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No Grades in Math March 31, 2015

Posted by jennienorgaard in ECMP 455.
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Recently in my EMTH 450 class we have talked about a teacher, Dave Martin, from Red Deer who gives no percentage marks for his math classes. The Edmonton Journal did an article on the way he teaches mathematics that can be found here. We were fortunate enough to Skype with him and discuss the different way that he teaches and grades his students in a math class. Three things that he talked about that he incorporates in this different way to teach math is autonomy, mastery and purpose. With that being said, students get to chose different things that they want to try and figure out, and they get to do things that relate to their every day lives making their learning interesting, engaging and authentic to them. This approach that he uses has increased the attendance rate in his class where students now enjoy going to a math class because it isn’t the traditionally textbook questions and notes from the board everyday.

He gives no grades on his assignments; instead he leaves the students with meaningful feedback that allows them to see what they did wrong or what they need to improve on for next time. He allows students to go back and fix their mistakes after receiving the feedback that he has for them. He also has extra sessions throughout the week where he will re-teach topics to the students if they need the extra help. Instead of grades he has a list of rocks that have different outcomes that students should be able to reach by the end of the class. He gives the students their grade at the end of the year depending on where they sit on the list of rocks sheet that he has.

The reason he switched to this no grades in a math class:

“My classes would start around 30 students, and by the end of the semester the class size would be 20.  What I did was “weed out the weak”.  One day I realized that I wasn’t weeding out the weak mathematicians, but instead weeding out the weak test writers.”

His blog can be found here


and he is also on twitter.

What are your thoughts on no grades? Do you think more classes should be switching to something similar to this?


Transforming Teaching March 28, 2015

Posted by jennienorgaard in ECMP 455.
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I recently came across this video and used it in my EPSY 400 presentation on Teaching For Diversity.

This is a great TedTalk that deals with transforming the teacher in Indigenous Education. I believe this video goes far beyond just Indigenous Education. We can take the things they talk about in this video into our classroom to make learning more engaging, meaningful and authentic to all our learners.

It talks about the idea that:

Potential x Effort + Relevant to own context = Success!

Students enjoy learning when they can understand the importance of it to their future life.


Another important thing is the idea that educators need to listen to the families of their children because where the students come from is where they are going. It is not our job as educators to determine the future for our students but instead we should be helping our students in areas that will allow them to be successful in whatever they decide to do. Lasting change begins with the teachers!

If you have not seen this Ted Talk I suggest you take a look at it! It is a very powerful video that deals with more than just transforming teachers in Indigenous Education.

Any thoughts or comments on this video?


Technology March 26, 2015

Posted by jennienorgaard in ECMP 455.
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Throughout University we always talk about the importance of integrating technology into our classrooms. It wasn’t until taking ECMP that I finally realized how beneficial we could make teaching with the help of technology. I always viewed technology in the classroom as a negative thing because I always thought what good is it when students can just Google all the answers. They are not actually learning anything when they can find the answers online.

My view on technology has definitely changed after take this class and ECMP 355 since we learned how to properly use technology and incorporate it in a meaningful and engaging way in our classrooms. Technology allows us to collaborate with others, expand learning to more than just in the classroom and make learning fun, engaging and authentic.

I think this a great photo that illustrates ECMP 455 and the different things that we have talked about and learned. Not only did we talk about these different things in this class but I think it is important that we start changing our teaching to model these different things!
ECMP 455 Summary


She Shoots and She Scores!! March 25, 2015

Posted by jennienorgaard in Online Learning Project.
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This week I have decided to focus more on the shooting aspect of the game. More specifically trying other shots instead of the slap shot and wrist shot. After all the only way to win the game is by scoring more goals.

One site that I found online that was helpful throughout this process was


This site talked about the different types of shots that you can perform in the game such as one timer, sniping, slap shot, deflections and rebounds. Another resource that I found to be a little more useful was a youtube video, which actually showed the different ways to complete the shots. I thought this was more useful because the visual was something that was easier to understand than just writing and explanations such as those from nhlguides.net.

Here is the youtube video that shows the visuals on how to do the different shots.

From this I decided to focus on the one timer shot first. Here is my first attempt at at one timer.

After some practice of the one timer, I finally had a successful attempt, which resulted in a goal to tie the game up!

Throughout this game I also managed to get my first ever deflection, which resulted in another game equalizers.

After an intense and fast pace game I finally managed to sneak in another goal that won me the game!

This win brings my season to 20(wins)-10(loses)-5(overtime loses)!

If anyone has any other helpful hints or comments please post them and I would love to see what I could do or try differently.

Stay tuned to see how the rest of my season goes!

Back From The Penalty Kill March 23, 2015

Posted by jennienorgaard in Online Learning Project.
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It has been a while since I continued my learning journey. I was busy studying and catching up on some major assignments that were due last week. But its nice to get back into the game and not have to worry and stress about studying.

I still managed to do decently well on the first game back. I tried to work on the one timer in this game but after a while I realized that I needed to focus more on the controls and getting back into the game since it has been a while. So my one-timer attempts in the beginning are pretty weak.

I still remembered how to do the dekes from what I had learned last time playing so I didn’t forget much it was just a matter of getting back into the game after not playing for a while.

It by far was not the best game I have ever played. I ended up losing 1-0 to the Arizona Coyotes. But it definitely wasn’t the worst game I have played either.

