Wednesday, September 22, 2010

An Integrated Curriculum

At Curriculum Night, I promised that I would go into more depth about the kindergarten curriculum in my blogs. So, here is the first installment.

The first topic I would like to discuss is our integrated curriculum.

During your tour of Summers-Knoll you may remember Joanna spoke of our "integrated curriculum", but you might still wonder how it plays out in the Kindergarten classroom.

The way I like to think about it is that subjects and ideas flow back and forth and merge together for the children much as in "real life". Children are not introduced to concepts in isolation by subject area. Instead, instruction tries to merge subject areas.

This integration is happening throughout the day. It happens in small way, for example in math this morning, when geometry and art were combined as we used rectangles and triangles to draw castles. It also happens in extensive ways during our monthly themes when children learn about a topic in art, music, literature, science, math, and physical education.

For example, this month we have been studying the Renaissance. We have started many mornings listening to music written in the Renaissance period. The children listen to hear if they recognize any instrument, they try to articulate with words how the music makes them feel, and try to guess when or how the music might have been used.

As the morning progressed, we might read a book about why people built castles, or try to figure out how many hundred years ago the renaissance took place, or learn about Galileo's ideas about the earth going around the sun rather than visa versa.

After having the opportunity to ride horses like they did in the Renaissance, we had a brainstorming session in which the children thought about what kind of transportation people used 500 years ago: horses, carriages, boats, and walking came up as possibilities. Then we discussed if it was cheap or expensive to own a carriage, a ship, a horse. After talking about it the children decided most people probably walked.

These are just a few examples of how subject matter and content criss- cross throughout the curriculum. I hope this was helpful. More about specific content areas soon.

1 comment:

Anne said...

Thank, thank you! I've been so curious as to how "integrated curriculum" plays out in the kindergarten classroom especially with regard to the Renaissance theme. The examples were very helpful in furthering my understanding of daily life at SK.