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Danielle Ruff

InTASC Standard 4: Content Knowledge


The importance of content knowledge does not end after a pre-service teacher graduates
from the content concentration of the program. The teacher must understand the content that is
being taught. Otherwise, if the teacher does not understand the content then neither will the
students. The teacher must continually stay updated with the content, especially because of
advancements of technology that allow for new discoveries and changes in previous
understandings. As a science educator, there are many new discoveries within the field of science
and research, so it would be essential for me to stay updated and expose my students to the
happenings in science. In regards to teaching science, science has a significant of unfamiliar
vocabulary that students need to know and understand in order meet the standards. As discussed
in the InTASC Standard 4(a) for teacher performances, the teacher must provide multiple and
accessible means of representation to relay the information and the content that is required for
students to know. This means that the teacher has a responsibility of exposing the student to in
information that meets the needs of a variety of learners. Students also need to opportunity to
practice and review academic language and the concepts that are being taught. The uses of
formative assessments are essential to check for understanding as the content is being taught.
Formative assessments help the teacher understand the background knowledge students already
have as well as a lack of background knowledge and misconceptions. The teacher then can adjust
instruction based off of the results of formative assessments and appropriately help guide the
learning process.
What is this artifact?
I was able to design a mini unit plan based off of a formative assessment that was given to
students during my first semester at Magnolia. I designed a pre-assessment based off a standard

from the Next Generation Science Standards and gave the assessment before teaching to see
what students may or may not already know. Based off of their responses, I was able to gather
information of their misunderstandings and misconceptions, and design three lessons to teach the
students the one particular standard. After the mini unit, I gave the students a post-assessment,
which was identical to the pretest to see if the students demonstrated understanding. If I were the
full time teacher in the class, I would have taken those results and continued the review the
material and adjust instruction in order to advance to the next content standard.
How does this artifact demonstrate mastery of the InTASC or COE standard?
This artifact demonstrates my mastery of the InTASC standard 5 by showing that I can relate the
content knowledge to experiences or situations that apply outside of the classroom. For example,
the Oh Deer Here Come the Wolves, activity has students imagining they are a wildlife
manager. As a wildlife manager, the students have to analyze data to decide the best habitat for a
small population of deer that they would like to grow and develop into a healthy herd. An
activity such as this has students applying the content knowledge to experiences that can
potentially occur outside of the classroom.
In what way does this artifact contribute to/relate to a positive effect on student learning?
The unit plan contains activities that are purposefully designed to engage students in their own
learning. When students are engaged, they are motivated and enjoy learning. There are also
fewer problems in regards to classroom management that occur and therefore, create a positive
effect on student learning.
How does this artifact demonstrate the Planning-Teaching-Learning cycle (judging prior
learning, planning instruction, teaching, assessing, analyzing, and reflecting)?

This artifact demonstrates all parts of the Planning-Teaching-Learning cycle. For the unit plant I
had to judge what students may or may not know in order to design an appropriate pre-test as
well as their objectives. I also had to plan for instruction that aligned with my objectives,
content standards, and activities that will engage students. Not only did I have to plan but also I
was able to teach and implement these lessons to a class. Before I implemented the lessons, I had
to assess students prior knowledge through a pre-test and then assess them on the same material
through a post-test. For both assessments, I analyzed to data and reflected on that data.
Specifically for the post-test, I analyzed the data and reflected upon my instruction and how I
would possibly modify my planning and instruction for future classes.