Demonstration of Learning

Pre-internship was an experience I will take with me for the rest of my learning as a teacher, however long that may be. It was such a good experience, there were really good times and times that I could have done better, but I’ll learn as I go. During these three weeks I learned so much, from both the cooperative teacher and the students. I have done a lot of assessing and reflecting on my ways of teaching.

Before beginning my pre-internship, my philosophy of assessment and evaluation has been somewhat developed before hand. I know how I want my assessments to go, just based on things I have learned throughout my years in university from teachers and studies. As a teacher I want to give my students every opportunity they can get to demonstrate their learning and understandings of the materials they are learning. As a teacher it is my job to provide these opportunities for the students, for they won’t come on their own. Doing things such as formative and diagnostic assessments will allow me as the teacher to see where my students are at, who is getting it and who is not, an whether I need to approach the class in a different way. One way I believe is the best way to provide opportunities for students learning is having them be part of the assessment process. Though I find it to be challenging at times, it is for the best for the students. What is stated above is from classes I have taken in University, but it wasn’t until this year that I really learned all the benefits that assessments hold for students. I always knew it was important, but I never had the chance to explore further than this. On form of assessment I find my self agreeing with the most is the formative assessment that are use to see what students are grasping and what might need to be gone over again. Without this form of assessment, it is hard to tell where the students are at. The beauty of formative assessments is that they don’t need to be hard or tricky, they are their for both the teachers and students benefit, where the teacher can help the students by working together. every other class I took dealing with assessment seemed to just scratch the surface, while in this class we dug a little deeper to gain a better understanding ourselves to enable us to benefit and provide opportunities for students  to demonstrate their learning and to help them grow towards success. Assessment is so important for students, not only to help them learn but to also feel confident in the materials they are learning.

During pre-internship, assessment was often used to determine the flow of class and to see where my students were at. I often provided opportunities for my students to demonstrate their learning. I would provide these opportunities through assessments such as Kahoots, entrance/exit slips, small task activities, group discussion, pair collaboration, and the use of whiteboards for answers. During my first week, all of these assessments were used, which allowed for me to see where the students were based on where my cooperative teacher had left off. This allowed me to pick up quickly and get into the grove of things with the students, which was a good way to start off. I did three summative assessments in one of my classes during my three weeks, a small written reflection, an quiz, and a research presentation. Personally I found formative assessments allowed students to feel comfortable to answer questions and/or participate when they knew it wasn’t for marks because they didn’t feel the pressure of the assessment being for marks, and this really showed during my three weeks. I found that the whiteboards at each students desk really helped, my students weren’t big talkers, so when it came to answering questions they were always hesitant, but the moment I asked them to record their answers on the whiteboards, they all got to writing and holding up their answers. This allowed me to see if they were getting the material that I was putting across. From here I would ask students to pair share, and while walking around the room I could really hear how the discussions allowed for further comprehension. Unfortunately there were quite a bit of notes the students had to take for the class, and there were four ELA students that were in the class. Here I allowed them to use their phone for the notes to translate them. If I could change the way I did this, would be to have already translated notes to give to the ELA students that were in need of them. I also had a student with ADHD in my class and would often need breaks from work or taking notes, as did other students, so this allowed me to pull in brain breaks that would give the students a chance to take a break yet continue to work their brains. For the big summative assessment I did during my three weeks was a research presentation. I gave a lesson on how to do research in psychology, and the students were to find a research questions to look into. For an example, one of my students did “What is split brain? What does it do?” and he found a research that would help him answer his question, then it was presented infant of the class to teach them about it. The topics my students chose were very interesting and they all did a very good job.

During the three weeks, I found my philosophy of assessment being challenged by the difficulties it was at times to do these assessments in such a short time and still having the lesson executed on time. However, I was able to put my philosophy to practice and allow it to develop and adjust as the three weeks went by. We are taught in university how important it is to give students time and to support them, but there were times that made me struggle when this idea was taken away. By this I am talking about the 3% deduction per day for late assignments, it does max at 15%, nonetheless, this still bothered me. The students aren’t given the support they need and they are being punished with marks it feels, rather than being praised by the work they have done and are doing in class. It seemed the later their assignment was the more they gave up and lost hope, even though they would excel with in class work. With further thought on this for my internship, I will need to find my own rules and ways to address this challenge.

Something that I took away from this class was to always assess students and give them every opportunity possible for demonstrations of comprehension. This is very important I believe, one, because it allows everyone to keep up with the rest of the class and not getting left behind, two, because it allows me as the teacher to see what things I need to change to help the students learn, grow, and excel. Something I can take away from my pre-internship is that your philosophy might be challenged and you have to learn to be flexible. This might be a challenge in itself, but sometimes there is nothing you can really do expect help your students the best you can, and prepare them for what might be to come. One thing I learned to do this best is through formative assessment, which is ongoing and is always a good thing to turn to, to help students be the most prepared they can be. I found summative assessments (depending on what they were) stressed students out, and that is when they began to fall apart, even though they could demonstrate their learning before, and I believe this is due to the fact grades are given as reward or punishment.

