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Title: Ocean Animal Research Presentations

Date: March 2015


Artifact Description:
During my first student teaching placement at Neal Wilkins Elementary School I led a
RTI group of the highest leveled readers in first grade based on test scores. It was a
group of eighteen students and I chose to do the unit on ocean habitats. Their final
assessment for the unit was a research project on an ocean animal, which each student
presented their findings to the class.
Wisconsin Teacher Standard Alignment:
This experience aligns with Wisconsin Teacher Standard 8: Assessment - Teachers know
how to test for student progress. The teacher understands and uses formal and informal
assessment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social, and
physical development of the pupil.
This experience best aligns with this standard because I used the knowledge I have
acquired through my education and practicum experiences on how to best assess
students knowledge and understanding to develop a final assessment for the three-week
unit I had planned. By allowing students to choose an ocean animal they found most
interesting and giving them the time and recourses they needed to develop a
comprehensive understanding of that animals life and existence, I felt I could better
assess their overall understanding of their individual animal, along with their
understanding of the major concepts of the unit including, the ocean zones, food sources,
and appearance.
This experience allowed me to reach a higher level of competency as I am more aware of
the time it takes to prepare a formal assessment that goes beyond a paper and pencil test,
but also how much more beneficial it is to the students overall intellectual development,
knowledge and skills. It took a lot of planning to prepare and acquire the necessary
recourses for eighteen students to research different ocean animals, as it required
gathering books for each student to use as a research tool. I also wanted them to research
their animals online, as well as print pictures for their final presentation. This required
that I find sights that were age appropriate. It was also one of my first times developing a
rubric of the requirements for the final presentations, which I then shared with the
students.
UW-Platteville Knowledge, Skills, Disposition Statement Alignment:
This experience best aligns with KSD1.f: Assesses Student Learning The candidate
understands, is committed to, and can develop assessments that are clearly stated and

congruent with instructional goals. The students are aware of how they are meeting the
established standards and are involved in the goal setting process.
This experience aligns best with this KSD because this RTI group was already meeting
and exceeding grade level benchmarks, therefore I developed the unit and assessment to
meet their learning and developmental needs by researching second grade English
Language Arts Standards on information text. I also based the rubric for the final
presentation on these standards.
I am more competent after this experience because I used the information I had available
about the students progress, learning goals, and educational standards to create an
assessment and an entire unit that was challenging but not beyond the students
intellectual ability.
Secondary KSDs:
KSD1.c: Selects Instructional Goals
KSD3.d: Provides Feedback to Students
KSD4.b: Maintains Accurate Records
Personal Reflection
What I learned about teaching/learning from this experience:
From this experience I learned to be a more effective educator because I was required to
differentiate my instruction to focus on the learning needs of a group of students that had
already proven competency in the field of language arts at their grade level. It also
required that I create a formal assessment that took into consideration the learning
trajectory for students above grade level benchmarks.
What learned about myself as a prospective educator as a result of this experience:
As a prospective educator, I better understand how to develop an assessment that focus
on students progress and strives to meet grade level benchmarks and standards. In order
to do this, an educator must be competent in their ability to plan instruction that gives
students every opportunity to be successful in their learning outcomes. I feel the best
way to do this is to clearly state and establish goals for students built around meaningful
instruction.