Canada Revenue Agency – Personal Finance Resource

What is it?

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is a Canadian government agency that deals with the tax laws and various social and economic benefit and incentive programs that are delivered through the Canadian tax system.  The website for this agency has been designed to inform Canadians on changes or updates to the areas listed above.  Also, this website provides information for those who are looking to learn about taxes and tax laws.

There is one section on this website that I would like to pay particular attention to; this is the page that lists a variety of information about tax returns.  In this section, the CRA provides a variety of information about tax returns which include:

– Getting a tax package

– Completing a tax return

– Tax payments

– Sending a tax return

– Refunds

– Review of your tax return by CRA

– Complaints and penalties

– And more!

What do I like about it?

– Provides the latest information needed to know about completing a tax return.

– Provides links to other pages and websites for further information.

– User friendly.

– Neat and organized.

– Composed in a language easily understandable for anyone.

– Within each section is more detailed sections.  These sections provide you with enough information needed to complete a tax form.

– Each section is clearly labelled with what information can be found within it.  This makes searching for the information easy and accessible.

– A search box is provided in the top right hand corner of the screen.  This makes information easy and faster to find and access.

What do I dislike about it?

– Information and pages are not exactly the most engaging (but hey, what else do you expect from a government website?).

How does this fit into the curriculum and how would I use this in my classroom?

This online resource fits in LeBlanc’s Personal Finance 30 curriculum.  Specifically, this fits in with objective PF (L) 4 which states: Demonstrate an understanding of income and personal taxation.  Two indicators (h and i) are specific to personal income tax returns and this resource covers them in quite depth.

In my classroom, I could use this online resource in a few different ways.  The first way that I could use this is to use it as an independent study or an in-class assignment.  I would create a worksheet for students to complete, either individually or with a partner, where the find the information needed on this website (and possibly others!).  This could be done either during class or on their own.

Another way that I could use this is just to use the information provided on this website and create a more engaging handout for the students.  This resource provides accurate and first-hand information, although it is not the most interesting.  Reworking this information into a more engaging and activity-based  worksheet could be a great use of this resource.

Also, this could simply just be used as an extra resource that is posted onto the classroom blog or website for more information for students who are struggling or would like to learn more about that topic.

Overall evaluation of Canada Revenue Agency…

Overall, the CRA is a great place to search for accurate and up-to-date information.  However, if you are looking for engaging and fun activities, this is not the place to go!  But with a creative worksheet or activity, this website can be quite useful as an in-class resource.

I would definitely recommend this resource for anyone looking to learn all about Canadian tax returns.

If I had to give this website a rating, I would give it a 7/10.

Practical Money Skills – Personal Finance Resource

What is it?

Practical Money Skills is a personal finance literacy website which is designed to meet the needs of people, all over the world.  Depending on what country you live in (or which country you choose from the drop-down menu on the top right hand corner of the screen), this will bring you to the part of the website that has information that is relevant for people in that country.  This website is also for people of all ages, careers, and needs such as educators, children, and people who just want to learn about personal finance.

On this website, the reader can learn about personal finance in a variety of ways such as:

1. Games – There are 5 games to choose from: Ed’s Bank, Financial Soccer, Money Metropolis, Peter Pig’s Money Counter, and Road Trip to Savings.

In Ed’s Bank, you must help “Ed” save up enough money so that he can go shopping.  You are given a time limit and must grab as many coins as you can in that time.  When the time is up, you can go to the store and purchase items that you will have enough for.  To be honest, this game was not very interesting at all to me and I did not learn anything; nor did it reinforce any knowledge that I had.  It honestly felt like a pointless game (for my use, high school).

In Financial Soccer, you play a game of soccer against a team of your choice.  In order to move forward or steal the ball from the other team, you must answer a question correctly (related to personal finance).  You are given the choice (usually) of whether you would like to answer easy, medium, or hard questions and that will determine who you pass the ball to or if you keep moving forward.  If you get an answer wrong, you either shoot the ball out of bounds or the other team steals the ball.  In order to shoot (which you must get close enough to the net in order to do so), you must answer a question and get it correct in order to score.  You are allowed to choose the duration of tie for the game and the overall difficulty before starting the game.

