Integrating Language Art_ Math_ _ Science Across the Curriculum by tyndale


									       Integrating Reading, Math, & Science Across the Curriculum

                                 TEACHING READING
                    Increase                                            Decrease
Reading aloud to students
Time for independent reading                         Exclusive stress on whole class or reading-
                                                     group activities
Students’ choice of their own reading materials      Teacher selection of all reading materials for
                                                     individuals and groups
Exposing children to a wide and rich range of        Relying on selections in text
Teacher modeling and discussing his/her own          Teacher keeping her/his own reading tastes and
reading processes                                    habits private
Primary instructional emphasis on                    Primary instructional emphasis on reading sub-
comprehension                                        skills such as phonics, word analysis,
Teaching reading as a process:                 Teaching reading as a single, one-step act
 Use strategies that activate prior knowledge
 Help students make and test predictions
 Structure help during reading
 Provide after-reading applications
Social, collaborative activities with much     Solitary seat work
discussion and interaction
Grouping by interests or book choices                Grouping by reading level
Silent reading followed by discussion                Round-robin oral reading
Teaching skills in the context of whole and          Teaching isolated skills in phonics workbooks
meaningful literature                                or drills
Writing before and after reading                     Little or no chance to write
Encouraging invented spelling in student’s           Punishing pre-conventional spelling in
early writings                                       students’ early writings
Use of reading in content fields (e.g., historical   Segregation of reading to reading time
novels in social studies)
Evaluation that focuses on holistic, higher          Evaluation focused on individual, low level
order thinking processes                             sub-skills
Measuring success of reading program by              Measuring the success of the reading program
student’s reading habits, attitudes, and             only by test scores

Updated: 01/05                                                                                        1
                                TEACHING WRITING
                   Increase                                         Decrease
Student ownership and responsibility by:         Teacher control of decision-making by:
 Helping students choose their own topics        Teacher deciding on all writing topics
   and goals for improvement                      Suggestions for improvements dictated by
 Using brief teacher-student conferences           teacher
 Teaching students to review their own           Learning objectives determined by teacher
   progress                                         alone
                                                  Instruction given as whole-class activity
Class time spent on writing whole, original      Class time spent on isolated sub-skills through:
pieces through:                                   Drills on grammar, vocabulary, spelling,
 Establishing real purposes for writing, and       paragraphing, penmanship, etc.
    students’ involvement in the task             Writing assignments given briefly, with no
 Instruction in and support for all stages of      context or purpose, completed in one step
    writing process
 pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing
Teacher modeling writing—drafting, revision,     Teacher talks about writing but never writes or
sharing—as a fellow author and as                shares own work
demonstrator of processes
Learning of grammar and mechanics in context     Isolated grammar lessons given in order
at the editing stage and as items are needed     determined by textbook before writing is
Writing for real audiences, publishing for the   Assignments read only by teacher
class and for wider communities
Making the classroom a supportive setting for    Devaluation of students’ ideas through:
shared learning, using                            Students viewed as lacking knowledge and
 Active exchange and valuing of student’s          language abilities
    ideas                                         Sense of class as competing individuals
 Collaborative small-group work                  Work with fellow students viewed as
 Conferences and peer critiquing that give         cheating, disruptive
    responsibility for improvement to authors
Writing across the curriculum as a tool for      Writing taught only during “language arts”
learning                                         period—i.e., infrequently
Constructive and efficient evaluation that       Evaluation as negative burden for teacher and
involves:                                        student by:
 Brief informal oral responses as students       Marking all papers heavily for all errors,
   work                                              making teacher a bottleneck
 Thorough grading of just a few of student-      Teacher editing paper, and only after
   selected, polished pieces                         completed, rather than student making
 Focus on a few errors at a time                    improvements
 Cumulative view of growth and self-             Grading seen as punitive, focused on errors
   evaluation                                        not growth
 Encouragement of risk taking and honest

Updated: 01/05                                                                                  2
                          TEACHING MATHEMATICS
                   Increase                                         Decrease