Here is the video of my first game back at the game

Equity and Equality in Schools March 20, 2015

Posted by jennienorgaard in ECMP 455.
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Once again tonight I took part in an interesting twitter chat with #saskedchat. The conversation revolved around equity and equality and there were some very interesting conversations and ideas brought up!


Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 9.36.11 PM


After the chat I got to try out storify for the first time as well. This is a great tool to capture a few tweets all on one page and in one spot! It was really easy to use and I like the option of being able to add text into the story as well. This is definitely a tool that will be very useful and that I will continue to use.

Here is the story I created on storify from the twitter chat tonight.



3.1415 March 14, 2015

Posted by jennienorgaard in ECMP 455.
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Recently in my EMTH 450 class we talked about this video with regards to Pi

As a math major we talk about pi quite a bit and have used it in school for a while now. But I have never thought about Pi in this way that it is explain in the video. The video talks about how you can find any number within pi such as your birthday, social insurance number, name, combination to your locker and any other number.

This number keeps on going forever without ever repeating. You can also covert these numbers into letters and find them within pi as well. So essentially, whatever you wanted to find whether it be a number or a word can be found within pi! This is so interesting and has made pi more than just 3.141592653589……..

You can try it out yourself if you were like me and don’t believe it! Go to


and click control/command f and search any number you want and it will appear!


Any thoughts on this?

Chrome Extensions March 13, 2015

Posted by jennienorgaard in ECMP 455.
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This week in ECMP 455 we got introduced to some amazing tools that I wish I would have knew about before! Some of these included: hola, screencastify and Ad block plus. All of these are different extensions that you can get with Chrome. Hola is an extension that allows you to have access to watch things that are blocked in Canada and other countries in the world. Screencastify is an extension that allows you to screencast or take a video of your screen for whatever you are doing. And lastly, ad block plus is an extension that allows you block advertisements.

Other tools that we talked about that were very interesting were storify.com, which allows you to create stories. This is a great tool to create a story for something such as a twitter chat. It allows you to take different tweets and put them together in a story. Apart from creating these stories by combining different tweets together you can also write captions throughout the stories. This is a great tool that allows you to organize things of your interest all in one place.

These are just a few of the different tools that we talked about during Tuesday’s class. There are many more that were mentioned in class but the reason I mentioned only these ones was because these are the tools that would be beneficial for myself.

#Saskedchat March 9, 2015

Posted by jennienorgaard in ECMP 455.
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Last Tuesday I had the opportunity of taking part in my second #saskedchat on Twitter with my ECMP 455 class as well as an ECS 300 class. The SaskEdChat usually takes part on Thursday’s nights from 8-9pm but we had the ECMP 455 and ECS 300 class had a special chat for us upcoming teachers. We got to collaborate with other educators around the topic of beginning teachers and once again the experience was phenomenal.

Once again the chat was really hard to follow due to the amount of tweeting that was occurring. I found that I would be busy reading other people’s tweets or I would be having a conversation with a person and I would miss the different questions that were asked. But I found that TweetDeck was a great tool to use for a twitter chat like this that keeps everything organized and accessible on one page. It allows all the tweets with regards to this chat be found on one page and you can also favorite, reply and retweet right from tweet deck.


This is a great way to increase your PLN since you get to meet with different educators to discuss the same questions. From this chat I found that I have been getting a lot more followers and it has given me the opportunity to follow a lot of different people as well. The amount of new followers I have received from just taking part in two SaskEdChats is unreal.

Deking at the Tips of my Fingers March 3, 2015

Posted by jennienorgaard in Online Learning Project.
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As I stated in my last post, this week I was focusing more on the deking and skills aspect of the game since I have a pretty good understanding of how to play the game now. I am currently at 19 wins, 9 losses and 5 overtime losses. While I was doing some research online on things that could help me improve for my learning project, I came across this website. This website shows you the different skill sticks you can perform in NHL 15. My main focus for this week was to get a handle on how to do the stride deke.

Here is a video of myself playing a game in my Season in the all-star difficulty level.

Throughout this video of one of my games you can find that I used the new stride deke that I just learned about a few times! There were two times where the stride deke even lead to me scoring. (These can be found at 15 seconds into the game and at about 14:57 where the stride deke lead to the game winning goal!) Other parts of the video where I attempted to use the stride deke can be found at around 1:08, 7:47, 8:15 and 12:18 in the video! Some stride dekes were not that effective while others were very effective.

Other areas in this game that I have been improving in are my passing more frequently and winning more face offs! With regards to passing, I have been trying to pass more often in front of the net to set up more scoring opportunities for myself, but my players don’t get in front of the net in time or they are in the wrong spot. I found that I have been more successful with my poke checks as well, such as at around 6:33 in the video where the successful poke check lead to me stopping a scoring opportunity in front of my own net. Another good poke check that got the puck out of my end was around 9:14.

Apart from poke checking I also got a few good hits in this game as well! One good hit I got was at around 3:40 where I actually ending up shattering the glass. Another good hit I got in the game was at about 4:50, which lead to a change in possession and a chance for me to score.

During this game there were a few things that I also struggled with which was picking up bouncing pucks and the a few of the penalties I got lead to power play goals for the opposing team such as at around 11:47. Once again my defence isn’t that strong either but it is definitely getting better!

Any comments or suggestions on things that I can do to improve?