EMTH 200: Final Reflection

I have learned a lot this semester and hopefully will be able to take what I have learned and apply it to the classroom.  With only six people, including myself, in my EMTH class this semester, I was able to be in a classroom environment where I felt safe to express my thoughts and opinions on different subjects that were discussed in class.  The readings and topics that were brought up in class were always interesting because they were relevant things that are brought up in the classroom.  A problem solving perspective is what this class is based on and I think it is a good for a mathematics classroom but might not be able to be used in every mathematics class.

For instance, we were asked to do a Unit Plan as a final project.  My group decided to do a unit from Foundations of Mathematics 11, Systems of Linear Inequalities.  We found it difficult to integrate the problem solving perspective into all of the lesson plans.  I felt like we did a good job of incorporating the perspective in the unit plan though.  The activities we planned for the unit plan were activities I would use if I was teaching this class and were from a problem solving perspective.  I feel like it would not be possible to incorporate the problem solving perspective all of the time in every mathematical class I will be teaching.  I think sometimes students will learn best in a lecture style class from time to time.  On the other hand, I think students can benefit from activities and discussions from a problem solving perspective.

There are many things that I will take away from this class.  For instance, the idea of being stuck was talked about in one of our textbooks.  They reinforce the idea that it is okay to be stuck.  When students are stuck, teachers should not just give the answer to students but they should talk about the question with their students.  See where the students thought process is going and help them acquire the answer.  Another thing I will take away from this class is assessment.  There are many different ways teachers can assess students.  It does not just have to be a unit test at the end of every unit.  There can be projects, quizzes, exit slips, assessment by observations, homework assignments and other ways to assess students.  I think that is an important thing to keep in mind because some students may not be good test takers and there are other ways they can demonstrate what they have learned.  Unit tests are good but I think that it could be combined with other ways of assessment.  Those are just two examples of things I will take away from this class, but there are other things I have learned that will help me as a teacher.

Overall, this was a great class and I am glad I was able to take it.  With the variety of topics, I was able to learn and discuss things with my classmates, which helped me grow as a person and a teacher.

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