Our IntegratED Framework
The last semester of the school year has always been my favorite time. My second graders are starting to put together all they have been learning and are becoming more independent. It is also a time to really dig into our IntegratED units!
If you have wanted to try our IntegratED Framework but are not sure where or when to start we recommend the later part of the year. It seems that fourth quarter’s standards always line up nicely when planning an IntegratED unit, making it a great time of the year to give it a try! And it is the time of the year when something new and different is needed to help kids be engaged and motivated. A perfect time to start an IntegratED workshop! Integration will take some extra planning in the beginning but is always worth it when you start the IntegratED Workshop in your class. Whether you are a beginner or a master integrator, we hope this article brings you inspiration to ‘give it a go’ before this school year comes to a close.
“If you do nothing it feels safe, but everything stays the same. If you do nothing, there is less to experience, less to love, and less to learn.” -Yamada
Educators are realizing that something needs to change but we are not sure how. This is where our IntegratED Framework comes into play. Our IntegratED Framework isn’t another curriculum. We have designed a framework that teachers can implement with their favorite resources and district and school expectations, WITHOUT following a written script. We want teachers to have the freedom to be creative in their classrooms. We want teachers to teach not for or to a test, but for growing students’ knowledge and experiences. We have challenged the education system and started to disrupt the norm in the way we are teaching and planning.
This framework will guide teachers in bringing back the love of learning into their classrooms by giving educators the freedom and creativity of using what they already have and creating learning experiences for their students to remember. Our goal and focus is on changing the norm of our entire instructional day to create a more holistic approach to student learning.
Our classrooms today have less behaviors, more student involvement, and the love of learning because we have implemented our IntegratED Framework in our instruction. When we first began this process in our own classrooms we realized we were integrating at different levels throughout the school year. We began to realize that we would often move through different levels of integration depending on time of the year, our ability to bundle our priority and supporting standards purposefully, district expectations and assessments, and our knowledge of what we knew students needed instructionally and what they could handle socially and emotionally.
Throughout this month we will be featuring each level independently to give you a better idea how each one works in our classroom. We will try to provide you with ideas to take to your classroom and try before the end of the school year.
So, now where do you begin? Well my advice is to take a core subject you LOVE to teach and add another core subject that makes sense to put together. A lot of time our integrated units start with a science or social studies concept. Then we start to look for priority reading or writing concepts/skills that need to be taught. These standards might be based on district recommendations or requirements or you may have the freedom to choose. We then add supporting standards that help support those priority standards (spiraling throughout the year). After the work is done with standards and deciding on the end goals (assessments), the fun begins.
After the work of bundling standards, looking at end goals, and deciding on what assessments to use, we start to plan different but very purposeful classroom experiences that drive our units. This is where teacher creativity plays such a big part in our framework.
Unfortunately, we are not able to teach you all of the things in one blog post, otherwise this blog would become a book. However, there is a way you can learn more!!! :)
In August, we will be starting an IntegratED cohort that will take you step-by-step through our IntegratED framework, provide you with free resources, collaboration with a community of teachers, learning from amazing guest speakers, and so much more. Be sure to watch for more information about the cohort!
Watch for our next week's blog on Confronting the Norm, level one of our IntegratED Framework.
Are you ready now and need help getting started for the fourth quarter? Send us an email and we would be glad to help.
Megan and Kara are educational leaders, professional development experts, and current classroom teachers who are improving the way instruction is being delivered in the standard classroom.