Saturday, October 31, 2009
Time and Integration
As a classroom teacher, I am always balancing time -- what needs to be done, when it needs to be done and how long it all takes. Frequently my own timeline does not correspond with the students' timeline. It takes them longer or they finished faster than I anticipated. How often am I right "on the money"? When I consider different learners and learning styles and how I might differentiate instruction, time is a big variable.
I ask myself if the time spent was worth the benefit received. Or I might ask if there is a more efficient way to get from Start to Finish.
In the case of Arts Integration... how much time does one spend on each piece? Should it be equal? - Art Lesson - Content Lesson (i.e. Science, Social Studies) - Literacy Lesson -
Is the equation equal or one greater than the other for the greatest student success? If I spend 60 minutes each on art, content and literacy will the product from each be equal? If I spend 90 minutes on content lessons along 90 minutes on an art lesson and student art production and 90 minutes of language arts lessons and student writing workshops will that yield a better content understanding, an awesome art product and an equally amazing writing product than say the 60 minutes did? It really isn't always about minutes when it comes to students learning. Sometimes the going back and forth in a revision and editing mode (in either art or writing) may take pieces of days for our students. Will more time on an art product make it possible to spend less time on a writing product? Will less time on an art product require more time on a writing product? I believe that certain choices in each area will yield the greatest results.
Integration is a way to combine learning in more than one area, yet it still all has to be carefully crafted and then managed in the general classroom.
There is so much to teach and time is my challenge!