BDS Staff Meeting: An Integrated Curriculum

2 June 2009


Trevor Bond

The NZ Curriculum gives us a mandate to create teaching and learning programmes suited to the needs of our students and community. If, after developing this, our curriculum is overloaded we have no one to blame but ourselves!

Some integration ideas

  • Botany Downs School Wiki - add links for literacy and numeracy task boards (learning activities related to learning intentions), front loading and research for inquiry, class pages for more specific purposes.
  • Angie Simmons books
  • Tumblebooks - shared book, task board activity
  • KidPix - respond to text, articulate learning especially Years 1-3. Include drawing tools, paint bucket, text, voice, photos, movies and slideshows. Can be embedded in a blog or wiki. Value of backgrounds, stickers, animations and stamps is questionable.
  • Tutpup - free alternative to Mathletics, can set up class accounts, practise basic facts, numeracy task board activity. Also spelling.
  • Class blogs - useful to motivate reluctant writers, authentic audience, can embed digital work to share with wider community, record of class activities and learning, reflective journals, constructive comments on other posts/blogs. Part of literacy programme.
  • Inquiry/infomation literacy skills - must be integrated with the literacy programme. If you are at the 'Wondering' stage of the inquiry you should prepare for this in the literacy programme too eg responding to text with questions to ask a peer. At the 'Exploring' stage? Focus on keywords when responding to text - for older students (Year 4-6) this can also be done electronically by pasting text into a Word document and using the 'Edit - Find' function.
  • Video is a powerful learning tool and as easy as using the movie function on a normal digital camera or webcam on a laptop. Good for speeches (self and peer assessment), embedding in a blog/wiki/KidPix/Powerpoint, reflective comments (especially for ESOL, early or reluctant writers), instructional writing, articulating inquiry learning etc.
  • Digital storytelling using digital cameras, KidPix, Photostory, comics (online, Word, Publisher) - responding to text, retelling a story, creating an alternative ending, what would happen if ...., school trips, instructions.
  • Digital Learning Objects (DLOs) - accessed through Digistore on TKI. Good for literacy, numeracy and inquiry.
  • Encyclopedia Britannica - accessed through EPIC on TKI. Highly recommend the News section for oral language/current events, animal of the day, games for literacy, numeracy and science.
  • Excel - useful tool to increase number knowledge, create graphs etc.
  • Publishing is not a learning activity.

Some management strategies

  • Always explicity plan your use of ICT/e-Learning tools.
  • Use your teacher laptop too- it increases your classroom computers by 100% in most cases!
  • You don't have to use all the laptops at the same time - especially if you are teaching something new.
  • All students should learn how to save their work into their folder on the server, starting at Year 1 - it makes your life a lot less stressful!
  • Checklists, checklists, checklists!

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Most important to always remember - what is your purpose, what is the best tool for this?