PSMT Standard Group #3: Curricular and Pedagogical Content Knowledge


Knowledge of subject matter and pedagogy with reference to the MCF and other state sponsored resources, for consistent and equitable learning in Michigan schools, including the ability to:

a. Design and implement instruction aligned with the MCF, Universal Education Vision and Principles, and the Michigan Educational Technology Standards; In my Social Studies Showcase Unit Plan—“Creating a Community”—I connected each of my lessons to the second grade GLCEs, and made use of a virtual learning environment which enhanced my unit plan.

Click here to review my Showcase Unit plan, particularly my reflection on the efficacy of my Virtual Learning environment.

b. Create learning environments that promote critical and higher order thinking skills, foster the acquisition of deep knowledge, and provide connections beyond the classrooms to promote substantive conversation and clear structured writing among teachers and learners regarding subject matter acquisition; While teaching I constantly asked the students to answer questions about each step or concept we were learning about.  Often I pushed the students to expand on their answers or substantiate their claims more fully.
c. Help each student to learn how to safely and responsibly access and use resources to become a discerning independent learner and problem solver (e.g., print materials, information technology, assistive technology); Whenever I implemented instruction I made sure to reinforce ideas of respect for self and each other.  With this emphasis students were reminded to treat our classroom or supplemental materials with respect as well.

Click here to view documentation of our Classroom, bathroom, and hallway expectations, which the students helped create at the beginning of the year

d. Design instruction so that students are engaged in actively integrating and transferring knowledge across the curriculum; The majority of my lessons attempt to integrate knowledge from other content areas.  In this way, students see that the knowledge they learn in one subject does not exist in isolation.  Literature is integrated into almost all subjects; math is integrated into social studies lessons; and the various subjects addressed throughout the day are often integrated into the next morning’s Morning Message and grammar assignment.
e. Engage students in activities that demonstrate the purpose and function of subject matter to make connections to the world beyond the classroom and enhance the relationship and relevance to a global society; In my Social Studies unit plan, students participated in activities such as designing their own zoning maps and coming up with different ways to help their community.

Click here to see samples of student zoning maps and here to see  student work samples of ideas on how to help the community

f. Evaluate, adapt, and modify instructional strategies, technologies, and other educational resources to enhance the learning of each student; Throughout my student teaching experience, I continuously differentiated and modified my lessons. By consistently adapting/modifying lessons for individual learners, I am able to meet the learning needs of all students.  For example, during Writing Workshop at the beginning of the year, I had a student who struggled with writing dictate his Small Moment story to me.  Later in the year, I shortened the math assessment for a student with learning differences because he could not handle taking the test all in one period.
g. Embrace teaching through appropriate and creative activities utilizing instructional techniques that are supported by current research. In many of my literacy-based approaches, I use suggestions and recommendations from Carol Avery’s text, . ..And With a Light Touch

When designing Writing Workshop lessons, I used Lucy Caulkins’ texts Launching the Writing Workshop for the Small Moment story and related texts for the poetry unit.

Click here to see my initial notes from Launching the Writing Workshop.