   Use of manipulative materials                   Rote practice
   Cooperative group work                          Rote memorization of rules and formulas
   Discussion of mathematics                       Single answers and single methods to find
   Questioning and making conjectures               answers
   Justification of thinking                       Use of drill worksheets
   Writing about mathematics                       Repetitive written practice
   Problem-solving approach to instruction         Teaching by telling
   Content integration                             Teaching computation out of context
   Use of calculators and computers                Stressing memorization
   Being a facilitator of learning                 Testing for grades only
   Assessing learning as an integral part of       Being the dispenser of knowledge

   Word problems with a variety of structures      Use of cue words to determine operation to
    and solution paths                               be solved
   Everyday problems and applications              Practicing routine, one-step problems
   Problem-solving strategies                      Practicing problems categorized by types
   Open-ended problems and extended
    problem-solving projects
   Investigating and formulating questions
    from problem situations

   Discussing mathematics                          Doing fill-in-the-blank worksheets
   Reading mathematics                             Answering questions that need only yes or
   Writing mathematics                              no responses
   Listening to mathematical ideas                 Answering questions that need only
                                                     numerical responses

   Drawing logical conclusions                     Relying on authorities (teacher, answer
   Justifying answers and solution processes        key)
   Reasoning inductively and deductively

   Connecting mathematics to other subjects        Learning isolated topics
    and to the real world                           Developing skills out of context
   Connecting topics within mathematics
   Applying mathematics

Updated: 01/05                                                                                   3
                          TEACHING MATHEMATICS
                   Increase                                         Decrease

   Developing number and operation sense            Early use of symbolic notation
   Understanding the meaning of key                 Complex and tedious paper and pencil
    concepts, such as place, value, fractions,        computations
    decimals, ratios, proportions, and percents      Memorizing rules and procedures without
   Using various estimation strategies               understanding
   Thinking strategies for basic facts
   Using calculators for complex calculation

   Developing spatial sense                         Memorizing facts and relationships
   Actual measuring and the concepts related        Memorizing equivalencies between units of
    to units of measure                               measure
   Using geometry in problem solving                Memorizing geometric formulas

   Collecting and organizing data                   Memorizing formulas
   Using statistical methods to describe,
    analyze, evaluate, and make decisions

   Recognizing and describing patterns              Manipulating symbols
   Identifying and using functional                 Memorizing procedures and drilling
   Developing and using tables, graphs, and
    rules to describe situations
   Using variables to express relationships

EVALUATION                                        EVALUATION
   Having assessment be an integral part of         Having assessment be simply counting
    teaching                                          correct answers on tests for the sole
   Focusing on a broad range of mathematical         purpose of assigning grades
    tasks, and taking a holistic view of             Focusing on a large number of specific and
    mathematics                                       isolated skills
   Developing problem situations that require       Using exercises or word problems
    applications of a number of mathematical          requiring only one or two skills
    ideas                                            Using only written tests
   Using multiple assessment techniques,
    including written, oral, and demonstration

Updated: 01/05                                                                                  4
                                TEACHING SCIENCE
                   Increase                                            Decrease
Hands-on activities that include:                  Instruction based mainly on lecture and
 Students identifying their own real              information given that:
    questions about natural phenomena               depends on textbooks and lock-step
 Observation activity, often designed by              patterns of instruction
    students, aimed at real discovery,              includes cookbook labs in which students
    employing a wide range of process skills           follow steps without a purpose or question
 Students hypothesizing to explain data               of their own
 Information provided to explain data only         depends on questions, concepts, and
    after students have engaged in investigation       answers provided only by the teacher
    processes                                       treats students as if they have no prior
 Students’ reflection to realize concepts and         knowledge or investigative abilities
    processes learned
 Application, either to social issues or
    further scientific questions
Focusing on underlying concepts about how          Memorizing detailed vocabulary, definitions,
natural phenomena are explained                    and explanations without thorough connection
                                                   to broader ideas
Questioning, thinking, and problem solving,        Science approached as a set body of
especially:                                        knowledge with all answers and information
 Being skeptical, willing to question             already known
    common beliefs
 Accepting ambiguity when data isn’t              Attempts to correct student misconceptions by
    decisive                                       direct instruction
 Willing to modify explanations, open to
    changing one’s opinion
 Using logic, planning inquiry,
    hypothesizing, inferring
Active application of science learning to          Isolation of science from the rest of students’
contemporary technological issues and social       lives
In-depth study of a few important thematic         Superficial coverage of many topics according
topics                                             to an abstract scope and sequence
Curiosity about nature and positive attitudes      Sense that only a few brilliant students can
toward science for all students, including         enjoy or succeed in science
females and members of minority groups
Integration of reading, writing, and math in       Activity limited to texts, lectures, and multiple-
science unit                                       choice quizzes
Collaborative small-group work, with training      Students working individually, competitively
to ensure it is efficient and includes learning
for all group members
Teacher facilitating students’ investigative       Teacher only as expert in subject matter
Evaluation that focuses on scientific concepts,    Testing focused only on memorization of
processes, and attitudes                           detail, ignoring thinking skills, process skills,

