -- and exploits new digital tools to make, share and learn across space and time, do-it-yourself (DIY) style. Museums, libraries, community centers and after-school programs have designed physical and virtual "makerspaces" to host communities of supportive peers and mentors invested in creating everything from nail polish design and webpages to jewelry and robots . . . and now, even school curriculum.

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Andrew MillerSeptember 12, 2013

For those of us who work in states where the Common Core is already being implemented, we all must address the Common Core Standards, even if we are not English language arts or math teachers. However, this provides a great opportunity to support the literacy work already occurring in the ELA classroom. The Common Core Standards for Literacy in the History/Social Sciences, Science and Technical Subjects are all standards that non-ELA teachers, from art to science, can target. Consider the following ideas so that you can be not only effective but intentional in teaching and assessing the Common Core Standards.

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Paloma Garcia-LopezSeptember 5, 2013

The Maker movement continues to gain momentum. At this year's White House Science Fair, President Obama invited Super-Awesome Sylvia from Auburn, California to exhibit her water color robot as a representative of the Maker community. At the same event, the Corporation for National Service announced its commitment to place Americorps VISTAs in Maker movement organizations across the country. Maker Ed is placing those Maker VISTAs in makerspaces to help build their capacity for engaging low-income students as makers. In this spirit, we are starting to see more and more makerspaces springing up in schools across the country. If you are a teacher experimenting with making projects in your classroom, here are some successful fundraising strategies we've seen educators use to fund a makerspace for their school community.

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Ainissa RamirezAugust 21, 2013

Humans have a few basic needs: air, food, water, clothing, shelter, belonging, intimacy and Wi-Fi. (OK, the last one is not really on the list.) Regardless of my attempt to be funny, what is no laughing matter is that we have primary needs. What might surprise you is that another primary need is the need to be creative. We are creative creatures and have been since we first existed, as evidenced by the first cave paintings formed over 40,000 years ago. But somehow in this modern day, we've forgotten that being creative is part of the human experience.

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Matt LevinsonJuly 16, 2013

I learned this important lesson while teaching U.S. history to 11th graders several years ago: "All bets are off outside of math class."

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Mary Beth HertzJuly 8, 2013

It may come as a surprise that one of the four teaching certifications I hold is K-12 Art Education. It is a certification that I am excited to finally use in my new position in the fall. Throughout high school, I took private art lessons with a local artist. I learned how to mix paint colors, complete paintings with a limited palette, paint with a palette knife, and create drypoint etchings, linoleum prints, mixed media and clay sculpture, as well as how to work in a variety of drawing techniques. For each project we worked on, we also received a lesson in art history, giving us context for the technique or materials we were using.

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A.J. JulianiJune 25, 2013

Have you ever met an adult who doesn't really love what they do, but just goes through the motions in their job and everyday life? Have you spoken with men and women who constantly complain, showing no visible passion for anything in the world? I'm sure that, like me, you have met those people. I've also seen the making of these adults in schools across our country: students who are consistently being "prepared" for the next test, assessment, or grade level . . . only to find out after graduation that they don't really know what they are passionate about. These are the same students who are never allowed to learn what they want in school. Forced down a curriculum path that we believe is "best for them," they discover it is a path that offers very little choice in subject matter and learning outcomes.

Enter 20% time.

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