Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday November 14: Field Trip Teach Day

Today was the culmination of about 2 months of planning. UTeach students presented lessons on successive days centering on the content knowledge behind the field experiences. Finally, on Saturday- the culminating activity (consequential task) was a field experience at either the Blanton Museum or at McKinney Falls (some 8th grade students with both). What follows are short summaries written by the TA's involved in supervising much of the activities for the day.

Blanton PBI Summary

Four UT PBI teams taught a total of 18 8th grade students from Bedicheck middle school. The students arrived at approximately 10:00am, but the Blanton Museum does not open until 11:00 on Saturdays, so the UT PBI teams showed the students examples of art around the UT campus area. Three of the groups went to the state capitol while the final group went to the central UT library where several sculptures from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York are on display. Once the museum opened, all teams returned to the Blanton for a variety of lessons integrating math and art. After an hour and a half in the museum galleries, all of the groups reunited for presentations. Each middle school group presented what activities they participated in and what concepts they learned to everyone as a whole. Once presentations were completed, the middle school students returned to McKinney Falls State Park to continue their field experience.

McKinney Falls Field Experience:

For the PBI Field Experience at McKinney Falls State Park, 16 UTeach PBI Teams (consisting of a total of 32 PBI student teachers) engaged 8th grade students in problem-based field investigations. Half of the UTeach PBI teams taught in the morning, and the other half taught in the afternoon. Investigation topics included assessing water quality (biomonitoring and chemical testing), measuring streamflow, calculating potential hydro power production, using algebra to predict how a boat will move across a flowing stream, interpreting geologic history, making topographic maps, identifying plants and patterns of succession, designing experiments, and evaluating the purposes of a state park. After the investigations, the students presented what they learned, including a description of their methodology and articulation of their findings and conclusions.

Each UTeach PBI team was video taped and observed by a couple of their colleagues and either the PBI Professor, an UTeach Master Teacher, a PBI Teaching Assistant, an UTeach apprentice teachers (who had PBI last semester), or an 8th grade math or science teacher. The observers provided the UTeach PBI Teams with extensive feedback. The UTeach PBI Teams will utilize this feedback, along with their analysis of student artifacts and review of the videotapes, to revise their lesson plans and reflect on the field teaching experience.

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