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Running head: CONTENT KNOWLEDGE IN INTERDISCIPLINARY CURRICULUM 1

Content Knowledge in Interdisciplinary Curriculum

Kaitlynn Rowland

Regent University

In partial fulfillment of UED 495 Field Experience ePortfolio, Spring 2018.


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Introduction
In middle school and in high school, the subjects can be kept apart from one another due

to a different teacher teaching each subject. They may not know what the students are learning in

other classrooms and since each student may have a different schedule, they cannot merge

subjects together quiet so easily as an elementary teacher can. In a typical elementary classroom,

it is nearly impossible to keep the subjects separate from each other. Reading can blend into

science and science can blend into math. The same can be said vice versa because the same

students are spending the majority of the school day with the same teacher. This gives a teacher

freedom to merge the subjects by reading stories that relate to what they are learning in history

and they can relate their math work to what they are learning in science. This should be seen as a

positive thing and embraced entirely because that means that children are being given additional

time to grasp concepts in new ways.

Rationale for Selection of Artifacts

The first artifact selected is a photo of my fourth-grade classroom during my time at John

B. Dey. Over the course of two weeks the students and I created this wall with our questions

about Beach Vitex. The project began simply enough with the question of should we be worried

about Beach Vitex? To know if we should be or should not be, we needed to learn more about

the plant and the environment, community, habitat, and population of Virginia Beach. During

our science portion of the day, we had mini lessons on the vocabularies on what community,

habitat, population, niche, and adaptations are. Once we had the right vocabulary the class was

divided into different “job” groups; we had park rangers who were focused on the fauna aspect

of the dangers and benefits of the Vitex, botanist who studied the flora aspect, master gardeners

to see if we could safely have the Vitex, and environmentalist who studied to see the human
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impact on Vitex. Each group then during reading and writing time would read articles on Vitex

and work on creating a project in the medium of their choosing to answer our big question of if

Vitex is something we should be worried about or not. The class was even able to rope some

math time into our project by using math to create equations on how many animals would be

harmed by beach Vitex if it covered one mile of beach, how many animals would be needed to

eat the plant if it covered one mile, and how many materials we would need to create a Vitex

machine. By the end of this project, our one question had grown into two weeks of material that

spanned across all subjects.

The second artifact is a lesson plan that was created for second grade at Deep Creek

Central Elementary school. In this math lesson, we begin with reading a story about a family that

has decided to take a vacation, but they are not quite sure where they want to go. The daughter of

the family decides to ask her family a few questions: would you like to go somewhere far, or

would you like to stay near? Would you want to go somewhere cold or somewhere warm?

Would you want to go somewhere we can bring out cat or not? After we have read the story we

were able to make graphs out of the information that was collected in the story. The students

were then tasked with writing two or three math sentences based upon their graph. These two

assignments align with the math SOL 2.8 where the students will be able to create and solve

addition and subtraction problems that they have created from their graphs. In addition, they

were given supplementary reading and writing time which is beneficial for primary children as

they need as much practice as they can get in these areas.

Reflection on Theory and Practice

During the entirety of my student teaching, I have been in a non-switch class which

means that I have been given more freedom to create an integrated curriculum where as a switch
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class may have more restrictions. With this freedom, my intentions were then to create lesson

plans that, “structured learning around themes, big ideas, and meaningful concepts,” (Contardi,

Fall, Flora, Gandee, Tradway, 2000). To accomplish this, I planned backwards by figuring out

what concept I wanted to teach and then figuring out what subjects I would need to pull in to

accomplish this. This, of course, will not always be a good way to plan especially when in

certain grades there is SOL testing where the children will need to learn specific knowledge to

ensure that they receive a passing grade. I pray that as I become more confident in my teaching

and have more practice, I will find what works for my class and what works for myself. For the

first year or two of teaching, as I make my lesson plans, I will be leaning heavily on Proverbs

15:22, “plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed,” (NIV) to avoid

failing my students. I do not want to lose sight of what they need in my quest to create an

integrated curriculum to buy additional time in the school day. To ensure that I do not, I will lean

on guidance from my mentor, fellow teachers, and from the divine teachings of God. I will also

continue to learn new practices that will help me with time management, new styles of teaching,

and new theories.


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References

Contard, G., Fall, M., Flora, G., Grandee, J., & Treadway, C. (2000). Integrated Curriculum,

Retrieved April 15, 2018, from

http://www.users.miamioh.edu/shermalw/edp603_group3-f00.html

Holy Bible: New International Version. Zondervan, 2005.