Tag Archive | learning

First Two Days In Scotland!

Well, as a quick mention first, it was my first time flying a couple of days ago and overall, it was fantastic! I might a lot of great people on my flight to Toronto although my flight to Edinburgh my neighbour was not so talkative. Oh well!


So Scotland… getting off my plane was realy hectic! There was a huge line and we were all rushing to get through customs and pick up our luggage so that wasn’t much fun. However, when Lauren met with me me at the airport, we took a double decker bus which was soooo col! To be honest, I’m glad I dont have to drive in Scotland because they all drive reallllly insane!! Before arriving, I thought “how hard could it be?” Well was i in for a surprise! Besides not being able to adjust to traffic on the wrong side of the street, they drive like a-holes! They do u turns in the middle of no where, pull up extremely close to people (my brother would get this reference), and ty seem to just love cutting into traffic lanes – kind if reminds me of Saskatoon driving! And the roads are just weird (twists and turns everywhere). Otherwise the bus was super fun!!!

After that, we walked around for probably about 2 hours which was amazing. I got to see Princes Street gardens which were beautiful, the royal mile (although not a thorough look) and went for a Scottish breakfast afterwards! It was quite a protein filled breakfast haha! ūüôā One thing that I think is totally awesome about Edinburgh is that there are random people on random streets dressed uo in kilts and play the bag pipe!!!

For the rest of the day we basically just wathed movies at Laurens place then went to bed. ¬†So first day was a success I’d say! As for the jet lag, it wasn’t too bad as long as I kept moving. As soon as we sat down though my energy level basically plumeted haha.


wokeoup feeling fantastic! Slept for 12 hours so I would hope I felt great! Today we went walking down to the Parliament building – which no ofense but is a horrific looking building… like what were thry thinking?? We were also going to go to Holyrood palace – which is where the royals stay when they are in town – but as my luck turned out, the royals were in town! ¬†So unfortunately we can’t go until at least Sunday simce it was closee for their stay but Lauren got to see a glimpse of the queen in a car (I didnt get to tjough since i was not looking in that direction at the time but oh well ūüė¶ ).

So after that we walked up the royal mile again and went through many stores on the one side of the street (we shall adventure the other side later haha). Probably thr greatest thing that I had seen was two all year roumd Christmas stores!! So now I can say someone has wished me a merry Christmas in July!! So hilarious! Also, there were random people dressed up all over the royal mile as characters like yoda and darth vader! So random!

Also while on this road we went to the Museum of Childhood (which was not at all what the description in my traveller’s book said it would be), the whisky experience (whch was awesome since we got like a mini fair ride adventure of how to make whiskey, a shot of a flavour of whiskey of our choosing, the shot glass that we got to keep, amd the massive whiskey collection thy had! They also had a whiskey for sale that was worth 4000 pounds!!!!!!!), and we also got to see a museum, which I think was the museum of Scotland? It was kinda cool which went through the history of Scotland a bit but mostly artefacts from way back when.

The great thing anout these museums is that thy are all free admission! You jut make a donation if you want so if you dont like the museum, its okay because you didn’t waste a bunch of money!

So once we finished with those shenanigans,  we went to the movies amd saw how to train your dragon 2 which was AWESOME!!!!!! Then we went home, watched some doctor who and mow off to bed, so with that, Good night!

The First Week – Huge Respect for Substitutes!

September 3rd-6th

So first week… what can I say? It had it’s ups and downs which is to be expected. ¬†I began the semester by teaching Workplace and Apprenticeship 30 class (for those who don’t know, this is a grade 12 math class).

So, the very first day of class I only had my students for 20 minutes since we had an assembly part way through the class.  This was okay but it felt very chaotic.  I had a few things planned but with my mind running everywhere, I came off as very disorganized and did not have a teacher presence/authority.  The next day, however, I feel like my teacher authority came out when discussing the classroom expectations and rules and that I finally had established myself as a teacher (and not as some young person who thinks they can teach but can easily be run over by the students).

Things seemed like they were going well until my teacher had asked me to try “subbing” for one of her classes (don’t worry there was another teacher present!). ¬†I asked what class it was and when she said “Foundations 10,” I figured “Hey, it’s grade 10 math! This should be a piece of cake!” ¬† Was I ever wrong! The material that was being taught that day was converting units in the Imperial system (US metric system). ¬†This was most definitely not on the top of my “most favourite topics in math” list. ¬†In fact, I feel like I have put a block on this high school memory and I actually don’t remember learning it. ¬†Asking my friends, they admit that they learned this material so I have come to the conclusion that I just chose to forget it because it was that horrid! So, if you could guess, this lesson did not go so well! I had trouble explaining the material and we actually ended up moving to the assignment and not finishing the examples (with the promise that my co-op would go over it the next day). ¬†The one thing that I remember clearly in my mind is the fact that I kept trying to hint for the actual substitute teacher to take over (because he knew the material very well!) but he wouldn’t. ¬†However, as sad as I had become about this lesson, this was a huge learning experience for me and I’m glad that he didn’t let me back out. ¬†The next day I apologized to the class and taught the last example to the students. By doing this, I hoped that I could redeem myself as a teacher in those students eyes (which is huge I feel because I will be teaching them in about a month!).

