Thursday, June 25, 2015

Interdisciplinary Program: Theme

As we develop our team approach to teaching fifth grade next year, we may consider embedding themes that tie our work together as teachers of writing, reading, social studies, science, STEAM, and math.

I looked over the curriculum and came up with the following themes for each two month period. Each theme encompasses the work we'll do and also help students to develop the ability to synthesize the content in meaningful ways.

When the team meets in late August we may look over these themes and make some changes. We may also discuss whether we want to celebrate the theme in some way with a one-two day celebration event--an event that demonstrates and shares the learning in a significant way.

September/October: Identity: Who are we and where do we live?
We will focus our work on introductions and a focus on ecosystems near and far with map skills and environmental study.

November/December: Adaptation: People near and far, past, present, and future.
During this time we'll look back to ancient cultures and forward to life as we imagine it in space.

January/February: Details Make a Difference: Attributes, Characteristics, Properties, Traits
We'll look carefully at the elements that make up good writing, precise math, critical reading, and the physical properties of matter. We'll also study the details that make a difference in history and how those details affect the outcome of events today and in the past.

March/April: Creativity and Imagination: Dare to Dream
We'll complement the testing time of year with creative projects related to simple machines, creative writing, and wonderful stories.

May/June: Advocacy: Self-Knowledge, Expression, Choice, and Voice
Students will study how individuals' self knowledge, expression, choice, and voice made a difference in their lives and the lives of all people related to the Global Changemakers biography project. They'll also look back on the year with regard to what they've learned about themselves and where they hope to go in the future. As we focus on our local habitat study, students will think of ways that they can make a difference with regard to the environment and other areas of life.