Updated: 01/05                                                                                         5
                          TEACHING SOCIAL STUDIES
                    Increase                                            Decrease
In-depth study of topics in each social studies     Cursory coverage of lock-step curriculum that
field in which students make choices about          includes everything but allows no time for
what to study and discover the complexities of      deeper understanding of topics
human interaction
Emphasis on activities that engage students in      Memorization of isolated facts in textbooks
inquiry and problem solving about significant
human issues
Student decision-making and participation in        Isolation from the actual exercise of
wider social, political, and economic affairs, so   responsible citizenship; emphasis only on
that they share a sense of responsibility for the   reading about citizenship or future
welfare of their school and community               participation in the larger social and political
Participation in interactive and cooperative        Lecture classes in which students sit passively
classroom study process that brings together
students of all ability levels                      Classes in which students of lower ability
                                                    levels are deprived of the knowledge and
                                                    learning opportunities that other students

Integration of social studies with other areas of   Narrowing social studies activity to include
the curriculum                                      only textbook reading and test taking
Richer content in elementary grades, building       Assumption that students are ignorant or
on the prior knowledge children bring to social     uninterested in issues raised in social studies
studies topics including:
 Concepts from psychology, sociology,              Postponement of significant curriculum until
    economics, and political science, as well as    secondary grades
    geography and history
 American social institutions
 Issues for social groups
 The environment that surrounds them
Students’ valuing and sense of connection with      Use of curriculum restricted to only one
American and global history, the history and        dominant cultural heritage
culture of diverse social groups, and the
environment that surrounds them
Students’ inquiry about the cultural groups         Use of curriculum that leaves students
they belong to and others represented in their      disconnected from and unexcited about social
school and community to promote students’           studies topics
sense of ownership in the social studies
Use of evaluation that involves further learning    Assessments only at the end of a unit or
and that promotes responsible citizenship and       grading period; assessments that test only
open expression of ideas                            factual knowledge or memorization of
                                                    textbook information

Updated: 01/05                                                                                         6
                      EVALUATION AND ASSESSMENT
                   Increase                                          Decrease
The use of formative evaluations/assessments      The use of summative evaluations that quantify
to understand student growth and direct           what has been learned up to a given point to
instruction to increase their learning            score students against each other
Use of evaluations that provide descriptive or    Use of evaluations that produce scores or
narrative information to student and parents      numerical grades
Students’ involvement in record-keeping and       The role of the teacher as the sole evaluator of
evaluating their own work                         student work and keeper of the grades
Use of varied assessments to evaluate students    Use of multiple-choice, true-false tests at the
from many angles by drawing on observations,      end of units or grading periods to produce a
conversations, performances, etc.                 record of student learning
Integration of evaluations and assessments into   Use of paper/pencil assessments as primary
instruction through:                              tool and evaluations only at end of units or as
 Teacher-student conferences                     isolated activities
 Learning logs
 Student self-evaluation
 Student records/reflections on work
 Questionnaires
 Performances to demonstrate learning
 Open-response questions
 Projects with several interval products
 Peer conferencing
Quality of information from evaluations/          Use of assessments that give too little
assessments of learning and needs so they may     information about student learning and needs
be used in moderation to prevent consuming        Use of assessments for purposes other than
too much instructional or professional time       increasing student learning
Use of grading systems that emphasize and         Competitive, norm-referenced grading systems
support mastery of content/processes/skills.
Emphasis on criterion-referenced grading
systems with standards defined through
established performance levels for
demonstrating knowledge of content,
processes, and skills
Student conferencing to discuss student           Students receive all information about growth
learning, growth, and needs                       and needs from numerical scores on work,
                                                  assessments, grade reports
Parent conferencing to communicate student        Parents receive all information about student
learning, growth, and needs                       progress and needs from numerical grades on
Parent programs to help community members         papers, assessments, and grade reports
understand the value of new approaches