With that said, my actual class went very well and I have already learned a lot! The sub day had me question myself as a teacher but you know what? We all have our bad days! It’s going to be okay and you know what? It’s only my first week! It’s not expected to go great! Internship is where you should be taking risks and making mistakes. ¬†Just know that if you make mistakes, take them as a learning opportunity and don’t let it get you down!

“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.

РHow 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:



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.

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.

“Blog About It” Entry 6: Part A – 3 BIG Questions

Three BIG questions about field experience and the role of teacher education:

1. What do you think is the purpose of field experience (i.e. pre-internship practicum, internship, etc.)?

I feel that field experiences serve many purposes that are all important.  The first is that the field experience allows us a chance to take what we have learned in our classes and actually apply that information into the classroom.  Throughout the past three years, there has been a tremendous amount of information that we, as teachers, need to know.  We can memorize and try to understand this material as much as we can but the best way for us to actually learn and understand this material is by experiencing it in the classroom and putting it into practice.  I can say that this is true for a fact because I’ve been through this.  One specific example was ECS 200 and 210.  There was a lot of information that, sure I thought was important, but I didn’t fully grasp the idea of what this might look like and how it would affect my teaching.  It wasn’t until ECS 300 when I got to teach is where I saw a lot of this information coming back to me and finally being able to see how it impacts the classroom and teacher.

The second purpose is that it’s a chance for us to practice teaching and work towards becoming the teacher that we imagine ourselves to be. ¬†Also, it gives us a chance to try new things (ex. teaching styles/methods, classroom management, etc.), see what works and what doesn‚Äôt, and make mistakes while we still can and have someone to help us out if things get rough.

Another purpose includes being able to observe others and expand our ideas of and knowledge about teaching.  Sometimes, you don’t get to experience a wide variety of classrooms and teaching styles, especially for those in small schools.  Thus, being able to experience different classrooms and different teachers expands our knowledge of more current teaching practices and the different methods and practices that occur that differ from our own schooling experiences.

Being able to increase PLN (personal learning network) and get our names out in the schools is another purpose of field experiences.¬† Being in a school, there are many teachers and staff that you can become acquainted with and add to your PLN. ¬†PLN’s are very important as the people in this group share information with one another and help each other out if needed. ¬†Also, getting your name out and around to different teachers and administrators can increase your chances of getting a job. ¬†Listening to many stories from interns and new teachers, their field experiences (mainly internship) got their name out to different people and many have been given high recommendations and some even got hired at their internship school immediate after graduation!

Lastly, then field experience allows us to gradually get used to the idea of teaching and makes us aware of some of the things to expect when we begin teaching. ¬†Gradually get us used to the idea of teaching is important because that way it doesn’t feel like we are being thrown into teaching and become overwhelmed. ¬†Being aware of what to expect and have few surprises will help increase the likeliness that we actually become great teachers and that teaching is something that we make a career of. ¬†Statistics say that the first 5 years of teaching is the most difficult and this is when many teachers quit their jobs and move on to other professions. ¬†A huge factor of this loss is because of the stress and complications that teachers had not¬†foreseen¬†and then become greatly overwhelmed and stressed. ¬†Field experiences allows us to practice, observe, and become aware of and prepare for some of the complications, stress, and any other troubles that they may face in the future.

2. What roles does (or should) a teacher education program play in the process of becoming a teacher?

Just like the field experience, the teacher education program provides us with the opportunity to prepare for and work towards becoming the teacher that we want to be.  It also provides us with the information that will help us succeed as teachers, to be the best we can be for our students, information about students and their learning so that we can prepare to educate our students and help them to maximize their chances of success in school, and in life.

The teacher education program also allows us the opportunity to put this information to the test by applying it to actual teaching experiences.  Through these experiences, we are also provided with the opportunity build our own teaching philosophies and theories, to put these into context, and make changes and amendments to work towards perfecting these philosophies and theories.

Also, the teacher education program challenges our current views of teaching and education.  Teaching and education is rapidly evolving and changing; thus, it is important that we constantly challenge our ways of thinking and think of new ways to better ourselves and make our teaching more effective and efficient so that students can maximize their learning experience at school and make it more enjoyable.

3. What do you already know now about being a mathematics teacher that is unlikely to change through your upcoming field experiences (i.e. fundamental beliefs, values, commitments, etc.)?

There are a few things that I can be certain about being a mathematics teacher that is unlikely to change through my upcoming field experiences.  This includes:

1. As a mathematics teacher, I need to help my students understand math, rather than memorize it.

2. Rather than just the answer, it is more important to teach and assess the thought process and steps of a solution.

3. As a mathematics teacher, I need to be 100% committed to teaching my students, be there if they need help, and provide them with everything they need to help the succeed.

4. In mathematics, not every lesson has to be inquiry-based.  There are many factors that can affect this such as timing and the type of class.