Friday, November 20, 2009

Taking the Long Way Home

Our California second grade team has hit a snag recently. The project they were doing was taking too long- disrupting the normal pace and plan of the second grade classroom. They have in consultation with us (meaning those who do not carry the burden) about choosing to finish a long meaningful project instead of doing one more arts integration cycle.
At the same time a colleague of mine came back from watching a second grade classroom. She, who usually spends time in secondary classroom, reflected that the pace moving from one activity to the next was breath taking - and that she as a student would probably fail to thrive in that room because there was no time to think and act with deliberation. Although I do quick pacing as efficient for teaching some things (phonics for example). I did agree with her that curriculum and administration are often pushing teachers to divide their days into small chunks. The small chunks are not connected and so students do not connect them either and are thus left with many fragments of knowledge and procedures that are not well organized- and thus are quickly lost.
When we integrate the arts and ask ourselves and our teacher researchers to think in longer cycles we are disrupting this cycle. We are proud to be the disruptors....
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