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Standard 4: Content Knowledge

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
This standard is focused on how the teacher stimulates learner
reflection on prior content knowledge, links new concepts to familiar
concepts, and makes connections to learners experiences. I introduced the
students to the slam poem called Touchscreen by Marshall Davis. The
students watched the piece twice and were provided with a copy of the
lyrics. After watching the piece, the students were to create a letter written
to the freshman class addressing one problem with the use of technology in
todays society. They had a few criteria to follow while developing their
letters. This lesson required the students to draw upon their own experiences
in order to make a connection with the poem. They were challenged in that
they had to interpret the meaning of the poem and write a written response
to it. This was a new concept for them as they had to develop a letter that
incorporated textual evidence, respond to the situation, and come up with a
call of action. The students read their letters in small groups and were
encouraged to have small discussions on what they wrote. Many students
made connections on their own as to how this poem used literary devises
and how this made for a more powerful and meaningful poem
What should be noted is that this lesson demonstrates how I have
acknowledged that content knowledge is not a fixed body of facts but is
complex, culturally situated, and ever evolving. This slam piece exemplifies a
contemporary version of poetry. Both the content and the presentation
exhibit how this discourse has evolved over time. The students were
particularly engaged because the content of the poem was fixated on the
destruction of technology. It was moving for them as they recognized that
their generation is characterized by being digital natives. Having them create
a letter in response to the content allowed them to participate in dialogue
with the poet and with each other.
The poetry piece was technology-based and served the purpose of a
supplementary resource to ensure the accessibility and relevance for all
learners. Changing the pace of the class during the poetry unit was crucial.
Varying the types of poems we read was necessary but I found it also
necessary to change how we read poetry. The students were more engaged
and motivated by the variety of poetry they were exposed to. Watching the

piece accommodated for learners who needed the visual representation. It

was a great way to utilize content knowledge to the fullest potential.
Artifact: Lyrics to Touchscreen and Student Work Letter to

Introducing the new Apple iPerson

complete with multitouch and volume control
doesn't it feel good to touch?
doesn't it feel good to touch?
doesn't it feel good to touch?
my world is so digital
that I have forgotten what that feels like
it used to be hard to connect when friends formed cliques
but it's even more difficult to connect now that clicks form friends
But who am I to judge?
I face Facebook
more than books face me
hoping to
book face-to-faces
I update my status
420 spaces
to prove that I am still breathing
failure to do this daily
means my whole web wide world will forget that I exist
but with 3,000 friends online
only five I can count in real life
why wouldn't I spend more time in a world where there are more people that
'like' me
Wouldn't you?
Here, it doesn't matter
if I'm an amateur person
as long as I have a 'pro' file
my smile is 50% genuine
and 50% genuine HD
You would need blu-rays to see the white on my teeth
but I'm not that focused

ten tabs open

my problems can be resolved with a 1600 by 1700 resolution
this is a problem with this evolution
doubled over we used to sit in tree tops
till we swung down and stood upright
then someone slipped a disc
now we are doubled over at desktops
from the Garden of Eden
to the branches of Macintosh
apple picking has always come at a great cost
iPod iMac iPhone iChat
I can do all of these things without making eye contact
We used to sprint to pick and store blackberries
Now we run to the Sprint Store to pick Blackberries
it's scary
I can't hear the sound of mother nature speaking over all this tweeting
and along with it is our ability to feel as it's fleeting
you would think these headphone jacks inject in the flesh
the way we connect to disconnect
power on
but we are powerless
they got us love drugged
Like e-pills
so we E*TRADE
like e-commerce
because now money can buy love
for $9.95 a month
to proceed the checkout
to x out where our hearts once where
I've uploaded this hug I hope she gets it
I'm making love to my wife I hope she's logged in

I'm holding my daughter over a Skype conference call
while she's crying in the crib in the next room
so when my phone goes off in my hip iTouch and iTouch and iTouch
because in a world
where there are voices that are only read
and laughter is never heard
or I'm so desperate to feel
that I hope the Technologic can reverse the universe
so the screen can touch me back
and maybe it will
When our technology is advanced enough...
to make us human again

Student Letter: