Monday, August 2, 2010
Summers-Knoll uses school-wide monthly themes as a way to integrate content areas in a way that makes sense to children. We hope to foster process learning and active involvement for ALL students with diverse learning styles. Thematic units involve activities designed to cross several areas of curriculum, and build on students’ prior knowledge and interests. Plus, it is a way for us to build relationships between all of the classrooms, as there are usually one or two opportunities each month to gather meaningfully in larger groups.
Learning in-depth factual information
Becoming physically involved with learning
Learning process skills
Learning "how to learn"
Integrating learning in a holistic way
Promoting group cohesiveness
Addressing individual needs
Motivating children and teachers
(Kostelnik, M.J., Soderman, A. K., & Whiren, A. P., 2004)
You can see the 2010/11 themes for the year listed on your right. You will notice that there is a good distribution between social studies, science and literature. As stated above, however, we do cross-curricular activities within a theme.
Our first theme of the 2010/2011 school year is The Renaissance. Cooking, crafts, art, music and games will keep learning hands-on and fun. Math activities will include exploration of the fibonacci sequence and golden ratio. Science activities will have children making their own paints out of eggs, much like Renaissance artists did. We will read and interpret maps to find out the major areas where the renaissance took place. As you can see, with such a theme it is quite easy to weave in learning throughout the curriculum.
Our Curious Epicures event on October 10th will serve as a wonderful cumulative event for the entire school community.
If you have any questions about using a thematic approach to teaching, please don’t hesitate to ask!