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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.

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Second Week of Pre-Internship
*March 30, 2014*

*Posted by jennienorgaard in Pre-internship.*

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My second week of pre-internship was a great experience and I can’t believe it is almost over! We got to teach another class apart from our grade 9 math class for the duration of the week. Our second class we took on was grade 9 science. I wasn’t as comfortable about taking on this class as I am with teaching math, as science is not my minor. But so far everything is going pretty good. On Friday, my partner and I taught three classes. The three classes we team-taught were Foundations 20, Science 9 and Math 9. We are going to continue to team teach these three classes on Monday. After Monday, my partner is taking Foundations 20, we are team teaching Science 9 and I will be teaching Math 9 alone.

For this second week of teaching we incorporated a few assessment strategies in our lessons. In our math 9 class we created a worksheet for the students, gave them class time to do the assignment and told the students they had to have the assignment finished and handed in next class for marks. We noticed our students were having trouble with solving equations so for one class we gave the students all index cards and came up with the steps to solving equations. We got the students to write these steps down on their index cards and put them in their binders. The students are allowed to refer to this index card whenever they need, including quizzes and tests. We also provided the grade 9 class with another work sheet dealing with let statements and solving word problems. We asked the students to hand these sheets in and looked at them to see where the students were with word problems and let statements. We provided the students with descriptive feedback on these sheets so the students know how they are doing and things that they need to remember for next time when dealing with let statements and word problems. We have also provided our math class with a poll everywhere where the students could anonymously answer the question we had. From this we got an idea of how much the students knew and understood from our lessons. We thought this would be a good idea as students would not be afraid to put their ideas out there as it was all anonymous. However, next time I don’t think we would do a poll everywhere and keep it as open as we did for the first one. We never took into consideration all the different possible answers that we could get. We provided descriptive feedback on the quizzes the students did as well as the various worksheets we had them hand in. We also created an exit slip for our second week of teaching as well as co-constructed the criteria with our science 9 students for things that they should be researching on the four different atomic models. Just like the first week, this week we also did a lot of walking around observing our students as they worked on questions and provided them with feedback throughout it all. This week we gave them a little more feedback while walking around by letting our students know if they were doing the correct steps, if they did something wrong and needed to take another look at a question and so on.

I can tell the difference in my teaching from the first week to the second week already. I am now a little better with my time management and I know how to adapt my lessons on the fly a lot better and more accurately. In the beginning I was all about trying to get through everything I had planned for my lesson even if some students were a little bit lost. In my second week, I learned that it is more important to take things slowly and make sure that all the students understand what I am trying to teach them. It isn’t that big of a deal if I don’t get through everything that I had planned. This way we might not get through everything the outcome requires for us to do, but at least the students have a better understanding of what I taught them and they are not confused. I have talked to my co-op teacher about this issue with time management and not being able to accomplish all that I have planned. He just told me that it all comes with time and practice and it isn’t that big of an issue if you can’t get through everything that is required.

In the third week, I am given the opportunity to create an exam for my grade 9 math class. This is going to be a great learning opportunity for me on how to create exams since I have never done this before. I can’t wait for my third week of pre-internship and learning many more different things along the way!

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First week of Pre-Internship
*March 24, 2014*

*Posted by jennienorgaard in Pre-internship.*

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First week of pre-internship was an amazing experience. We observed a couple math classes, a science 10 class and a Spanish class. From these experiences we got to see how different teachers teach and manage their own classes. In the first week we taught four lessons of grade 9 math and we taught the TAG class one day. In grade 9 math we are teaching the students chapter 6 which is the unit on solving equations. My partner and I have arranged the unit so that it goes along with March Madness that is currently taking place. We made our own Math March Madness where the students will take part in 5 different challenges within this unit. From the challenges, the teams that have the most points at the end of each challenge will determine which teams move on in the bracket and the losers will be moved to the “b” side of the bracket. Our first activity we did was to determine how the teams would be set up in the bracket so that the stronger teams would go head to head against each other and the weaker teams would play each other. This way the playing field was fair for all the students. In our Math March Madness we made the rule that each team automatically gets a point for participation if all their team members are at class that day during the challenge.

