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Interdisciplinary Curriculum, Teaching for Understanding and Project-Based Designs

The following workshops are adaptable for grades 4-12 and are available in various levels of depth, from 1 hour introductory presentations (keynotes, PTA meetings, etc.) to full 1-3 day workshops.


Teaching for Understanding, Relevance and Rigor

(Available for grades 4-12) In these workshops, participants learn how to make adjustments to their classroom delivery and how to design "makeovers" of existing curricula to increase student engagement and depth of understanding.    All participants leave with concrete applications ready for implementation in their classrooms.   Elements of various leading education frameworks, including Understanding by Design (McTighe/Wiggins), School wide Enrichment Model (Renzulli), The Coalition of Essential Schools Common Principles (Sizer), are utilized and applied in the work.   Operational curricular examples that include interdisciplinary designs, community-based problem-solving projects, inquiry-driven designs and content organized and framed by 21 st century essential questions and big ideas are referenced and explored.    Organizational frameworks for schools and curriculum including "sustainability education" and teaching for 21 st century skills are offered as a specialty emphasis for these workshops.   All professional development programs and workshops are custom-designed for the needs and readiness of specific schools and include a variety of follow-up support options.   


Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners
Through Interdisciplinary Teaching and Differentiated Instruction

In these workshops, participants develop strategies and classroom-ready curricular modifications that utilize interdisciplinary teaching as a differentiation tool.   Foundational concepts of interdisciplinary transfer, multiple intelligences theory and learning modalities are explored as a basis for the work.   Participants draw from a variety of differentiation strategies that engage students in connecting multiple disciplines, including menu-driven (choice) project-based unit designs, tiered/open ended activities, flexible grouping strategies, problem-based and thematic unit design, and multi-modality instruction.   The integrated music and mathematics curriculum from Mr. Beall's publication Functional Melodies - Finding Mathematical Relationships In Music , is offered as a specialty emphasis for these workshops.   All professional development programs and workshops are custom-designed for the needs and readiness of specific schools and include a variety of follow-up support options.

Designing Interdisciplinary Project-Based Curricula

Connect learning to real world activities through interdisciplinary project-based instructional units. In this workshop you will design an actual unit for your classroom. Topics include: choosing unit themes and central questions, creating authentic culminating projects, mapping course content, alignment with district and state standards, identifying authentic nodes of integration, assessment, rubrics, and more.


Putting Multiple Intelligences Theory To Work: Teaching Mathematics Through Music

In this presentation participants will examine Functional Melodies (Key Curriculum Press), a mathematics curriculum of stand alone activities and sequenced units that integrate with music. Led by the author, Scott Beall, participants will view the curriculum as a working example of an instructional strategy that meets a formidable theory-to-practice challenge for multiple intelligences instruction: To create meaningful transfer when one discipline is used to teach a concept in another discipline. Mathematical topics in Functional Melodies include functions, Cartesian coordinate graphing, algebraic representations, ratio, proportion, measurement, and non routine problem solving. The targeted grades are 5-10. The presentation will also focus on instructional units for grades 3-5. In these units concepts are engaged by students in interactive activities, first in a musical context and language which incrementally become translated to mathematical representations as a natural outgrowth of the need to solve musical problems. A striking feature is the ease with which students of elementary grades find themselves engaging algebraic concepts of linear functions, graphs, and variables. As extensions, the process sets a context for students to explore the essence of creativity and mathematics as a metaphor. The presentation views teaching case studies and the impact of Functional Melodies on assorted aspects of mathematics teaching, including depth of conceptual understanding and retention, student motivation and perceived relevance of mathematics, equity and access for all students, special needs students and the gifted, and the social construction of intelligence in the classroom. Finally, professional development programs designed by Mr. Beall that use Functional Melodies as a basis to address these issues are presented.