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Final Entry April 12, 2014

Posted by jennienorgaard in EMTH 350.
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After reading over my six different blog entries in this class I would have to say my favourite blog entry would have to be the fourth one on assessment. I would say this is my favourite blog because I learned a variety of different ways to be able to assess students in a mathematics class apart from the traditional homework checks, quizzes and exams. We each researched different assessment strategies and had to explain them to our peers. From these presentations I learned a few other ways to assess students in a math class such as entrance and exit slips, oral reports and presentations, open-ended questioning, checklists and much more. Not only did I learn a variety of different assessment strategies that I can implement in my math class but these strategies also make assessing students more fair and accurate. I say this because not all students are good at writing exams or tests. I think the more variety you put into assessment for your students the more your students will enjoy the content, be engaged in class and they will be able to demonstrate their learning if they are provided a variety of ways to do so. I think it is extremely important to provide students with a variety of ways to demonstrate their learning as everyone learns differently and not all students can provide everything they have learned in certain kinds of assessment strategies.

Looking back at my blog posts for this class I don’t think there would be any blog that I would redo. I say this because my autobiography on math has not changed over the course of the semester and my creeds are still the same. My blog on assessment wouldn’t change either because these are the different assessment strategies I learned about that we could implement into a math classroom. I didn’t know some of these assessment strategies before I made that blog post or before this class. I don’t have much to change about my thoughts on the two videos I watched and had to blog about. I haven’t done anything after creating this blog post that would make me want to change my mind or opinion on those particular things. Prior to this class I didn’t know much about inquiry teaching if anything so there is nothing that I can say I would change about that blog post. As for my post 6a and 6b there is nothing more that I would change about them either. My thoughts on education and the program are the same. Plus on blog 6b we were asked to redo one of the questions after pre-internship, which I did. So realistically after looking at all my blogs I created in this class the only blog I would change would be 6b, which I already have by answering one of the questions again that I already answered in a prior blog.

The blog that I learned the most about myself as a learner would have to be blog 6b, which was created after pre-internship. This would be the one I learned the most because I would have to say I learned a lot of new things in and throughout my pre-internship experience! I learned a lot of things during this experience such as things that I should be doing in my classroom, how to adapt lesson plans for students, and things that work well and are not the best to do in a classroom setting. I learned a lot when I was actually given the opportunity to teach students of the appropriate age group as opposed to teaching university students the content they already knew. It was also very beneficial to learn how to adapt lesson plans for different students when I actually had students in my classes that I had to adapt lesson and assignments for them. In general, pre-internship was an amazing learning experience! I would also say I learned the most in this blog because prior to pre-internship I wasn’t entirely sure if becoming a teacher really was what I wanted to do. But the experience I had at pre-internship was so amazing and I enjoyed it so much that it has changed my opinion on becoming a teacher for sure. Through this three-week experience I learned that I do indeed enjoy teaching and that it is just the university classes that make me second-guess my decision on becoming a teacher. When I am actually out in the field teaching I love it.

To be honest, I don’t think there would be any other blog entry questions that I would add for this class. I think the questions that we were asked throughout this course hit all the points that we learned and discussed in this class. There really was nothing else that we did in this class that we could associate with another blog post. Everything that was done and discussed in this class we had a blog post to follow it. So I don’t think there are any other relevant questions to make and respond to for this class since we more or less covered all the things we did in this class in our blog as well.

After taking EMTH 350 this semester I wish we would have talked and learned more about providing different assessment forms in a math classroom and creating and implementing inquiry lessons. I think it was great that we learned about different assessment strategies but I think it would have been more beneficial to actually see some of these be done in a classroom. It would have also been beneficial if we could have learned how to use and incorporate these different assessment strategies properly in a classroom. For example, we talked about anecdotal notes and records but I have no idea how to incorporate this into a math classroom. I don’t even really understand what this assessment strategy is to be completely honest. The second thing I wish we would have went over more was if we could have done some more inquiry activities such as the activity we did on Tuesdays class with algetiles. It was great learning about how we could do an inquiry lesson with algetiles that taught the completing the square topic but why couldn’t we have done more or these types of activities throughout the course of the semester? I think if we would have done more activities like this throughout the semester it would have been more beneficial for us in becoming mathematics teachers.

Two goals that I have for myself in internship include trying to use a variety of different teaching strategies in and throughout my classroom. In pre-internship I did use a few different teaching strategies but it would have been better if I tried more. For example, it would be great if I could incorporate an inquiry lesson during internship since I didn’t get the chance to incorporate one into one of my lessons during pre-internship. Another goal that I would like to try and accomplish in internship is to be able to incorporate treaty education into my lessons. I find this extremely hard because you can’t simply incorporate algebra with First Nations objects. I also find it really difficult to incorporate this content into the material I am teaching as I am trying to be as respectful about this culture as possible.