Our very first lesson that we taught didn’t go as we had planned so we had to change some things on the fly. Our development that we intended to take 35 minutes only ended up taking 15 minutes, as the students understood how to do the question quite easily. Our co-op teacher was even impressed with how much they knew. So we had to add more complex questions during the lesson to give the students a little more of a challenge. We also extended the activity at the end so that the students could practice the questions more. The activity we had at the end was Speed Equations where the students took part in a heads up game of speed with someone from another team.

As for assessment in our first week we have done a homework check on a worksheet that we provided the students, we did a quiz on Friday afternoon and we also gave the students an entrance slip one day. Also everyday we are always doing a formative/on-going assessment with the students as we are always walking around seeing how the students are doing with the assignments or activities that we provide them with.

Our first week of pre-internship had a variety of different things that we got to experienced. We experienced a lesson that didn’t go as planned and the students understanding the material very quickly, we got to make up our own quiz for the students to do and we also experienced a lesson on Friday afternoon where the students were struggling to understand the concept. So Monday afternoon we have to revisit some of the same things with the grade 9’s and hopefully after that lesson they begin to understand the content we are currently teaching.

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First Day Teaching
*March 18, 2014*

*Posted by jennienorgaard in Pre-internship.*

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Today during grade 9 Science we got to encounter our very first feel of assessment. We got to evaluate the different Science Fair projects that the students did. We evaluated the students on the creativity of the project, the skill required to do the actual experiment, how they presented their projects and if they had finished their reports or not based off of a rubric our co-op teacher had made for us. This was the first time I had ever had to evaluate the students so I found it difficult to evaluate them. I say this mainly because we don’t really know the students yet and the grade I was giving the students didn’t really seem that good to me anyways. However, the grade I was giving the students projects did fall within what our co-op teacher said they should be getting on them. I think this was a great experience to encounter with our co-op teacher as it gives me a better idea of how we should go about creating these different rubrics and grading the students.

Another form of assessment that we did was incorporated into the very first lesson we taught, which was grade 9 math. For the lesson, after demonstrating and explaining how to solve linear equations we gave the students six different examples that they were to complete and hand in on a piece of paper. We did this as a form of formative assessment as after the lesson I was able to go home and check the questions that the students did. From here, I can see areas in which the students struggled with to things like silly mistakes that they were making. This is a great way to see where the students are at and what we should be going over more with the students in our next lesson before we move on and so forth. For the most part though the students understood what we taught very well and very quickly. So for the next lesson, we plan to make the lesson more difficult as we have a better idea of where the students are with this material just from the first lesson.

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Orientation
*March 15, 2014*

*Posted by jennienorgaard in Pre-internship.*

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During our first couple days of orientation at pre-internship we just observed the classes that our co-op teacher taught and walked around helping students when he wasn’t lecturing. We discussed the different classes that we would be able to take on and teach during the three weeks. We talked to him about the different things he does in his classroom and policies he has for certain things such as calculators and cell phones. He let us take a look at his grade book and how he evaluated his students. I noticed in his grade book that he had a lot of zeros in it. When I asked him what his thought on giving zeros was, he said that the students could always get rid of the zero they received when they chose to hand in their missing assignments. He didn’t really have a deadline as to when they couldn’t hand in late assignments in either. As for missing exams/tests he was pretty easy going with that too. For example, one girl couldn’t write the math exam on Friday because she was helping out with Hoopla, so he just said that she could come in at lunch on Wednesday and write it when he had all the students come in at lunch for homework and catching up.

Kaylyn and I are teaching grade 9 math for the entire three weeks and he also said that we could try and make up an exam for them at the end of the unit as well. He would either help us make the exam, or the three of us could make it together, or Kaylyn and I would make one and our co-op would make one and we would combine them together at the end. For our first lesson we are planning on getting the students to create linear equations for their classmates and then their classmates would have to solve these equations. From this activity we would be able to do an ongoing assessment based on if the students had any trouble coming up with the linear equations or if they had trouble solving them. This way we will be able to see how much the students have actually learned and understood about solving equations. If they can come up with equations and solve for the equations as well then they have learned the material. Also, from this ongoing formative assessment we have a better idea of how to go about creating our next lessons.