Money Metropolis is a game in which you choose something that you would like to save up for and you must earn enough money to buy it.  You can earn (or lose) money by going around and visiting different places in town and play games.  If you win, then you earn money, if you lose, then you lose money.  Also, you can do odd jobs at these places such as delivering news papers and raking leaves (which you must buy your own equipment if needed!).  You are not given a time limit but you must earn enough money to reach your goal.

Peter Pig’s Money Counter consists of three mini games.  In the first mini game, you are given a bunch of coins and you must sort them into their appropriate jars.  Once you have done this, you move onto the next mini game which you must count the value of the given coins and pick the lid that has that amount on it.  Next, you are given two sets of coins and you must move a skateboard to the side which has the larger total amount of money. This game, along with Ed’s bank, is definitely a game for younger students in early elementary school where they must get accustomed to money and it’s individual and total worth.

In Road Trip to Savings, you must “steer your way to financial stability.”  You have four weeks to move as much money into your savings account as you can in four weeks.  You begin with $1000 cash and are given opportunities throughout the four weeks to earn (or lose) money.  If you run out of gas or insurance, the game ends early.  You earn or spend by driving your car into the icons that appear on the screen.

2. Information Pages – This website provides information on a variety of personal finance topics including: credit and debt (credit cards, debt, bankruptcy, etc.), savings and spending (saving, budgeting, banking, etc.), and life events (car, mortgage, marriage, divorce, etc.).  Each section within the topics are only about one page length but they do provide even information to have a basic understanding of that topic.

3. Articles – These are not as relevant to the curriculum as the information pages and games described above; however, these can provide up-to-date, relevant and engaging information for anyone (including students).  These articles can be found within the Expert Resources folder in the “Personal Finance” drop down menu.

The resources available for educators appear to be quite amazing.  It looks engaging, student friendly, and nicely organized.  Within each lesson plan, the following information is provided:

– Goals

– Objectives

– Timeline

– Instructions

– Teacher Notes

– Required Materials

– Assessment and Evaluation

– Additional Web Resources

– Student Handouts

What do I like about it?

– The lesson plans provided are detailed and include any and all information needed.

– Student handouts within the lesson plans are engaging, easy to follow, simple and straight to the point.

– Games are engaging and do not frustrate the player.  Although a couple of the games are more elementary (which doesn’t suit my needs, they may for someone else!).

– The Website if user friendly, organized, and easy to navigate – this is great for technology illiterate people like me!

– You can download financial literacy resources from the home page for free (choice of consumer materials or classroom materials – lesson plans that I have discussed).  This is intended to help promote financial literacy.

– Has calculators to help determine what a person can buy.  This includes calculators for buying cars, mortgages, family and life, and budget and goals.  These are helpful and ask good questions to consider when saving or spending.  If there might be a trouble question where a person does not know what it is or where to find that piece of information, there is a link below that can guide you to a description of what is being asked.

– Information sections are relevant to anyone and everyone.  From planning for parenthood to buying a home, there is a section that can be relevant for anyone.

What do I dislike about it?

– The information pages do not provide extra resources if the reader wishes to look into that topic further.  Also, I wish that the information pages had a bit more detailed information although I will give props that they are straight to the point.

– You must download the lesson plans as a whole.  You cannot view it online to determine if you would like to download it or not.  Also, you cannot download a section of a unit or lesson, you must download every single lesson and unit.  Also, when you download the units, it downloads as a WinRAR, which is strange and difficult to use.

Where does this fit into the curriculum and how would I use it in my classroom?

This website can fit with a majority of LeBlanc’s Personal Finance 30 curriculum (if you care to search for all of it individually).  For the articles, there is no easy to find section for any of the objectives or indicators, but any of them can be found using the search engine.  One example of a resource that I found that is engaging and covers the basics of one of the objectives can be found here.  This brochure can help to achieve objective PF (L) 2 which states: understand, analyze and apply the decision-making process as it relates to personal finance.  This resource may not be very detailed but it does briefly cover a majority of the indicators and can serve as a reminder or review for students.

As for the lesson and unit plans, these can help to achieve the following objectives: PF (L) 2 (decision-making process), PF (L) 3 (banking), PF (L) 5 (budgeting), PF (L) 7 (credit options), PF (L) 8 (factors threatening one’s financial standing), and PF (L) 9 (purchasing, leasing, and renting).  The lesson and unit plans may not cover exactly what is asked for in the curriculum but it is a great starting point and offers many great ideas.

