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Apr 27, 2015
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Strategic Integration

For new information to be understood and applied, it should be carefully combined (strategically integrated) with what the learner already knows and understands to produce a more generalizable, higher-order skill. Integrating new information with existing knowledge increases the likelihood that new information will be understood at a deeper level.

But it must be done strategically and the critical connections made clear so that the new information does not become confused with what the learner already knows.

For example, in teaching students how to compose narratives, a teacher can move from activities based on reading comprehension, such as identification and application of narrative elements (e.g., setting, main characters, initiating event, resolution to the problem), to generation of those elements. Similarly, in beginning reading, once learners can hear sounds in words and recognize letter-sound correspondences fluently, those skills can be integrated to recognize words. These powerful and oftentimes logical connections comprise strategic integration.

Strategic integration is the carefully controlled combination of what the student already knows with what he or she has to learn so that the relationship between these two elements is clear and results in new or more complete knowledge.

Examples of strategic integration include:

  • Using text structure to enhance reading comprehension and then as a basis for narrative writing.
  • Integrating letter-sound correspondence knowledge to form words.
  • Using the strategy for solving proportions as a basis for word problem solving.

Evaluative Questions

  1. Does the lesson make explicit the connections between prior learning and new skills?
  2. Where appropriate, does the lesson explain the relationship among its components/parts?
  3. Does the lesson result in the learner being able to demonstrate a higher-order concept/strategy based on integration of prior learning and new learning?
  4. Identify the modifications necessary to accommodate the full range of learners.
    • Make explicit the connections between prior learning and new learning.
    • Make explicit the connections between the components within a lesson.
    • Indicate how the new objective results in a higher-order skill or strategy.
*Excerpted from Toward Successful Inclusion of Students with Disabilities: The Architecture of Instruction by Edward J. Kameenui, and Deborah Simmons(1999).

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Council for Exceptional Children

Provided in partnership with The Council for Exceptional Children.

Highlights

Children's Choice Book Awards
We love books! Encourage students to vote for their favorite children's book, author, and illustrator of the year at Funbrain and Poptropica. Teens can make their picks too. Read the complete list of nominated books, as well as related activities, and get voting!

Videos
Do your students love videos? We have a growing collection of videos (including related activities) for holidays and events, including: Earth Day, women's history, Memorial Day, Independence Day, slavery & the Civil War, U.S. Presidents, handwashing awareness, the Common Core, and American History. Enjoy!

April Calendar of Events
April is full events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Tell a Story Day (4/27) and International Jazz Day (4/30). Plus, celebrate Mathematics Education Month, National Poetry Month, and Youth Sports Safety Month!

Teaching with Comics: Galactic Hot Dogs
Reach reluctant readers and English-language learners with comics! Our original teaching guides to the Galactic Hot Dogs comic series (chapters 1-4 and 5-8), as found on Funbrain.com, will take students on a cosmic adventure while engaging their creative minds. Plus, find even more activities for teaching with comics, featuring many other classic stories.

Poptropica Teaching Guides
Poptropica is one of the Internet's most popular sites for kids—and now it's available as an app for the iPad! It's not just a place to play games; each of the islands featured on the site provides a learning opportunity. Check out our teaching guides to four of Poptropica's islands: 24 Carrot Island, Time Tangled Island, Mystery Train Island, and Mythology Island.


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