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Artifact Reflection Science Methods

Primary:
Standard 4: The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the
discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of the
discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.
Associated Standards #1, #3, #5, #6, #7, #8

During the Science Methods course this semester, we had the opportunity to visit the
Utah Museum of Natural History and conduct an investigation of the facility and the displays
that are available to student around the state. As we visited the museum our objective was to
find exhibits and activities that aligned with the various stages of cognitive development and to
notate how they related to each other. This activity also gave us, as future educators, the
opportunity to become familiar with a resource which is available to schools.
Following the fieldtrip, I designed a field trip format that I could use with my students
when they visit the museum. This activity is structured utilizing the 5E model as well as to
address the stages of cognitive development. It is also flexible enough to tailor it to various
grade levels depending on where and what grade I will be teaching.
The benefits of taking advantage of a resource such as the UMNH are many, and having a
purpose and goal for students during the visit will make the trip more meaningful to the students.
Whether the trip is taken before a specific science, social studies, or history lesson/unit, or the
visit is during or after the unit, students can learn and relate the visit to class content. Preparation
for the trip can easily be accommodated with a clear and direct purpose for the visit. Following
the visit the students written reflection and short presentation will allow the students the
opportunity to demonstrate what they accomplished at the museum.
When I have the opportunity to do this activity, I will make sure that the preliminary
work in the class was comprehensive and my expectations that the purpose of the trip and
students expectations were very clear. I would also integrate the visit with another subject, or
two, so that the experience could be used in many connected areas that we will be studying.

This course has made me aware of the many resources in the area which are available to
me as an educator.

Instructor Comments:
Great ideas! This assignment is well thought out. Do the students chose the "central core
concept" or do you assign it? I can see this being either science-based or social studies-based,
which is fine. Be sure to give a list of "qualifying" exhibits to your chaperones so that they can
guide the students. The comprehension constructor is awesome. You have put a lot of effort into
this assignment. Well done, Grant!