In my classroom, I could use this online resource in a few different ways.  One way that I could use this resource is to use the games as an end of unit/year practice to check students understanding of the material.  If there is any extra or free time that students have, they can play these games or review the articles to help  develop their understanding of the content.  Another way that I could use this resource is by posting it onto my classroom website/blog for extra resources for students who would like to research particular topics further or need to deepen their understanding of the material.  One other way that I could use this resource is to do either an individual or partner assignment where they must research a chosen topic.  This resource, along with others, could be provided to students as a starting point.  Once they have completed their research, they could present their findings and “teach” their peers this knowledge.

Overall evaluation of Practical Money Skills…

Overall, I found this website to be a great resource and will definitely use it in my teaching (more specifically the lesson plans, but I will use it nonetheless!).  I would recommend any Personal Finance teacher (or anyone interested in the subject) to check out this resource as it provides great resources and information.

If I were to give this website a rating, I would give it a 9/10.

Utah Education Network – Accounting Resource

The Utah Education Network is a website specifically for teachers and school districts in Utah (although luckily anyone has access to it and it’s resources).  This education network provides a variety of resources for professional development which includes lesson plans, a link to the Utah core standards (curriculum), games, blogs, and other resources.

Specifically I would like to look at the lesson plans section of this resource.  I have looked through many resources and have found many good resources that could be used in my classroom or even ideas to use to teach a particular lesson.

What is it?

This section of the website provides lesson plans and unit plans (not very detailed however) for all grades and all subjects that are found within the Utah curriculum.  Under the business category, this includes many subjects that can be found under the Saskatchewan curriculum, including: information processing, communications media, accounting, and law (although it can be found under a different name on the website and amount of resources can vary).

Under each specific lesson plan and unit plan, you can find a summary of the lesson, which curriculum objective this lesson achieves, career connections, materials (which includes teacher resources, student resources, rubrics, and websites), background for teachers, intended learning outcomes, instructional procedures, strategies for diverse learners, assessment plan, and a bibliography section.

What do I like about it?

– Resources provided can be easily downloaded.

– Resources provided (e.g., student outline) can be opened in Microsoft Word which can be easily edited (very convenient!).

– Lesson plans are detailed enough for the teacher to get a brief idea of what to do for a lesson but it is not that detailed that it is “spoon feeding” the teacher.  This will help to keep classrooms original and doesn’t limit the teacher’s creativity that is put into the lesson.

– Provides links to outside websites for additional information or resources that can be used in the classroom.  These outside links are usually quizzes and activities which can be stimulating and engaging for the students.  This is extremely helpful in case someone would like to look deeper into certain topics, check the information provided, or look for other resources or ideas to use.

– Information provided is brief and to the point.  There is no garbage or junk within these lesson plans that are time consuming to read; it is short (sometimes even one word sections) and straight to the point.

– Lesson plans are organized and do not need to be downloaded (although resources within the lesson plans must be in order to view).

– Website is easy to navigate and is user friendly (which is great for technology illiterate people like me!).

What do I dislike about it?

– In all of the lesson plans that I have viewed, the “Strategies For Diverse Learners” section only ever had “online activities.”  I feel that there are many ways that lesson can be adapted so I feel they could have done more with this.  However, I don’t take this as a huge factor especially since it is also hard to make adaptations for an unknown class or unknown students.  Also, seeing as they provide a lesson plan with great resources, I suppose the teacher has to do something on their own, hey?  With that said, I don’t think it was necessary to include this section in the lesson plan since there wasn’t any strategies really given that could help meet the needs of diverse learners.

– Some of the resources for the students did not look very appealing.  I took a look at one of the resources and was thinking “Holy cow this looks like a lot of work and really boring!” If I thought this, I’m pretty sure my students would as well.

How does this fit into the curriculum and how would I use it?

This online resource can be used to achieve the objectives from the Accounting 10/20/30 curriculum.  Specifically, this website can help to partially achieve 5 out of 17 of the objectives within this curriculum: Module 1 (basic vocabulary, adjusting and closing entries, journalizing, general ledger, and worksheets for merchandising and service businesses), Module 2 (financial statements), Module 4 (cash control), Module 5 (payroll), and Module 9 (depreciation).

