Math+Math= FUN

I have always been a huge lover of math! I love solving problems, working through equations, and applying math skills to everyday tasks. While I love doing math, I am not always the best at explaining HOW to do “math”. I understand that there are several strategies for solving various math tasks, but I usually find one and stick to it. Which means I sometimes forget the importance of sharing multiple strategies.

I was also really nervous for my three week teaching block to begin because I had no idea how I was going to teach three grades of math with only one hour a day. This was new for my cooperating teacher too. She developed a chart system in which she would provide math game time, lesson time, SPLASH math time, and work time. She would alternate the schedule daily to try to have lesson time for two grades per class. We ended up deciding that she would work with the grade five’s while I taught the grade three’s and four’s using the chart system. This choice was partly to relieve some of my stress, but also because the grade five’s were behind and struggling on the unit she taught prior to my three week teaching block.

I had the opportunity to teach the grade three’s double and triple digit adding and subtracting. While I taught one of my two grade four’s about place value and adding and subtracting using borrowing and carrying. While I taught the other grade four multiplication.

“The students have been doing well in math, for the most part. One super interesting thing that happened in math this week was our grade four student who has really, really been struggling, is now doing much better due to one tiny adjustment. This student is a unit behind our other grade four student and has been struggling with adding and subtracting. My coop and I brought this concern to the principal and within seconds she had an idea, which changed this student’s whole math world. We put her math equations on 1cm grid paper, lining up every digit, and wow! This student went from getting over half her questions wrong, to getting almost all of them right! So amazing.”

This is a reflection that I had after feeling super defeated about one of the grade four’s continuous struggles. My cooperating teacher was out of ideas and so we went to our principal. By reaching out we helped build confidence in our student and bring success to her work and understanding. I loved seeing this transformation in my student. Her whole attitude toward math changed when we found a way to help her succeed!

As with ELA, I learned that Math is about routine and adjusting with the students needs. Luckily the Math Makes Sense textbooks have great lessons already made for you. So, I found it best to read over the lesson the night before and write down important steps to emphasize, or possible other strategies to teach, or things to eliminate that I knew would confuse my students.

While I found that sometimes I was reteaching ideas or back pedalling in the middle of a lesson as my students weren’t understanding, for the most part I think I did a great job of supporting their needs and learning.

One thing that I noted was a huge change for my grade three’s understanding was creating my own examples while teaching that related to my students interests or funds of knowledge. For example, two of my grade three’s knew a lot about cattle and horse care, including medical needle measurements. So, I would use these ideas to create realistic questions, this brought their engagement and “try levels” to a maximum.

I look forward to my future math classes and bringing math to life with my students through engaging examples, games, and manipulatives.

 

 

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A Touch of Art

I didn’t really start teaching art until later in my internship. However, I taught one lesson during my cooperating teacher’s unit on water colours. It was a challenging lesson with many aspects to it. I was a bit skeptical of how well the students would do, but they were all amazing! Each student tried different brush strokes and added their own personal touch to their birch forests.

Here is the Birch Tree Lesson Plan

Here is my reflection on how the lesson went.

October 5th:

“Later on Monday I taught an art class, continuing with the water colour/ fall unit that my coop had been working on. The students began painting a fall birch tree forest piece. We discussed texture and how different brush strokes could create different textures. The students were encouraged to try x brush strokes, dotting, and dabbing with hard bristles to create leaves in their paintings.”

I began creating a mini drama unit for my three week teaching block, to help get the students warmed up and developing skills for their upcoming Christmas concert. I only got into one actual lesson before my cooperating teacher decided it was time to start learning Christmas concert songs and reading through their play, “The Nutcracker”.

Here is the beginnings of my mini unit plan, it is in no way complete, however there are the makings of good ideas. There is one lesson plan with some fun drama games for students to get into character roles.

Mini Drama Unit Outline

Drama Lesson One

ELA in the Classroom

I learned so much about English Language Arts during my internship. I think one of the most important things I learned is that this class becomes a routine and does not NEED a detailed lesson plan for every minute of the class, because it becomes so routine.

Here is an example of our Monday morning routine. Each grade had their own set of spelling words that my cooperating teacher already had made into magnet cards for the board.

Monday ELA Routine

For example, our week started with new spelling words in which students would write each word in their agenda and then write a sentence in their book using the word. We then would do a word solving activity which my teacher had all made prior- there were letters all scrambled and the students worked together to find all the words and then we would write using the words and create word family charts. The students got into this routine quickly and were clear with the expectations each day. We incorporated weekly journal writing time, a clear guided reading schedule (which was on a chart in the classroom) and new writing/ reading modelling lessons were taught and practiced weekly.

I love writing poems and was excited when Chinook School Division staff were given a PD day about teaching poems, as it was a focus for the division this year. This gave me the opportunity to lean with my students as my teacher taught how to write and analyze various poems. I had the opportunity to teach about limericks and how to write limericks. The kids had a lot of fun with it and really gave me a good laugh.