My overall experience with my pre-internship has truly been amazing. I have learned so much and I am excited to see what is in store for me next.

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ECS 410 – March 8th

I have to say I really enjoyed the brownies that were brought to class, they were probably the highlight of my night. 😉

Going through that students case study was pretty confusing to see what we were looking at. Everything seemed to have some kind of connection, but I couldn’t figure it out. I originally thought that the student may have not cared by the end for some reason, and that maybe in the two classes that they were doing very poor in, that they possibly didn’t like their teacher. And it turned out that the student was a football player who needed certain grades to be able to play, and his grades dropped as soon as football season was out. Also that they didn’t get along with one of their teachers.

With the in class assignment thing that we did, I was a bit confused to be honest. There were some statements that I would probably try and do in my classroom, but some of the statements didn’t really make sense to so I put them in the middle until I understood what it was getting at. The only one I said i probably wouldn’t use was # 13, but after watching the clip on YouTube for it, I actually understood it better and decided that I probably would use it.

I really enjoyed the Ted talk at the end of class, I found her story and what she learned as a teacher to be quite interesting. I thought the way she started to teach her students was unique but it seemed to be vary beneficial for the students.

ECS 410 – February 15th

This class was interesting enough. I enjoyed the presentations and I found it interesting to see how different majors would deal with differentiated instruction for several different kids. There were some that I believed could have been a bit better in term of interest, because, yeah, i got bored with a few of them. But over all they were pretty good. I don’t remember the girls names, but the last two that went, did a very good job.

For the next half of class, I didn’t find as interesting to be honest, but the information that was being provided and understandings of some DI’s being explained was nice and helpful. Like I didn’t know what some of them were because I’ve never heard of them, but when they got explained, I was like, OHHHHHH! I know what that is! But because I din’t know it was a DI, it never occurred to me when I would witness it, or even use it. There were so many DI’s that I’ve used for myself, or have seen done, its funny how it has never dawned on me that these are instructions teachers use to help students.

To be honest, I did find the class a little dry, but very informative.

 

ECS 410 – February 1st

Today’s class was so helpful, we met with Tana, and everything I was confused/worried about became so much clear, and I feel a little bit better about the Social Studies curriculum. Tana was very helpful, and answered all the questions we had, and she even answered questions I did even think of asking. She showed us one of her unit plans and it helped me out so much to see what needs to be done, and what can be done. I also liked the fact that she showed us differentiated instructions she uses in her classrooms that work for her.

I like the idea of making our own rubric, or working as a class I guess, to make our own rubric. Its nice to see that everyone is on a similar page, or understanding.

I do wish we would have gotten to talk about the video that we were to watch. I did watch it, and I really liked the points it was bringing across. I think the most agreeable strategy that was brought in, was the green, yellow and red cups for the students. I believe that would be a good way to see where students are at when you are teaching.

I found this days class to be very insightful and helpful.

ECS 410- JANUARY 18TH CLASS

There are many things during this class that I found interesting and very useful. I like the use of the Power School program for marking (or at least that’s what i think it is called, I’m not too sure). It made marking look neat and clean and easy to follow for anyone who is looking to see where their child/student is at.

Something that in found interesting was the conversation in class about the bad mark being taken away if it brings down your average. I didn’t know schools did this, but i find it would be very beneficial to the students.

I really enjoyed the reading we were giving during class about “Formative Assessment in Seven Good Moves”. I found myself agreeing with the first two step or moves, prime students first, and pose good questions. All of the moves were very important, but when asked which one was least, my mind brought me to the last move, build your bins. I didn’t really understand it, until it was explained to me. After I came to the realization that they were all important, and depending on your views, one might appear more so than others.

`I could help but find myself laughing at the video we were shown at the end of the class. I know it was important and it did clear up a lot of things about summative, formative, and diagnostic assessments, the visual part, the characters of the video were too much to handle. I had a hard time not noticing the length of the characters arms, there computerized voices, their actions, etc… It was a good video for its information, but it was hard to watch and not to giggle at.

Mathematics

It wasn’t until Gale’s lecture that oppression and discrimination existed in mathematics. To me math was just math, and how we were told to do it, was the only way. Thinking back to when I was being taught math in school, the thought of other of thinking never crossed my mind. To think of math that come so easy to be made hard by the curriculum in which it is taught, really deprives students of confidence and realization that they too can easily understand the math they are given. Back when I was in elementary, to think of it, my teachers always had some way to help students to learn math to their understanding, which was beneficial as a child. But once we go around to multiplication, there was only one way to do it according to the teachers. This continued on throughout high school as well. During this time if you couldn’t get it, you fell behind and you would basically be left there. I wasn’t until Gale spoke of mathematics in a different like bringing everyday use of math that I never thought of anything of before. Just simplest things about we bring to our everyday life.

