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Social Justice Math Resource

Hello!

If you are looking for Social Justice issues and topics in mathematics, here is a resource to take a look at: http://www.radicalmath.org/main.php?id=SocialJusticeMath#3.

This resource has three main sections:

1) Examples of “Social Justice Math” Topics

2) Benefits and Pitfalls of Social Justice Math

3) How to Integrate Social Justice into your Math Class

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My Teaching Philosophy After Pre-Internship

After completing my pre-internship experience, I am now faced with a question: Has my teaching philosophy changed? My answer to this question is yes! There are things that I definitely feel more stronger about, that I am now questioning, that I know have realizations about, and that I would like to add.

One thing that I..

1. Feel stronger about:

I definitely have a stronger belief in the fact that teachers need to help students understand subjects (like mathematics) rather than memorize it.  For some subjects I know that this could be hard but up until I started taking education math classes, I never thought that there was a way that we can actually teach and learn math so that it can be understood and be connected to real life rather then through memorization and being basically spoon fed the information.  Now, I realize that there are always ways to help students understand material and not just memorize it (although sometimes it will require a bit of work!).

2. Am I now questioning:

I question my understanding of putting in 100% of my effort to try to help my students learn and succeed in their schooling.  During my pre-internship, I noticed that there was on average one student in every class where the teacher just didn’t even try to get them to write notes, do the assignment, or get them off of his/her phone.  They basically said that as long as the student wasn’t disrupting others, they could just sit there and do nothing.  This makes me wonder at what point do you just give up (or I apologize maybe this isn’t the correct term to use…) on a student so that way you aren’t slowing down the rest of the class.  It also makes me wonder if this same way of thinking will happen to me?  Will I just allow a student to sit there and do nothing and refuse to learn?  I just don’t see the point in being in school if you are just going to sit there and do nothing.  But now comes a question that I now have: Is it appropriate to ask a student to drop a class if they refuse to learn or do anything in that class?  Or can I ask them why there are there in that class if they are just going to take up space and not do anything?

3. Now realize and would like to add:

I now realize the importance of allowing students to individually practice examples of the material that we have just covered and having the teacher walk around checking for understanding and clarifying any questions.  

I unfortunately learned this the hard way in my pre-internship.  In one of my grade nine classes, we had spent 3 and a half days on one section of the text book (which I personally feel was quite a bit of time to cover that one section which built off of the previous section so they should have had a really good understanding of the material).  In the first day and a half, we spent the class time taking notes and doing A LOT of examples as a class.  Everything seemed to be going fine; many students were answering questions and shouting out answers so I genuinely thought that they would be ready for a quiz after some practice.  So, the next two days I had spent with them doing an assignment and a worksheet.  On the fourth day, we had a quiz and I was very surprised to see that a lot of students were struggling with it!  I knew that there would be a few students who would struggle with it but it seemed like more students were struggling with this than I had expected. 

After this, I had realized my one flaw that most likely had the biggest impact: I didn’t get to do much one-on-one work with my students and be able to check if ALL students were understanding the material (I couldn’t even get much one-on-one time with the students during the assignment and worksheet time because I was trying to get students who had missed previous classes caught up). 

Also, by being able to walk around and check students work, this would have been a great classroom management strategy to get the students writing down notes and all the examples (which I found out many were only watching the board and answering instead of taking notes as well).

Also, just because students are either quiet or many shout out the answer doesn’t mean that they completely understand the material which is another reason why allowing students to do individual work while the teacher is circulating the room is important.

So clearly, I now would like to add to my teaching philosophy the importance of allowing time for students to do examples and work individually while you walk around and check their work.  Big lesson I learned there.

4. Would like to add:

I actually no believe in tiered assignments.  I tried this out during my pre-internship and it actually turned out to work fairly well!  The students have done tiered assignments in that class before so they had an understanding of the expectations and what to do.   I did struggle with actually creating the assignments because I didn’t really know what assignments would be considered equal amount of work or time so that students didn’t chose which assignment was faster or shorter. 

What I would do now that I didn’t  realize until after but is I would do all the questions first (which I did) and then I would assign a mark to each question.  Then, I would make one assignment and then use the total value of marks to create the next test.  When doing this in my preinternship, I just looked at the questions and just kind of randomly picked the number of questions and made it all roughly the same number of questions rather than the same amount of time or work.

Differentiated First Nations Lesson Plan – ECS 350

ECS 350 First Nations Lesson Plan

Above is the differentiated First Nations lesson plan that my partner and I did for our ECS 350 class.

In this lesson plan, our plan was that we would get students to create a hand drum (including making hide if possible, but with the time we just gathered all the supplies) and then use this to help in math.  This first part could be done in an art or music class if possible.  The hand drum creates a circle so we would use this to discuss the grade nine unit on circle properties including central angles and inscribed angles.  While discussing the properties, students would draw/paint on their hand drums so that they have a visual representation of what they were learning.

The process of creating this lesson plan was both difficult and relatively simple.  Differentiating the lesson plan was fairly easy because for the most part, many of the students had many adaptations that were common with one another.   However, there were a few that we found very difficult to try to incorporate into our lesson plan and left out (only some though!).  Another difficulty, that was also easy in a way, was deciding how to incorporate First Nations culture or Treaty education into math.  In a way it was easy because I  feel that the education professors do a very good job at trying to make us aware and understand how to incorporate treaty education into math.  We have had a few presentations and work shops where we have learned different ways to include First Nations content and treaty education into mathematics.  The idea that we had used for our lesson plan came from a couple presenters from Leading Thunderbird Lodge, which is a residential youth treatment center for male youth.  This idea that these presenters had shared with us had originally been shared with us to fit the grade 8 curriculum which is where Ali and I had run into a few problems.  The ideas presented had to do with labeling a circle and this idea would have worked great.  However, since Ali and I are secondary education students, we tried to adapt this idea to fit into the 9-12 curriculum.  We found our outcome in the Shapes and Space unit in the grade 9 curriculum but it didn’t exactly fit with the idea presented to us.  So, after some time, Ali and I came up with the idea to change the labeling and use of the hand drum.  Instead of labeling the hand drum, we would get the students to create a number of subtended angles and their corresponding central angles.  By doing this, students could create their own generalizations about the relationship between these angles and therefore have a deeper understanding of the content.  This also creates patterns and allows students to be creative if desired.

Ali and I were very happy with the way our lesson had turned out.  However, we and others determined a few minor changes after a completing a lesson study with other classmates.  During this study, we came up with the following changes to the lesson plan (which we have not changed in the lesson plan that we have uploaded):

1. In Essential Question 1, this should be “what is the meaning of a hand drum and what is it used for?” rather than “what is a hand drum.”

2. Instead of labeling their hand drum, tracing their hand drum, and then drawing inscribed and central angles on this paper, we would get students to just draw these angles directly on the hand drum (and of course in different colours so they can tell apart each angle).

3. Also, we should include questions about what would happen if the top point of the inscribed angle changed while the bottom two points stayed the same? (they should find that the angle stays the same no matter where they move it).

4. Include graphic organizers.

Aboriginal Canada Government Website – Treaty Education Resource

Here is a link to the Aboriginal Canada Government website.  The link will send you directly to the teacher resources which includes lesson plans and activities, curriculum and education programs, and a website to the Northern Lights School Division.  Under the lesson plans and activities, there is the Treaty Education Toolkit that, if I’m right, was discussed at the Treaty Education workshop that the pre-internship students attended last week.