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Running Head: Interdisciplinary Instruction Interdisciplinary Instruction Meghan K. Meyers Franciscan University of Steubenville Interdisciplinary Instruction 2 It is an educators’ job to find the best practices when trying to engage students in their academic work. Most everything in life can be boiled down to finding
  Running Head: Interdisciplinary Instruction Interdisciplinary Instruction Meghan K. Meyers Franciscan University of Steubenville  Interdisciplinary Instruction 2 It is an educators’ j ob to find the best practices when trying to engage students in their academic work. Most everything in life can be boiled down to finding a proper balance and education is no exception. Teachers can neither teach only to the standards nor can they teach whatever they think will interest the students. This is why balance is key. The standards were created so that there would be some sort of uniformity of what students learn in each particular grade level. It is important that teachers incorporate what is relevant and interesting to their students while still reaching the standard. One way to do this is through an interdisciplinary curriculum. An interdisciplinary curriculum is a method used to teach students something that may be interesting to them while pulling curriculum for different subject areas. A school may choose this to use curriculum approach because it offers a unique way for students to reach the standards while taking part in activities that relevant to them. The  Exemplary Middle School confirms this as it states, “Only an integrated curriculum permits a focus on the combined general interests of learners and society instead of the increasingly specialized and segmented curriculum of the traditional program. ” (George, P. &  Alexander, W.  p. 101) Another source says that an interdisciplinary curriculum is used to “provide authentic experiences in more than one content area, offer a range of learning experiences for students, and give students choices in the projects they pursue and the ways they demonstrate their learning.” (Barton, K. & Smith, L. p. 54) Even though this method takes extensive planning, it will be more beneficial to the students and better prepare them for the real world; interdisciplinary curriculum allows students to learn more and apply what they learn.  Interdisciplinary Instruction 3 References Barton, K. & Smith, L. (2000). Themes or Motifs? Aiming for Coherence Through Interdisciplinary Outlines. The Reading Teacher  . 54(1), pp. 54-63. George, P. & Alexander, W. (2003). The Exemplary Middle School (3 rd  ed). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning pp. 72-150  Interdisciplinary Instruction 4 Dear Parents/Guardians, I can feel the excitement rising in the classroom and through the halls as summer draws near. That being said, we still have a very important part of our school year left, our interdisciplinary curriculum mini workshops! The students will be able to choose one out of four mini sessions that would like to partake in. Year after year these sessions always seem to be a hit with all the students as they get to engage in some real life activities. Here is a brief overview of each session: “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” is all about baseball and great for students who w ant to be sports annalists in the future . Students will look at our state’s Major League Baseball team’s record and individual player statistics. They take the information they have gathered and using probability, make  predictions on the outcome of the next game. Students will be recording their predictions prior to the game and give an explanation for their predictions. After they will do a follow up evaluation of their work determining the accuracy of their predictions. In the last three days of the session students will put all their findings together in an organized way and explain the outcome(s) in a presentation. In “Homegrown” is  prefect for those who love to garden or aspire to be chefs. Students will take what they have learned in their science classes and determine what the best on campus location would be to start a fruit and vegetable garden. They will need to take into consideration sunlight, soil type, and space; students will also spend time looking at weather patterns which will effect the growth of their  plants. A daily log will be kept of what each student does: planting, weeding, growth measurement, and harvesting. Students will then buy the same fruits and vegetable that they have planted from a local farmer’s  market and come up with srcinal recipes. They will be expected to use ratios and units of measurement to describe how much or how little of an ingredient they used. During the last four days of the course, students will compare their work in the final days to come up with a list of what contributes to the best growing environment and decided what concoctions make up the best srcinal dish. “Story Time” is unique because the students will have the opportunity to share their work with others outside our middle school. In this session students will become authors of Children’s books that they write and illustrate. Students will brainstorm topics that interest elementary students. They will place themselves in the shoes of authors to write srcinal stories for the elementary school library. Students will create 3 books in total (at least one will be digital). Students will follow all the steps of the writing  process: brainstorms, write a rough draft, edit, and publish. Students will keep a list of costs of materials to make their books. In the “Whale Tales” workshop students  will read many articles on Orca whales to inform themselves on the controversy regarding keeping these whales in captivity. As the students read they will take notes on the important facts. The students will then come up with an srcinal idea on how the public can still view and learn about these majestic creatures. Students will need to keep the safety of the whales and the public in mind. Using their article notes and the writing process (brainstorm, rough draft, edit, final draft) students will write a brief synopsis of the situation, propose their idea, and give evidence to support their idea. Students will present their idea with a group on the last day of the session. Please discuss these options with your child as they decide which session they would like to  participate in. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with any further questions about our interdisciplinary curriculum. Sincerely,
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