Integration is as easy as PB & J!

Are there ever enough hours in the day? I don't know about you, but for me, the school day flies! I almost always have too much planned to get through! Integrating content areas helps SO much! If you can nail several standards in one activity, then why not? Not to mention the value that it brings to learning! Kids learn best when they can see connections, and when they have time and opportunity to
process, work through, and apply learning in different ways. That's when the magic of transfer happens. It's also when they learn how to learn...

It's kind of like peanut butter & jelly! What's peanut butter without the jelly? Dry and a bit boring! What's jelly without the peanut butter? Sweet, but slippery, nothing to hold on to! Together though...
magic! They bring out the best in each other! They make the other more than they could have ever been on their own!  The same could be said to be true of integrating content areas! Science... cool and interesting, but to read, write, and talk about it makes it come to life! So much to cling to... to much to build on! So much to think about and so many connections to make! Viola! The magic in learning is tying it all together!

For me there is no better way to teach science than to integrate it with reading and writing skills. I love building several mini lessons around a meaty close reading passage, essential questions and lots of  follow up discussions, writing activities and oral language opportunities. I feel best about my instruction when I do this because I know that I am providing my kids with great materials, but
also I am scaffolding adventures of how to be a learner. No surface learning here. The learning that occurs is deep, meaningful, and lasting. I am always amazed at the number of times throughout the rest of the school year that kids bring up notions, discussions or facts from our integrated
science lessons. I'm also always impressed with the growth that occurs in their writing, oral language,
general stamina for paying attention, comprehension, and general abilities as students.

Although I love making all kinds of materials for early learners, I love writing and designing these
meaty lessons the best, probably because for me they are the most fun to teach! I have always loved
teaching in units vs. the fragments that some adoptions inherently bring. The richness it provides to the classroom environment cannot be understated, and is timeless in pedagogy. Although we all have slightly different state standards that we teach by, some Common Core, some not, one thing remains the same. We all teach young learners. Essentially, the basic skills each must learn to be prepared for future learning are largely the same, the path to get there, largely different.

In my nearly 30 years of experience, I have seen many, many adoptions come and go in every content area. The expectations for instruction and use of those materials varies from administrator to administrator, but I have found that most all respect an integrated, thoughtful approach drenching students the deep learning that only integration of content areas can bestow. It's not instead of the
purchased district adoptions, it's with. Teachers Pay Teachers resources can be friends with big box
adoptions, remember it takes a village!

I have been writing close reading resources for many years, and they are still my most popular to date. The feedback I get from teachers is why I keep writing more! I have been working on creating new close reading resources that provide an even deeper learner experience. The resources are filled with many lessons and activities that could be used for comprehensive activities such as research projects, but my personal favorite are mini lessons. They are easy to fit into lesson plans that are already packed with "have-to's"!

If you try out activities and think of it, please send your in-action pictures to me for a chance to win
a monthly drawing for a Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card!

Below are a few of my favorite resources for integrating science!
Happy integrating!! :o)


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