This semester has been very helpful in both my knowledge of theoretical and applied teaching skills for science content. To demonstrate this I have attached several documents which I believe show how I have progressed throughout this semester; these include the home page for the common core standards, an article about Inquiry and the standards, my group’s unit matrix outline, my final revised lesson plan and a class book-share I did. I think these show the different aspects of teaching strategies I have learned.
Including the common core standard represents that I have learned that it is possible to teach to the standards with out losing creativity in the classroom. The standards have become more geared towards teaching the nature of science in schools and so there are many ways to apply these principles. The reading on inquiry and national standards also reinforces this idea because it discusses how it is possible to use inquiry in the classroom to teach and still meet national standards which I think is important.[i]
This is also shown by my group unit matrix outline that shows the initial plan we created with all of our concepts that we wanted to teach through out our learning cycle. This combined with my final revised lesson, which was edited again after I had taught it, shows how tentative teaching science can be. Our students did not always draw the conclusions we expected throughout the course of our learning cycle and so each lesson we had to adapt to accommodate their needs. It also taught me that students will need to go at different paces so it is best to have some alternate possibilities included with the lesson.
My last artifact is a review I did of a book share. I loved the opportunity to combine language arts and science together and I think that the cross-curricular activities we did in class were some of the most successful. In my final lesson, I ended up teaching a song to the students to help them memorize the life cycle of a plant. To me this is just another example of how combining these different areas can be extremely enjoyable and informative. Because of this, I think that if I had actually had the opportunity to share this book with real students it would have been a good segway in to many interesting new pursuits.
[i] "Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards: A Guide for Teaching and Learning." The National Academies Press. Web. 02 May 2011. <http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=9596>.