In my actual classroom, I would use this resource as a reference and possibly use some of the ideas from these lessons. If I were to use them, I would most likely change the resources for students and modify them so they are more appealing to students.  I feel that school can be fun and shouldn’t be completely boring or else students will not want to learn, so I definitely think I would change up some of the resources.  With that said, it is a good starting point and offers many ideas to use.

Also, I could post some of the resources given onto the class website/blog or hand them out to students who would like to practice their knowledge, need to deepen their understanding, or need something productive to do if they finish their work early.

Overall evaluation of Utah Education Network

If this website aligned with the Saskatchewan curriculum rather than the Utah curriculum, I think this would be an awesome resource to use.  Unfortunately though it’s not, but it can serve as a good reference point and can occasionally be used in the classroom.

If I had to rate this website resource, I would definitely give it a 8/10.

DWMBeanCounter.com – Accounting Resource

dwmbeancounter.com is a website created by David Marshall, who is a retired individual who has experience in audits, payroll, and teaching college business classes.  This site specifically was created with the intent to help individuals learn the basics of accounting for free.

I will not cover the entire website; rather I would like to look at one page specifically.  On this page, you will find a description of four different accounting games: Fling the Teacher, Walk the Plank, Basketball, and Teacher Invaders.  In addition, this page provides links to these games and as well three different versions of the game which have different questions.

What is it?

1. Fling the Teacher – In this game, you build a trebuchet (or basically a catapult) to “fling the teacher.”  You build this by correctly answering questions related to accounting.  In addition, there are three “help” buttons that can only be used once during the game (sort of like the three life lines on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire).

fling the teach

2. Walk the Plank – As the title suggests, you have to make your victim “walk the plank” off of a pirate ship.  If you answer the given question correctly, you are given the opportunity to roll a dice which determines how many steps your victim takes towards the edge of the plank.  If you answer incorrectly, you must roll a dice and your victim will move that many steps away.

pirate

3. Basketball – The objective in this game is to test your 3-point shot.  You get to shoot a basketball every time you answer a question correctly.  However, this does not mean you score the basket.  This game also works on an individuals reaction time and accuracy; if you can line up the shot correctly by getting the cursor into the middle of a circle, then you will sink the basketball into the net.  The questions in this game test an individual’s basic bookkeeping and accounting knowledge.

basketball

4. Teacher Invaders – This game is very similar to space invaders but instead of shooting at aliens, you are shooting at teachers.  You are given three lives and for every question you answer incorrectly, you lose a life and must answer a different question until either you get the question correct or run out of lives.  If you answer the question correctly, you have earned an extra 10 seconds of game time and may continue the game until you have run out of lives (or complete all of the rounds, which I’m not entirely sure if that is possible as there seems to be many rounds).

teach invader

What do I like about it?

In general, there is a wide variety of games for students to choose from that relate specifically to accounting.  So, if a student has no interest in basketball or becomes bored of the game, they can simply choose a different game that will test on the same knowledge.  Also, each game has a variety of difficulty levels which is great for differentiation and challenges each individual students’ knowledge at appropriate levels.

1. Fling the Teacher – The player (student) gets to create your own “victim” that you will fling.  This, along with the title “Fling the TEACHER,” can be appealing and engaging for the student (although might not send a good message about teachers).

– Has three “help” buttons which can provide help for students who are struggling and can avoid anger or frustration from having to restart the game.

– Not timed.  Students may take time to think about the answer and make sure that it is correct (which also avoids frustration and anger).

– Asks if you are sure about choosing that answer.  This can ensure that the student hasn’t accidentally clicked the wrong button.

– Although questions are the same if you restart the game, the questions and answers are generated into different order which can prevent memorization.

2. Walk the Plank – You can actually change the skin colour and hair colour of your victim (even to blue!!).

– Questions are challenging which could engage the individual playing the game (or could be a turn off too!).

– The “pirate” theme can attract and encourage students to play.

– Has three different versions of the game that have different questions.

3. Basketball – Can be one or two player and/or timed if desired.

– Tests general understanding and basic concepts.

– Has three different versions of the game which ask different questions.

– Works on accuracy and reaction time.

– Can be competitive and challenging for students.

– Appears to test relevant accounting information.

4. Teacher Invaders – It’s ADDICTING!! I found it hard to stop playing, although I was getting frustrated with some of the questions.

– Question section has helpful hints: If the answer is four letters long, it will have four question marks and if there is more than one word it is separated with a space. Ex. profit = ??????

