Getting a Head Start on Integration

Article excerpt

Gail Brumett proves that the integration of disciplines at the middle school level is possible. A life skills teacher for sixth- and seventh-graders at Crawford Middle School in Lexington, Kentucky, Brumett participates in an innovative program, which simply is referred to as "resourcing."

Aside from teaching life skills classes, Brumett's daily school schedule includes time for collaborative lesson planning with academic teachers. Her role is to introduce hands-on activities related to the academic subject matter. Both teachers participate in implementing the lessons.

The main goal of resourcing is for teachers to plan together. For example, Brumett, an academic teacher and the school librarian planned a lesson around reading the book lusting and the Best Biscuits in the World by Mildred Pitts Walter. Students participated in a "Life Skills" lab during which they prepared biscuits and reviewed kitchen skills. They also observed the making of sorghum, a syrup derived from the sorgo plant that resembles cane syrup. Students discussed the process and the librarian supplemented the lesson with pictures and details. The students then used the sorghum in their biscuit recipe.

Another collaborative learning experience involved presenting a play. The technical education teacher developed lesson plans about set building. …