Professional Development Journal Response April 7, 2014

Posted by jennienorgaard in EMTH 350, Uncategorized.
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After my three-week field experience has been completed and I look back on the 3 big questions I answered before pre-internship the one question I would answer differently would be the first question on the main purposes of field experiences. I still think that field placements are a great way to experience things first hand such as if teaching is really what you want to do and if you enjoy what you are doing. After my three-week block I would say that these placements are more than just that as well. These field placements are a great time to learn things in the field with your co-op teacher and make as many mistakes as you can. These experiences and mistakes I made in my class broaden my learning from what we talk about in my university classes. However, apart from the hands on experience I got from this placement I would have to say I learned more from watching other teachers teach and my partner teach than when I was up at the board teaching alone. I got to observe and see how different teachers managed their classes and how they interacted with their students. Just from watching this I was able to take away some valuable things to do when I teach. In this experience I also learned that everything I learn in university through the Education Program doesn’t always get implemented in a classroom. For example in University you learn about how to deal with different situations as they arise in your classroom. But sometimes things don’t work out the same in your classroom as the scenarios we learn and talk about in university and you have to do things a bit differently. I also think that being able to experience these things first hand and not just read and talk about it in class is totally different. You will never fully understand the importance of why we have to do certain things a certain way until you actually experience it in your own classroom. When I was observing my partner teach and other teachers teach was when I was able to pick out the little things that we should be doing in our class as we teach. I think that the university programs are helpful but it is more beneficial when you can see these things happen in real life either from observing other people teach or even when you teach yourself. So in general, I think the university programs are a great start in helping you understand different things that can occur and how to deal with them in a classroom. But ultimately the best way to learn is from actually experiencing these situations in a class for yourself and being able to talk about it afterwards with your co-op teacher and partner. So in the end, the main purposes of these experiences are for you to actually go out in the field and experience the things you learn and talk about in university classes. It is one thing to talk about them in class at university but it is another thing to actually see the things take place in your own classroom. Apart for realizing if teaching really is for you through these placements, they are also a way to help your have a better understanding of the different things you talk about and learn in class throughout university. I also found that some of the things we talk about in university were not the best way to go with some things. For example, we always talk about a student centered learning style to try and take on. But from my experience, the students learned better when it was a teacher directed type of lesson. When I had a cooperative learning/jigsaw activity for the students to take part in they were not sure what to do and how to do things without being instructed by the teacher. So I think in the end the things we learn in university can very well be beneficial but it all depends on the group of students you have in your classroom!

In this quote it talks about how “preservice teachers can be puzzled and surprised because they are students at the same time they are learning to be teachers.” I found this to be very true! The transition from being a university student to being the teacher to the grade 9 students was a struggle to try and overcome. It took a couple of days to get use to it but after that things were better from there on out. In the beginning I found it difficult to try and teach the grade 9 students this new content that they were not familiar with when I had just come from the same end of the spectrum where I was the person trying to learn what the teacher was teaching not that long ago. As a preservice teacher I had to start doing things differently then what I normally do as a university student. I was now responsible for my own actions and I was also responsible for the students learning as well. Just like it states in the quote, “It is important that preservice teachers acquire a discovery, problem-solving mode that allows them to inquire and examine their teaching and the students’ learning through reflection and inquiry.” I found this to be very relevant as well considering the fact that when I was a preservice teacher I was in charge of teaching the students this new material and I had no one to blame for any of the mistakes that I made along the way. If things didn’t go as planned I had no one to blame but myself because I was responsible for all the things in the lessons being taught. Now that I am done being a preservice teacher, I am finding it extremely hard to come back to university for a week where I am now the student again. I find it difficult to transition from being the teacher to having to be the student again and study for finals.

Pre-internship overall was an amazing experience where I learned a lot and it made me realize that teaching really is what I want to do! The university aspect of becoming a teacher has always got me second guessing myself about whether or not I really truly want to be a teacher in the end. After this field experience I can say I am more confident with the idea of becoming a teacher.

Third week of Pre-Internship April 7, 2014

Posted by jennienorgaard in Pre-internship.
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WOW! I can’t believe pre-internship is already over! The three weeks was an amazing experience and I learned a lot in and through this experience. As the three weeks progressed I slowly started to know all of my students names, which made teaching easier. Once I started to know the students names I found they paid more attention and were more serious with me. In the beginning the students loved the idea of having a “pre-intern” as their teacher because they thought they could do whatever they wanted and not take things as seriously as if it were there actually teacher teaching them. As the three weeks went on I became more confident in my teaching, which made teaching a lot more fun for myself.

Throughout this last week I implemented a few more different assessment strategies and evaluations in my process. I was given the opportunity to create my own exam for my grade 9 math class. This was a great experience to be able to take part in. I learned how to do things from my co-op teacher with regards to making an exam. I think that the exam I created in the end was pretty well done. Most students finished the exam pretty quickly while other students required the whole time to complete the exam. In the end the marks were all different as well but the marks definitely reflected what the students knew. So from this, I got a sense that the exam I created was well suited for this class and it wasn’t too easy for most students and it also wasn’t too hard for the majority of the class either. From this, I was given the experience to mark all the exams in one night and I did not realize how stressful it could be. I struggled with marking the students exams who ended up failing in the end and trying to determine how many partial marks the students should get for not getting a question correct. I didn’t like the idea of having students fail the exam but at the same time I knew that I needed to mark all the students fairly and in the same manner. I didn’t have very many students who failed so that was not to bad in the end.

Just like the other two weeks of pre-internship, I spent a lot of time walking around giving the students feedback while they were working on worksheet or the questions from the whiteboard. With the worksheets that the students handed in for me to mark, I made sure that I provided the students with lots of feedback on what they needed to do to improve or what they needed to be more careful with when they were solving equations.

Pre-internship was a great experience and I learned a lot with my partner as well as with our co-op teacher. We made some mistakes along the way but managed to get through everything in the end. These mistakes we made were a great learning experience in itself. I learned new things in this experience as well as things that I shouldn’t do next time or at least I should do differently next time.