Updated: 01/05                                                                                    7
                            ACROSS CONTENT AREAS
                    Increase                                           Decrease
Experiential, inductive, hands-on learning         Whole-class, teacher-directed instruction, e.g.,
Active learning in the classroom signified by      Student passivity: sitting, listening, receiving,
increased student conversation, movement,          and absorbing information
collaboration, doing, experiencing, and            Prizing and rewarding silence in the classroom
Emphasis on higher order thinking; learning a      Classroom time devoted to fill-in-the-blank
field’s key concepts and principles                worksheets, workbooks, or other seat work
Deep study of a smaller number of topics, so       Attempts to cover large amounts of material in
that students internalize the field’s way of       a superficial way to complete all the chapters
inquiry                                            in the textbook
Time devoted to reading whole, original, real      Time devoted to reading textbooks and basal
books and nonfiction material                      readers
Responsibility transferred to students for their   Emphasis on competition and grades over
work: goal setting, record keeping,                learning
monitoring, evaluation
Choice for students, e.g., picking their own       Teacher-directed activities
books, writing topics, team partners, research
Enacting and modeling of the principles of         Actions and decisions that do not include
democracy in school; involving students in         student input
decisions that affect them
Attention to affective needs and the varying       Emphasis on one instructional style and
cognitive styles of individual students            strategies that are not differentiated
Cooperative, collaborative activity; developing    Emphasis on independent or individual work
the classroom as an interdependent community       products
Heterogeneously grouped classrooms where           Tracking or leveling students into “ability
individual needs are met through inherently        groups”
individualized activities, not segregation of
Delivery of special help to students in regular    Pull-out special programs
Reliance upon teachers’ descriptive evaluation     Use of and reliance on standardized tests
of student growth, including qualitative/
anecdotal observations

Updated: 01/05                                                                                         8
                    OF BEST PRACTICES
         Principle                          Description of Theory
Child-centered       The best starting point for schooling is kids’ real interests; all
                     across the curriculum, investigating students’ own questions
                     should always take precedence over studying arbitrarily and
                     distantly selected “content.”
Experiential         Active, hands-on concrete experience is the most powerful and
                     natural form of learning. Students should be immersed in the most
                     direct possible experience of the content of every subject.
Reflective           Balancing the immersion in direct experience must provide
                     opportunities for learners to look back, to reflect, to debrief, to
                     abstract from their experiences what they have felt and thought
                     and learned.
Authentic            Real, rich, complex ideas and materials are at the heart of the
                     curriculum. Lessons or textbooks that water down, control, or
                     oversimplify content ultimately disempower students.
Holistic             Students learn best when they encounter whole, real ideas, events,
                     and materials in purposeful contexts and not by studying subparts
                     isolated from actual use.
Social               Learning is always socially constructed and often interactional;
                     teachers need to create classroom interactions that “scaffold”
Collaborative        Cooperative learning activities tap the social power of learning
                     better than competitive and individualistic approaches.
Democratic           The classroom is a model community; students learn what they
                     live as citizens of the school.
Cognitive            The most powerful learning for children comes from developing
                     true understanding of concepts and higher order thinking
                     associated with various fields of inquiry and self-monitoring of
                     their thinking.
Developmental        Children grow through a series of definable but not rigid stages;
                     schooling should fit its activities to the developmental level of
Constructivist       Children do not just receive content; in a very real sense, they
                     recreate and re-invent every cognitive system they encounter,
                     including language, literacy, and mathematics.

Updated: 01/05                                                                             9
Psycholinguistic   The process of young children’s natural oral language acquisition
                   provides our best model of complex human learning, and, once
                   learned, language itself becomes the primary tool for more
                   learning, whatever the subject matter.
Challenging        Students learn best when faced with genuine challenges, choices,
                   and responsibility in their own learning.

Updated: 01/05                                                                         10

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