– Questions are not timed which allows students to either look up the answer or thoroughly think about it.

– There are multiple rounds so the game lasts for quite a while.

– Gives three different data results at the end of the game including knowledge (%), total points received in the game, and how many “teachers” were destroyed (the second and third not so relevant to the testing of knowledge).

What do I dislike about it?

As a general note about all the games (except for the basketball game), they all send out a violent and negative image of teachers and that students should hate their teachers.  Students may think it’s funny but this can send out a bad message.

1. Fling the Teacher – If you get a question wrong, you have to restart the entire game and the questions are the same if you restart the same game.  This could lead to memorization if a student repeats it enough.  Also, since they have to restart the entire game, this could cause them to become frustrated and lose interest in the game/subject.

– It felt like a lot of questions.  Maybe they were a bit difficult for me but I felt like I was playing the game forever and was worried every single time I answered a question in case I had gotten it wrong and had to restart.

– I actually wasn’t able to beat the game.  I became very frustrated with it and made silly mistakes that I eventually just gave up.

– There is only one skin colour type that you can select.  This is racist and leads students to think that teachers are only “white” individuals.

2. Walk the Plank – Does not offer any hints or help buttons.

– Character calls you degrading names such as “stupid.”

– One game, I had answered 2 of 10 questions wrong and I still hadn’t gotten my victim off the plank.  This was because I kept rolling a total of 5 when I had a question correct and I had rolled a total of 9 or higher when I had the incorrect answer.  This made me extremely frustrated! This game is based off of luck and this happened a number of times! 😦

– Reuses many of the same questions if you have to restart the game so it doesn’t test a wide variety of your knowledge.

3. Basketball – When aiming to shoot the ball, the dot that moves back and forth moves quite fast the second time you must get it into the center.   This can be quite frustrating and may cause students to not want to play the game.

– By changing difficulty levels, this only affects how fast the cursor moves when trying to aim.  This does not actually change the difficulty of the questions.

– Questions do not change if you need to restart or try playing the game again.  This is sort of made up for by having different versions of the game but can be a hassle and more work than necessary.

– If you miss the basket or answer a question incorrectly, the remarks can be a bit degrading and could discourage a student from playing the game.

4. Teacher Invaders – Wording of some of the questions were difficult and became frustrating when the answer that was revealed was something that I should have known if I had read the question extremely carefully.

– Spelling must be accurate.  This could be both a positive and negative.  A positive in the way that it corrects and ensures that students are having thoughtful questions and the spelling is correct (works on literacy skills).  A negative is that it can be extremely frustrating since you lose a life for the error.

– You only get three lives.  This can be a downfall for a few reasons: One, if you get shot once or twice in the game, you don’t get very many chances to answer questions which won’t challenge the student’s knowledge and ultimately won’t help them learn in the end.  Of all the times that I played this game, the highest score I was able to get was 380 and only 8% knowledge.  This made me frustrated each time and made the game slightly off-putting for me.  Another way that this is a downfall is because with the short amount of lives, you don’t get to play for very long if you aren’t as skilled as the game requires you to be.  When you have to restart the game over and over again, it becomes unappealing and frustrating especially since it asks you many of the same questions.

– You do not receive points for getting correct answers.  I’m not sure whether or not this is a bad thing or a good thing but I feel like there should have been points for answering questions correctly.

Where does this fit into the curriculum and how would I use it?

This website fits into the Accounting 10/20/30 curriculum.  The games on this website cannot teach students to fully understand the information from this curriculum although it can help practice this knowledge and be used as a self-assessment tool.  Through playing the games, I am now aware of the areas of accounting from which these questions are derived from.  With that said, I can make an assumption that these games help to achieve Module 1A.  Specifically, these games help to achieve learning objective 1.1 which states: To recognize and use the basic vocabulary of accounting in classroom discussions and assignments.  So really, these games focus on definitions often used in accounting which is what this objective is asking to be achieved.

In my classroom, I could use this resource in a few different ways.  One way that I could use this in my classroom is as an end of unit practice when studying definitions.  Whether this is actually in class or in the students spare time, this could be used as a fun way to  review or self-check.

Another way I could use this resource is to use the idea of the games.  For example, I could tie business into actual physical basketball or something like a relay race.  For the relay race, they must complete an obstacle to get to an item.  But to get that item, they must answer a question about accounting in order to receive that item which they must bring back to their team in which they would then win.  This may seem like a bit of a stretch but it does get the students active while they are testing their knowledge on what they have been learning.

