Stepping Up to the Bar
It’s January 2 and you are determined to keep and meet your New Year’s resolution. That resolution… Go to the gym. When you get there, your friend recommends weights. It’s a great workout that will keep you healthy and gain strength. There’s just one problem. You don’t have much experience in lifting weights. So as you begin this journey becoming a new healthier better version of yourself there are two things happening. You are confronting this new challenge as well as learning more about this new skill and the possibilities that lie ahead.
In this level of integration we are bringing you face to face with the possibilities of what “could be” in your classroom. Just as you would approach the bar to begin to lift it above your head, we ask you to approach this level much the same. With an open mindset, the excitement to try, and the driving passion for a much needed change.
“Confronting: to bring or meet face to face.”
The confrontation that we are referring to comes from the normalization of education “should” look like and what we have all grown accustomed to. Confronting the norm is an interracial part of the framework. It may be lower in the framework in terms of how much you are integrating into your instruction. However, it is vital that this level of integration is included in the framework because of the disruption of one's mindset and the growth of expanding one’s understanding of what could be possible in instruction.
Thinking of this level and its purpose in our framework, reminds me of a teacher in our building that we work with. She is an incredible athlete. And even recently, amidst injuries, she still trained and grew as an athlete, not only physically but also mentally. She has encouraged so many in our building and across our community to become better versions of themselves, coaching and encouraging everyone along the way. One thing she teaches , no matter your level of athleticism, is that your mindset, the why and how you approach workouts and nutrition, is where you will either succeed or fail in reaching your goals. When it comes to teaching and education, it is much the same way. Your mindset can very well determine the success you may or may not have with your students.
Our first level of integration is taking 2 core subjects and integrating, or combining them together. We often say do one subject that you absolutely love or feel most comfortable teaching, paired with one that isn’t as strong. If you start with a strength, it encourages and motivates you to keep going! We take 2 core subjects and look at the standards for each. Now, at this stage you may or may not have already looked at bundling priority standards. If not, here is your time. Look for common threads in the standards that would feel natural to put together.
Then, after looking at the standards and what you might be able to achieve with two core subjects, find the theme that you could create a learning experience on or with. These learning experiences are designed to create an experience in which students can stick information, memories, and learning to. We will be talking more in depth on learning experiences in upcoming blogs!
Last but not least, in this confronting the norm level we want educators to think of a technology or arts component that they could integrate with their unit/lesson. Virtual reality field trips, augmented reality apps, book creation, or video creation, are just a few ideas to help you get started with the technology piece. If you need more ideas, go check out our past blog posts on learning and creation apps!
The art component can be so many things. Ranging from song, movement, drama, drawing, painting, etc. With art, the possibilities are endless. Sometimes the art can also be a part of the learning experience!
Now if you are looking at the first level and are thinking, “Well, that doesn’t seem so hard.” Awesome!!! Then this is a perfect spot for you to start! If you look at this level and think, “That seems like a lot…” Perfect! This is still the perfect level for you to start. This is the point where you get to decide if you are wanting to step up to the bar to start making a change in your teaching, your classroom, and in education! Teacher friends…Grab that bar and let’s go!
Do you feel ready to get started but are wanting some extra coaching and support along the way? Don’t hesitate to get a hold of us! Connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter @Integratedk12 or email us at email@example.com
For more individualized and in depth learning on multi-subject integration in the classroom, be on the lookout for the upcoming IntegratED cohort starting August 2022! Limited spots will be available!
Stay tuned for next week’s blog on Challenging the Norm: Level 2!
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.