Sonoma State University
Education 437
Integrated Curriculum: Preschool Through Elementary

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Course Information

Fall 2002



Course Objectives

Grading Criteria

Course Description


Course Requirements

Use of Sources



Lisa Pollack, M.A.

Office: Stevenson 3029

Phone: 664-2628 #2 or 546-3515 (home)


Office hours: Wednesday, 11:45 - 12:45
or by appt.

Course Description:

Teachers in the preschool and elementary school classroom are continually challenged with effectively meeting the needs of a diverse group of students; diverse in their culture, native language, past school and family experiences and in their cognitive, emotional and social development. This course will explore both the theoretical framework and the practical strategies that will help teachers meet these challenges. Students will learn a variety of techniques for lesson and unit planning, integrating curriculum across subject areas and with technology, teaching diverse populations, addressing state standards, authentically assessing children, implementing positive classroom management strategies. and involving parents in the classroom. Students will have multiple opportunities to work collaboratively with other class members.



  • Completion of Education 431
  • or consent of instructor

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Required Texts:

  • Cohen, E. Designing Groupwork: Strategies for the Heterogeneous Classroom. New York: Teachers College Press, 1994.
  • Dalton, Joan and Marilyn Watson. Among Friends: Classrooms Where Caring and Learning Prevail. Oakland: Developmental Studies Center, 1997.
  •  Lindquist, Tarry. Seeing the Whole Through Social Studies. New Hampshire: Heinemann, 1995.
  • Montgomery, Kathleen. Authentic Assessment - A Guide for Elementary Teachers. Addison Wesley Longman, 2001
  • Wassermann, S. Serious Players in the Primary Classroom. New York: Teachers College Press, 2000. 


Additional Required Readings:

California State Department of Education Framework (one, assigned in class)
  • Health
  • History/Social Science
  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Education
  • Science
  • Visual/Performing Arts

    State frameworks and standards can be found at:


Arts or Technology Curriculum Text (one, assigned in class)
  • Blecher, Sharon and Kathy Jaffee. Weaving In The Arts: Widening the Learning Circle. New Hampshire: Heinemann, 1998.
  • Gee, Karolynne. Visual Arts as a Way of Knowing. Galef Institute, 2000.
  • Griss, Susan. Minds in Motion: A Kinesthetic Approach to Teaching Elementary Curriculum. New Hampshire: Heinemann, 1998.
  • Heller, Paul. Drama as a Way of Knowing. Galef Institute, 2000.
  • Von Blanckensee, Leni. Technology Tools for Young Learners. New York: Eye on Education Press, 1999

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Recommended Texts:

  • Developmental Studies Center. Ways We Want Our Class To Be: Class Meetings That Build Commitment, Kindness, and Learning. Oakland. 1996.
  • Fisher, Bobbi. Thinking and Learning Together -- Curriculum and Community in a Primary Classroom. New Hampshire: Heinemann, 1995.
  • Helm, Judy Harris and Lillian Katz. Young Investigators.: The Project Approach in the Early Years. New York: Teacher's College Press, 2001.
  • Whitin, David and Sandra Wilde. Read Any Good Math Lately? New Hampshire: Heinemann, 1992.
  • California State Department of Education Publications
    Literature for Visual/Performing Arts
    Language Arts Literature for History/Social Science
    Mathematics Literature for Science and Math

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Course Objectives:

  1. Develop a personal philosophy of teaching and learning, synthesizing current theory and research with your own teaching experience and observations; and develop expertise as a reflective practitioner.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the California State Frameworks, the California State Standards, and other resource materials, and their application in planning curriculum.
  3. Demonstrate competence in planning activities which reflect the developmental stages of children, which actively engage and challenge a diverse group of students, and which use a variety of grouping strategies.
  4. Demonstrate competence in writing lesson plans and unit plans that clearly articulate the goals and objectives, the procedure that will be followed and the ways in which the lesson/unit will be assessed.
  5. Demonstrate competence in designing lessons and learning units that are integrated across subject areas.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge of appropriate use of technology as a resource for teachers and as a tool to elaborate children's learning.
  7. Demonstrate knowledge of assessment strategies which are integrated into the daily curriculum, and ways to utilize assessment in planning curriculum and in communicating with parents.
  8. Articulate a variety of strategies for developing a democratic classroom community where discipline is maintained through cooperation and group problem-solving, and preventive techniques are practiced. 

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Course Requirements and Descriptions of Assignments: (For more details on each assignment, use the link to Assignments page on the course website.) 

