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Next Generation Science Standards and the Georgia Standards of Excellence utilize three

dimensional learning by combining science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and

core ideas in the field of science, which is biology for me (Next Generation Science Standards).

Due to this, my lesson plans not only need to address the topic but also integrate practices that

promote the development of scientific and engineering principles and cross-cutting concepts

through the use of practices such as developing models and carrying out investigations in

combination with concepts such as stability and change or cause and effect. The biology

standards for high school cover five topics: structure and function, matter and energy in

organisms and ecosystems, natural selection and evolution, inheritance and variation of traits.

While I did not major in biology, I took several biology classes as a post-baccalaureate, and I

tutored for biology while taking these class. Because I tutored students at various levels, I

learned how to teach the material in different ways that would help the student not only

understand the material but also address the content using crossing-cutting concepts and science

and engineering practices which are necessary in a classroom. Along with my post-baccalaureate

classes, I took several graduate biology course for my Master of Arts in Teaching degree, which

have been helpful in my student teaching.

In this domain, I demonstrate my content knowledge in numerous ways. For example, I

took a class called Aquatic Pollution and Toxicology where I wrote a paper on paralytic shellfish

poisoning. Currently, I am teaching AP Environmental Science and students are learning about

water pollution. I can bring in the knowledge I learned in this class as well as water-borne

diseases like paralytic shellfish poisoning to enhance students’ knowledge of real world

problems. In addition to biology course, the education courses I took were pertinent to science as

well. In my multicultural class, I wrote a paper about gender hidden in the curriculum where
females are less likely to reach a high level of academic success in science because it appears to

be a masculine subject (Sadker & Sakder, 1994). Due to this, I construct lessons in a manner

where gender is not incorporated; the lessons are 3-D to address the concept in a way that all

students will equally be able to perform that lesson. As demonstrated by university supervisor

and mentor teacher observations, I create lesson that are productively engaging for students.

For example, I included a unit plan on photosynthesis and cellular respiration where I

utilized both the 5E model and promoted group work to enhance their learning (Achieve &

NSTA, 2014; Ormrod, 2016). During this unit plan, I included formative assessments to check

for misconceptions. Prior to taking their summative, students filled out an exit ticket which

served as a formative where I investigated what misconceptions students might have about the

relationship between photosynthesis and cellular respiration. By doing these kinds of “check-

ups”, I try to figure their misconceptions before they take the summative. To recheck if they

demonstrated understanding of the misconception, I include it on their summative. For example,

when learning about ectotherms and endotherms, students thought humans would be ectotherms.

To determine if they understood the difference, I asked the question using a different method

such as on their AP Biology free response questions exam where I used a graph. An important

component of science is not only being able to understand words but also being able to interpret

data. To enhance my understanding of data, I took a graduate level biostatistics class where I had

to do a project involving analyzing data using diverse methods to come up with a conclusion for

the data. While this has been beneficial when interpreting charts and graphs, the class has been

essential for me since I’m teaching AP Biology where students are learning methods such as chi-

square and Hardy-Weinberg to analyze data. Due to my coursework and student teaching

experience, I believe I have demonstrated proficient knowledge in my content area.


Achieve, Inc. and NSTA. (2014). EQuIP Rubric for Lessons & Units: Science. Washington,

D.C.: Achieve, Inc.

Next Generation Science Standards (2013). Next generation science standards: For states, by

states: National Academies Press.

Ormrod, J. E. (2016) Human Learning 7th ed. Boston: Pearson Education.

Sadker, D., Sadker, M. (1994) Failing at Fairness: How Our Schools Cheat Girls. Toronto, ON:

Simon & Schuster Inc.