1. Reading over your previous six (6) blog entries,
a. which one was your ‘favourite’ entry and why?
My favourite entry that I had to write about was Blog Entry #5. I found it really fun to write to an old friend whom I have not spoken to in quite a while and tell her about the two videos I had watched on assessment in mathematics. I enjoyed watching the videos as they gave me a new perspective on how to assess students in mathematics. Having to write about these videos to my childhood friend also allowed me to reflect on my own experience as a student in mathematics and reflect on how we were assessed. This entry opened up my eyes to how I need to make sure I diversify my assessment strategies when I teach so that I do not fall back on how I was assessed. After writing this entry and going through the experience of pre-internship I have learned that not all assessment strategies work for certain subject areas, but it is all about trial and error and testing to see which ones do work for a mathematics classroom.
b. which entry would you most like to ‘do over’ and why?
I did not find an entry that I would want to do over because I feel as though I can see my growth throughout each of the posts. If I were to change one, I would not be able to see what I think is great progression as a mathematics teacher. However, now that I have grown as mathematics teacher, my first post about my mathematics autobiography would have to change because I learned so much through my pre-internship that I would have to add all the amazing things that I seen during my time in the classroom.
c. which entry did you learn the most about yourself as a learner and becoming teacher? Explain.
Blog Entry #6b allowed me to reflect on not only my entry before that about what my expectations were before entering pre-internship, but it also allowed to me take a look at my experience in the field and see how I had changed within that 3 week block. It was interesting to see that I did grow as a teacher during that time and that I could see the growth by responding to the post. When I look at that post it is nice to see that I took a bit of the theory that I learned in university, applied it to my teaching and then adapted it according to how the students responded. That post also clarified to me that I am in the right profession and I look forward to the road ahead as a teacher.
2. 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 the field change your perspective of mathematics teachers?
During my time in the field, I really tried to focus on two things: 1) how were students being assess now? and 2) how were students being taught? I noticed that for the most part, students were still being assessed in the same way as I was, through tests, quizzes and assignments. However, I did take notice that a couple of teachers were doing projects in their classrooms as a way to make mathematics more applicable. I found this extremely helpful to see because now I know for sure that there is more ways to assess students in mathematics and I have seen firsthand that these types of assessments can be very beneficial to students learning.
When I was in the field I wanted to see if teachers used differentiated instruction for their students to learn mathematics. I was sort of disappointed to see that the majority of lessons being taught were direct instruction, but I also saw the value in this. There are some topics that are not the easiest to teach any other way and teachers are under a lot of pressure to get through the curriculum on time, so this does not leave a lot of time to try a lot of variations of a lesson. I think trying a couple of new strategies every couple of months or so may be easier to do, but for the most part, teachers are relying on direct instruction because it gets students to learn the material. Do not get me wrong, I see the value in teaching differently because not all students learn in one way, but I think it would be silly to try 30 different strategies all the time.
3. 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.
Differentiated Instruction: I touched upon briefly in question 2 how I did not see much variation in the teaching strategies that teachers used during my time in pre-internship, which made me not as motivated as I thought I would be to try some new ones out. I feel as though if I had learned more about strategies that have been done in a mathematics classroom and have worked I would have been more enthusiastic about trying new strategies. It would have been nice to see more than just two strategies demonstrated in class (direct and inquiry) because I am a visual learner and I like to see something done first before I try it. I suppose in internship I will just have to take the plunge and try new strategies out without seeing them first because I want to make sure that I try new things during internship so that I get the most out of my experience.
Treaty Education: I feel as though this is still a topic that no one has answered for future mathematic teachers. Everyone has told us that we must teach Treaty Education in all subject areas, yet no one has given us the resources or a straight answer how to do so in mathematics. It would have been nice to learn about Treaty Education in this class because I feel as though mathematic teachers are slipping behind because no one will help us in trying to teach it, everyone just seems to dodge the question.
4. 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 the learning you have had in this course or in your teacher education program in general.)
The first goal that I want to set out for myself is using a range and variety of teaching strategies and approaches. I have learned a lot of varied ways to teach throughout some of my university classes, it will just be a matter of testing them out and seeing which ones work best for me. During my pre-internship I felt crammed for time, so it was quite difficult for me to plan to teach in an unknown way. There are many strategies that I can try out and see if they do work for me as a mathematics teacher.
The next goal I have for myself is to be able to provide differentiated learning opportunities for all students. This goal goes along with my first goal and using a variety of teaching strategies. But I also think this goal goes deeper in the fact that it will make me really get to know my students so that I know how they learn best. I want to connect with my students in a way that they will feel comfortable enough to tell me whether or not a certain way I am teaching is working for them or not. Mathematics is sometimes a tricky subject in being able to really go away from the norm of direct instruction, but this is my time to try those new things because I will have my cooperating teacher there to help guide me.