Cross Curricular Instruction

In this fast and furious world called “LIFE,” I’m finding myself moving so quickly everyday. But, I haven’t been able to keep up with my blog as my job takes on more and more responsibilities. That will just NOT do! This platform is the blood of my beliefs and the time is now for me to donate!

A big plan for the future of differentiation training is to help my teachers create cross-curricular relevant instruction. I don’t want some fluff for the sake of covering the same topics in every class. There are legitimate and viable options for teachers today that include fun and interesting tasks, activities and subjects to keep any student on their toes! I always liked to keep my kids guessing and leave an element of surprise in their day so they could be both enlightened and engaged.

No, I didn’t let the routines of the classroom and my standards to flander; but I did invite inquiring minds to find out just WHAT we were going to do in Math today! It set a frenzy in the hallways buzzing among middle schoolers when they found out we were going to do a marble experiment with functions. I had total strangers (kids not in my class) show up in my seats between classes in anticipation of the next topic. They wanted to be in my class because Miss So and So was so boring! That was a compliment from a 7th grader.

What my students didn’t realize was they were actually L-E-A-R-N-I-N-G in my classroom. Don’t say it outloud, they might overhear you. If you keep it fun and interesting, but still educational, you’ll find out just how far the students are willing to go. You may have to be a little more creative (or collectively borrow from a patriot teacher who’s “been there, done that” and has already got the equipment to loan from their storage closet. Or, you may need to mold your mind with another colleague who may be “stuck in a worksheet rut” and plan a great adventure! When it’s all said and done, you can look back with delight and say, “Now why didn’t I do this sooner?”

These are some great ideas to get you started:

  • Prepare to embark on a journey on the RMS Titatic (100th anniversary) by routing the journey on a map (Social Studies), addressing the tragic accident (Literature &/or Science), then address the discovery and recovery (Science).
  • Plan a unit on the  Olympic games. Study the history, create a new Olympic sport, practice the sport in P.E. Learn about the prominent athletic figures of the U.S.A. Create a timeline for the life of an Olympic athlete.
  • When assigning a lab report for math or science, invite the ELA teacher to take a grade for grammar and punctuation while you grade for content and format.
  • Assign each child a different zoo animal prior to a field trip to research (Science), then have the child orally present the animal and their information posing as the “zookeeper” while at the zoo (oral presentation).
  • Students’ publish a grade level or classroom newsletter writing about the events of their school week, service project, or special events and share with the community.
  • Combine a health lesson on any topic, survey the population, then plot the data in the form of charts and graphs in math class.
  • Use student-created art work or music to complete a creative writing sample, such as a short story or poem. Then publish their work either digitally or in a portfolio.
  • Start a community or school garden. It allows for mathematics in the planning portion, science in the planting and growing portion,  writing and art in the observation portion, and so on. The opportunities are limitless.

These are just a few ideas I’ve been bouncing around lately. I hope that you will share your personal ideas as well. Also, if you like what you are reading,  please tell 2 friends about this blog so we can all learn from each other.

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