Also, I could just use this resource as supplementary resources for struggling students and those who wish to test their accounting knowledge on their own time.  I could do this by posting this resource on the classroom website/blog for students to access at any time.

Evaluation of DWM Bean Counter Games…

Overall the games on DWM Bean Counter are fairly engaging for students but can be extremely frustrating for those who have a slower reaction time or need questions to be provided in a simpler form of words.  The ideas of these games could be used within a classroom (provided a few modifications, in my opinion) and could work out great! However, as they are, they could prove to be a frustration for some students which is not what I would want for any of my students (although I know I can’t 100% avoid the frustration for all students).

If I were to rate the games found on this website, I would give a 6/10.

Accounting Coach – Accounting Resource

What is it?

Accounting Coach is an online website that provides free information about accounting.  There is a wide variety of topics that go from general to more specific, such as the Accounting Equation, Careers, and Manufacturing Overhead.  In addition to this information, there is a dictionary, “test yourself,” and pro materials (must be paid) section.

accaount coach

What do I like about it?

– Under each section of information, there are different subcategories which you may click on to jump to that section.  This can be very convenient and helps the reader to know what exactly will be covered in that section.

– There is a search box which can be very convenient in case a student needs to search something but doesn’t know where to find it or if it is even on the website.

– Includes crosswords of key words in each section. Also, there are tests, questions, and answer pages for each section to help students deepen their understanding and allow for self-checks of their understanding of the material.

– Tests give immediate feedback (if you choose to see the answer).  However, the answer is not explained.

– Under the questions and answers page, you can either look at popular questions and their corresponding answers or you can ask a question yourself.

What do I dislike about it?

– You cannot do a test on a persons overall knowledge; you can only do tests on each individual sections.

– Tests are easy to cheat on.  You simply have to move your cursor over the blank and it will reveal your answer.  This could be avoided if you print out these tests.

– Test cannot do a tally of questions you answered correctly (or give a final score).  For some students, this might be a feature that they would really appreciate.

– Cannot change tests according to different difficulty levels.

– There are ads on several of the pages.  This can be a distraction for some students and is not a good idea for classroom management and control.

– Although the information pages are short and straight to the point, I would have liked to have seen more detail and go in greater depth.

How does this fit into the curriculum and how would I use it in my classroom?

This website can be used in the Accounting 10/20/30 curriculum.  Unfortunately, this web resource does not go in as much depth on each subject as I would like; however, it does provide a variety of information which can help to achieve (along with other resources): Module 1B, Module 1D, Module 1G, a majority of Module 2, Module 3A-C, Module 4, Module 5 (although very little on 5B), Module 8, Module 9, and Module 13.  By comparing this to the number of modules in the accounting curriculum, this website resource can help to achieve 8 out of 16 outcomes.  Comparing this to other resources that I have found, this covers quite a lot of the curriculum although in a very general sense.

In my classroom, I could use this website resource in a couple different ways.  The first way I could use this website is for an independent study unit.  Students can do this on their own time or on free periods where they could choose from a list of topics that I have provided them.  However, because this resource does not go into as much depth as I would like, I would use this resource in conjunction with others.  This could help reduce the amount of material covered in class and allow the class to go in-depth with other materials.

Another way that I could use this in my classroom is as an extra resource for students who are struggling.  This website can be linked from the class website/blog and be used as a study tool or as extra help if students are struggling.

One other way that I could use this in my classroom is to use the quizzes and games from this website and use as either homework, quizzes or extra practice for those students who are struggling or have completed work before the rest of the class.

Evaluation of Accounting Coach.

Overall, I definitely like Accounting Coach and would use it in my classroom.  The website is very user friendly and it provides a general but diverse selection of information that students can use to study and practice.  If I were to rate this website, I would give it an 8.5/10.

“Blog About It” Response Journal #8

I am now nearing the end of my EMTH 350 course.  Looking back at all the blogs, my most favourite blog was “Blog About It: Entry 6 Part B.”  I really like this blog because I actually connected what we have been talking/blogging about to what I actually did in my pre-internship.  In this blog, I am making connections and I have a better understanding of the teacher education program.  Also, reading it over, I have a flash back of my pre-internship experience and think about all that I have learned and how I have grown/changed.  I love to reflect and think back about what has changed and what hasn’t.  So of all the “Blog About It” posts, entry 6 part B was my favourite.