  1. Attendance and participation in class is essential. This course is designed to be hands-on, with much of your learning taking place in discussions with your colleagues and in experiences planned for each class meeting. Please plan to attend all classes for the full time period. If you are unable to attend a class session, please notify me in advance. If you are absent for more than one class meeting, you are responsible for negotiating with me an appropriate alternate assignment or your grade will be affected.
  2. Reading reflections on WebCT
    You are to post your reading responses on WebCT each week. Every two weeks, you will post a primary response in which you will include: your new understanding and insights into the themes discussed in the texts and articles, your analysis of the ideas and strategies suggested by the authors, comparing/contrasting related articles, or your personal experiences from your fieldwork which apply to the topics read. On alternate weeks, you will post secondary responses where you will respond to the reading reflections of two of your classmates.

    Both at the midterm and the end of the semester I will evaluate your postings and responses, using the course
    WebCT criteria, and record your score.
    GRADED: October 21 and December 2
  3. Statement of your educational philosophy:
    Your educational philosophy is the basis for all of your decisions as a teacher, from the physical arrangement of classroom furniture to the ways that you communicate with parents. Reflect on all that you believe about teaching and learning, synthesizing educational theory with your own experiences with children. The first draft of your educational statement should include all of the themes that we've discussed up to the midterm, and the final draft should include all of the themes covered in this course.
    DUE: 1st Draft - October 21; Final Draft- December 9
  4. Framework expert report and presentation:
    You will work with a group of colleagues to study, outline and present to the class one of the State Frameworks and its corresponding State standards. Your group will design a handout which summarizes: 1) key components of the framework and a brief description of its organization, 2) the instructional strategies suggested in the framework , 3) one framework /standard concept and a comparison of how it is taught at each grade level, and 4) your group's evaluation of the framework and standards and their usefulness for teachers
    Provide all class members with a handout of your framework summary.
    DUE: October 14
  5. Play/debrief/replay lesson plan:
    Design an investigative play activity that is based on a concept/standard outlined in the framework. Use a play/ debrief/ replay lesson plan to write up this lesson. Your will teach this activity to a small group as part of your framework presentation. Provide all class members with a copy of your lesson plan.
    DUE: October 14
  6. 5-step lesson plan:
    Design a lesson integrating a piece of literature with one or more other subject areas. Use a 5-step lesson plan sequence and include the following components: objectives and state standards accessed, materials, specific procedure to be followed, questioning strategies, and assessment.
    DUE: October 21
  7. Unit plan jigsaws:
    You will join with experts of other state frameworks to design an outline for a 2 week integrated unit. The theme of the unit should represent the interests of all of the group members and should also reflect the objectives defined in the State Frameworks and State Standards. Use the format demonstrated in class and create the unit overview -- the unit's big ideas, objectives, assessment and a curricular web.
    DUE: October 28
  8. Lesson plan modification
    You will find a published lesson plan, either from a teacher's edition or from the Internet. You will modify the lesson so that learning opportunities and concept development will be enhanced. Include your rewrite of the lesson along with the original lesson.
    DUE: November 18
  9. Integrated unit:
    You will design a 4-8 week integrated unit, individually or with a partner. This unit will synthesize all of what you have learned in this course and demonstrate your understanding of all of the course objectives. The theme must be different than the one you worked on with your jigsaw group, and have the potential for sustained investigation for the age level that you select. During our last two meetings you will present your integrated unit to the class. Your unit plan should include the ten components discussed in class. A duplicate copy of your unit plan will be included in the multiple subject/ early childhood library.
    DUE: draft of unit overview November 11; final unit December 16

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If you have a disability that requires accommodation in this class, you must notify me before the end of the second week of class regarding the nature of the accommodation(s) you require. You must register with the campus office of Disabled Student Services, located in Stevenson Hall, room 1038. DSS will provide you with written confirmation of your verified disability and authorize recommended accommodations. This authorization must be presented to me before any accommodations can be made.


Grading Criteria:

Your grade in this course will be based on your completion of all course requirements. Your written work will be graded according to how fully and completely you demonstrate understanding of the course content and how well you integrate your knowledge with practical examples.

Written assignments will be considered late if they are not turned in on their due date. Late work is accepted, yet points will be deducted for each week that it is late. Work may be revised and resubmitted to demonstrate further understanding and to improve the grade. Revisions must be turned in within two weeks of when the work was returned.

The following points will be given for the assignments and course requirements:

Course attendance and participation

45 points

Reading responses on WebCT

50 points (25 each)

Framework summary and presentation

25 points

Educational philosophy

50 points

Lesson plans

30 points (10 each)

Integrated unit

150 points

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Use of Sources:

As teachers we frequently use the ideas and activities of our colleagues. It is necessary to be completely ethical about giving credit to these sources.

* When using or modifying another teacher's lesson plan, it is imperative that you cite the name of the lesson plan's author on your lesson plan.

* If you are using the idea of another teacher as the source for your own lesson, it is respectful to include the name of the person whose idea was the basis for your own lesson.

Any assignment which contains plagiarized materials will receive a grade of "F". If you have any questions about this, please ask me and/or refer to the University's policy on plagiarism.

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Home | Course Information | Schedule | Assignment Criteria | Course Materials | Links | Interactive