The way Inuit people taught and learned mathematics definitely challenged the Eurocentric idea about the purposes mathematics and the way they learn it. Indigenous ways of knowledge are considered in the medicine wheel, they are emotional, physical, mental, spiritual. These four ways of knowledge fall close to the teachings of Indigenous people. It is tradition for indigenous culture to tell stories and those stories are passed down from person to person, they didn’t exist on paper, and their learnings and teachings were done in more natural settings rather than a classroom. For the learning of mathematics, instead of a base-10 system, it is a base-20 system. Gale described how she was told this came to be. Inside an igloo would get very arm, and people would remove almost all clothing. They would sit in a circle with their feet and hands in front of them. Thus, came base-20 system, due to the 10 fingers and 10 toes.

“We are all Treaty People”

Treaty Ed or other content on the subject, are a big part of Canadas history, and there should be an understanding of what happened and why. Just because there are few First Nations, Metis or Inuit people doesn’t mean the past should be forgotten, it is there to keep history from repeating itself. One of the best ways to prevent it from doing that is to teach about the history and the devastation that it has caused. Every voice in history matters, because it has all played a major role in the era it is dealing with. The roles that the Aboriginals people played in Canadian history has a significance to how Canada came to be what it is today. One of the better ways to approach this topic would be to explain this so that the students may gain a better understanding of why it is so important now.  More over, this should not become a blame game, but a way to better understand what happened in the past and remember what has been done and what prices were paid for such actions. There is a lack of understanding on land, culture, history etc., in this province and in the rest of the country. Teaching Treaty Education is important and should be taught throughout school, especially in social studies. The whole aim of the Social Studies curriculum is to help students learn and understand the past, present and to influence the future, as well as make connections between them. Students should learn the process done in which treaties were made and how they affect Indigenous people as well as European settlers through time, as well as how people in Canada are still affected today.

Everyone in Canada has come from other places, Europeans migrated to Canada to have a new life of sorts. Weather you are new to the world or have experiences living in it, we learn from our past and from one another within the life we live. We teacher each other how to be one with the world we are living in, and that we share stories. We all live on the same land that Treaties were signed, which still strongly affect us today. Treaty Education should be taught to build on the relationship, and learn from one another. However, there is a lack of understanding, and respect for Indigenous history. But in one way or another we are all treaty people on the land in which we live and thrive. Treaty Education is a tough area to teach, but if done right, people of the present will be better informed and may gain a new perspective of where we live and our history, which will help develop our future, and the relationship they may hold.

“As long as the sun shines, the grass grows, and the river flows, we are all Treaty people.”

Reinhabitation & Decolonization

The reinhabitation is shown on page 80, where it is claimed that the river is a way of life for the Mushkegowuk people. They use it for many resources such as fishing, and is has significant uses and meaning behind it such as, is physically, emotionally, and spiritually being. People based themselves around the river for it was a good source, and many new relationships with different cultures often occurred around rivers. Rivers are a place that can teach people many means of life. There is a return to the original way of knowing. Decolonization within the article is shown when it speaks of old ways being taught again, allowing for an new perspective on the language and culture.  

I am a pre-service social studies teacher, so this topic is more incorporated into the curriculums I will be using. I would however, be unable to teach the language, or even how the culture was to its full potential. The best way in doing this would to bring a person from the First Nations community, such as an elder. It would be unfair to the students to be ill-advised on First Nations culture, traditions, and languages. However, I to think it is a very important part of Social Studies to teach because First Nations are a very important part of our history.

Literacy Models

The Curriculum that I have chosen can be perceived as both Autonomous literacy and Ideology literacy, however it does align more closely to Ideology literacy. The curriculum is based around Canadian history, which mainly include Aboriginal peoples. The learning of their culture is a big part of the subject and should be presented more in class for the benefit of the students. With how much the Aboriginal peoples culture, traditions, etc., the literacy frame that surround the curriculum the strongest would be Ideology literacy. The Autonomous literacy fits into the curriculum because the curriculum, dependant on how it is taught, teaches equality, gives for a stronger independent basis, and allows for opportunity for cognitive skills. Though as stated, both literacy models are present in one way or another, Ideology literacy is more present within the curriculum.

To connect the mandated curriculum to the students lives, I could possible get them to consider their family history and do a little presentation in front of their classmates, allowing for the students to gain abetter understanding of life of their peer’s family. This way students may not only take an interest in the history, but they will be able to relate it to their own lives and peers. With a better understanding of their history, the students may be able to connect their information found to the information being taught in the classroom. The students might even be able to connect their knowledge to later teachings.

Curriculum Policy and the Politics

The curriculum for schools are developed and implemented by the board of education, they get the final say on how the curriculum is going to be hand what is going to be taught through it. It can be largely influenced by businesses and companies that believe their trade is important and students should be learning thing that can help them guide their way to these sort of businesses. Also teachers, parents, and students have their own influences on the curriculum development, mainly because they are the ones experiencing the curriculum first hand, but things don’t always go in their favor.

For the people in charge of what is happening to the curriculum, get voted in by outside parties, to which they believe who will do the best for the just. This brings in a very political view into the curriculum development. It is like when the government is being chosen, people around the country vote for people based of what they stand for and what they claim they will do to better the nation. The same goes for the curriculum, a person is voted in based on what the intend to implement in the curriculum for schools. This is something I have never thought of before, and I find very interesting. The only think I can think that may be concerning is how much other things influence the curriculum that are not education based.