If I could go back and redo any of my blogs, I would definitely redo the first blog.  Looking back at it there are a few changes that I would like to make and add a few things, especially after my pre-internship.  Also, I would just like to rewrite it in general.  Reading it over, I can see that I made a few grammar mistakes and there are a few wonky sentences.  Lastly, I would redo this blog entry because I feel like I could have expanded more on a few ideas.  I can’t remember if there was a word limit, I know for sure that there was a minimum but if there is no maximum, I would definitely like to expand on a few points.

Although this is the first blog is the one that I would like to redo, it was also one of the blogs where I feel that I have learned the most about myself as a teacher and learner.  The main reasons for this are mainly because it made me question what the purpose of teaching math was, how to actually teach math, and how my past experiences have shaped how I thought of teaching math.

Create a blog entry you would like to have been asked to respond to but were not; after creating the blog entry question, respond to it.

– How did your pre-internship go? Did you try any inquiry assignments?  What did you do and how did it turn out?

Pre-internship was great! I learned a lot and it was an enjoyable experience overall.

Throughout my pre-internship, I did try two inquiry lessons.  The first inquiry lesson that I taught was an introduction to the unit of using the law of sine and the law of cosine for obtuse triangles.  In this lesson, I wanted students to figure out the relationship between the sine/cosine/tangent of an acute angle and the sine/cosine/tangent of it’s supplementary angle (obtuse angle).  So, I gave students a chart that had a number of acute angles in the first column and instructions of what to do with that acute angle going across the top row.  Ex:

supplementary angle worksheet

Originally, we had this worksheet in a different order.  So, we had them do the sine/cosine/tangent of the angle first then do it of the supplementary angle.  Students didn’t see the relationship of the angle and it’s supplementary angle initially until I pointed it out.  However, I was able to reteach this lesson and I changed the table to look like the document above.  Immediately after filling in the values, students were able to make that connection since the values were side by side.  In the end, both classes ended up realizing the pattern was that the sine of an angle is equal to the sine of it’s supplementary angle and that the cosine/tangent of an angle was equal to the negative of it’s supplementary angle.  As a note, the second lesson definitely went better than the first so I am glad that I had made that change.

The second inquiry lesson that I had taught was the ambiguous case of the sine law.  With this lesson, I gave models of an acute ambiguous triangle:

IMG_1183

 

Students were also given a chart where they had to determine the height of the triangle, whether or not the value of “a” was larger than, equal to, or less than the height, how many and what type of triangles were created, and then they had to draw the diagrams.  In this lesson, students discovered that with acute ambiguous triangles, that if a<h, then no triangles were created, if a>h but a<b, then two triangles could be created, and if a>b, then only one triangle could be created.  Overall, the lesson went fairly well.  However, the students got hung up on trying to determine the type of triangle that was created.  So, if I were to change the lesson, I would definitely take out the part where they have to determine the type of triangle.  This would definitely have saved time and allowed them more time to work on examples and the assignment.

Overall I would say the lessons were a success but I wish that the students had more time to do examples and practice using the material that was just learned but unfortunately we were under a deadline and had to assign whatever homework wasn’t done in class (which was difficult since a majority of students did not complete their homework at home – and I knew this and was trying to avoid it).


Looking back on the EMTH 350 course this semester, describe two topics (areas of interest) you would like to have focused on more in this course that you feel would help shape your growth and learning in becoming a mathematics teacher.

1. Flip Classroom

2. Inquiry in math.  Just kidding! We did a lot of that.  I would say creating assessment for students and giving feedback.


Looking ahead to internship in the Fall, describe two overarching goals you have (or want to) set for yourself. (If possible, connect these two goals to learnings you have had in this course or in your teacher education program in general.)

1. Trying inquiry at least once a unit (maybe once every week or two – even if it is just small)

2. Work on differentiation and try tiered assignments.

Social Justice Unit Plan

Here is a unit plan for incorporating social justice into mathematics:

understanding-by-design-unit-template (1)

In this unit, students will research a social justice issue.  They will create a report (which they will actually send to someone) and a presentation on this issue and possible solutions to this issue.  The requirement is that they must use mathematics somewhere in their report to help support their argument or issue.