Limerick Lesson Plan

I carried out many guided reading lessons that extended to almost 5 “full-time” teaching weeks. I taught various guided reading lessons and had the opportunity to work, and learn, alongside Chinook’s literacy coach, Michelle Dewar. It was such a great opportunity. I loved doing the guided reading lessons because it gave me a chance to work in small groups and get tot know and understand my students on a more personal and academic levels. There are so many benefits to guided reading programs and I was very fortunate to see growth in almost all of my students reading fluency and comprehension.

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I planned a mini unit for writing a compare/ contrast paragraph. We worked with venn diagrams and used information about communities we had been learning in social studies.

Here are the lessons for the compare/ contrast mini unit.

Lesson One

Lesson Two

Hamburger Paragraphs Worksheet

Lesson Three

Compare Contrast Paragraph Rubric

Here is the awesome paragraph that my students wrote together during our hamburger paragraph activity!

Screen Shot 2019-03-24 at 7.42.06 PM.png I look forward to establishing my own classroom routines in ELA class, as well as discovering a guided reading routine and plans that work for my students and myself.

I will be forever grateful for the learning my cooperating teacher, students, and principal provided me during my internship.

Communities in Social Studies

I absolutely love Social Studies. Many of my students complained that it is their least favourite class and that it is SO BORING! This made me excited because it gave me a goal and a challenge. I knew I would need to FUNIFY my lessons to help make my students find, at the least, a like for social studies to ensure they were learning something. By the end of this unit most of the students were enjoying the subject.

Here is the Communities Unit Plan

Here is the Communities Detailed Lesson Plans.

My students created the most awesome final projects for this unit. They were in groups and created advertisements about the different communities we had learned about. Without the students even really realizing it, they were practicing researching, writing, speaking, and cooperating skills. I was so impressed with how much they learned and enjoyed the unit it was a huge win!

Phys. Ed Invasion Unit

I taught physical education (phys. ed) for almost all of my internship. My Co-op started with a unit about space and self-awareness, the students created really neat obstacle courses using the playground. It was a great introduction to physical education by helping remind the students the basics of physical education.

I began my phys. ed experience with a unit on Invasion. I based my unit off of the Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) model. I learned about this model of teaching phys. ed through my KHS 233 course. Check out my Research Paper KHS, as to why I believe this method of teaching physical education is more beneficial than the traditional, or direct, instruction method.

Click the link to take a look at the Invasion Unit.

And click this link to see the Detailed Invasion Lesson Plans. 

Here is a reflection I had on September 24th:

“I taught a lesson on finding open space today, playing musical hoops. I thought the lesson went well and the students were all participating. However, I do not think it fit in the order of lessons we have been doing so I made a note to put this lesson sooner in the unit. Even one of the students was asking why we weren’t working on our offense game plans, so this reassured me I had this lesson in the wrong spot. I also realized this lesson is too short for this group, so I will need to add more for the future.

On a more positive note, my lesson was enjoyed by all, including student X. She rarely participates in class with the other kids, but today she wanted to play and even played without mine or her brother’s help. This was super, super rewarding for me, I love when she feels included and chooses to participate. This activity also gave me the opportunity to see some more locomotion skills from the students, and they have improved a lot since my initial observations, so this was awesome to see as well. I am looking forward to getting back on track and in better sequence with this unit.”

It is so important to me to take the time after a long day and critically reflect on your lessons and your day and to try to choose one thing to improve on or change for next time you teach the lesson.

 

Inner Self Grade Three Health

My main subject throughout my internship was Health. Unfortunately, our schedule only allowed for one hour of health class per week, including a snack break. Meaning I only had about 45-50 minutes of teaching time a week for health. I decided to start with a unit on “Inner Self” because I believed it would give me the opportunity to learn about my students and who they are beyond their surfaces. While some of them shared this about them selves through conversation, most did not. Making this a great opportunity to learn about each of them individually.

This unit allowed me to use their interests to create more engaging lesson plans based on their interests. Knowing who they were individually, knowing what they believed their strengths and areas of improvement were I was able to relate and teach to all eleven students individually in a way that helped their learning make sense to them and relatable for them. Which I strongly believe should always be the foundation of learning; personal connections, relations, and experiences should be brought into or created in everything we learn. I believe this helps give our learning more value.

Check out the Inner Self Unit here!

*Note there were some changes made during lessons and to lessons as experienced.

DETAILED LESSONS here are all the lesson plans, worksheets, and assessments in detail. My students never did the lesson seven brochures for sake of time and instead they were given the quiz.

This is a bulletin board that I made using the students projects from lesson ____. The students had to trace their side profile and then write their interests, dreams, and traits within the face. They hid their name under a piece of paper so other students could guess who they are based on who they are on the inside. The students thought it was a fun activity and many students and staff were seen engaging in the bulletin board.

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Our final assessment was a quiz about the content we have learned, with the majority of the students scoring above 75%. While I do not completely agree in testing I tried to make the questions scenario based or related to their own self. For example, one question asked for the student to list their own qualities. This allowed me to see that they knew what a quality was and made it relatable for the student. The summative evaluation on the unit/ outcomes was a combination of all formative and summative assessments throughout.