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Kenneth A. Parr's Teaching Portfolio

INTASC Principle (1)

     The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for students.


Air, ground, and water pollution is a concern now and in the future.  Our good health depends on a cleaner environment. My Humans Affect Atmosphere Lab, found at, is an example of my understanding of environmental science and the investigative nature of science in general.  The intention of this field lab is for students to observe and record the atmospheric discharge from U.S. Steel Gary Works.  The purpose is not to single-out U.S. Steel, although air pollution is often associated with steel production.  The purpose is to observe and record pollution in general. 



There is evidence ancient civilization Africans performed complicated eye surgeries centuries before those types of operations became commonplace.  However, the ancient Africans did not keep good written records and the knowledge was lost.  Today's scientists must be careful not to make the same mistakes.  Good language arts skills are essential.

Students also need to know how other disciplines connect.  My Humans Affect Atmosphere Lab lends itself well to an interdisciplinary approach.  This lab's procedures and required lab report (lab reports should be required because a scientist's findings are useless without the ability to communicate those findings) are tailor-made for the following 6th grade LA standards:

Indiana LA Standard 6.2.4   Clarify an understanding of texts by creating outlines, notes, diagrams, summaries, or reports.
Example: Take notes while reading to create an outline or graphic organizer, such as a concept map, flow chart, or diagram, of the main ideas and supporting details from what is read. Read an informational book and summarize the main ideas.

Indiana LA Standard 6.4.3   Write informational pieces of several paragraphs that:

        engage the interest of the reader.

        state a clear purpose.

        develop the topic with supporting details and precise language.

        conclude with a detailed summary linked to the purpose of the composition.

Indiana LA Standard 6.4.5     Use note-taking skills.

Indiana LA Standard 6.4.6   Use organizational features of electronic text (on computers), such as bulletin boards, databases, keyword searches, and e-mail addresses, to locate information.

Indiana LA Standard 6.4.7   Use a computer to compose documents with appropriate formatting by using word-processing skills and principles of design, including margins, tabs, spacing, columns, and page orientation.

The following power-point presentation shows procedures and my students making observations for the field lab.

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