Adobe Spark!

I’m not the best with technology, I have a hard time using technology but I really enjoyed using Adobe Spark!  Adobe Spark is a free online/mobile design graphic app.  You can create posts, pages and videos.  After watching a tutorial video for Adobe Spark, I began creating a page!page

To start off with, you add a title and a subtitle.  Then you can add a background to spruce up the page a bit.  Note that there are many options for pictures: Uploading photos from a computer, looking through creative common photos and photos you have in a Dropbox or Google Photos.

page

From there, you can start creating your own page!  You can add photos, videos, text, a photo grid and a glideshow (pictures that fade in and fade out one after the other).

That’s basically all there is to it for pages!  Pages can go on as long as you want.  I successfully completed my first page on Adobe Spark.  I did it on polynomial definitions and examples.  I think it turned out well.  I didn’t have a very difficult time creating the page and I would definitely use it again.

This is the preview of creating a video using Adobe Spark.  You can pick the theme you want and go from there.  You can add videos, text, music and voice recordings!  I haven’t tried creating a video but there is a short how to use this video when you are about to begin and it really did not seem difficult to use.

page

Pros

– Free and no downloading.
– Able to upload photos and look through creative common photos to use.
-Has spell check.
-Tutorial videos if you need them.
-Easy way to create videos and pages of information

Cons

-As far as I know, you couldn’t have multiple text/picture bubbles in the glideshow.
-I don’t think there is a way to make the font bigger/smaller or have the text as a different color other than black.

Overall, I really enjoyed using Adobe Spark and I think it was a nice way to present the definitions for the polynomial unit.  The picture below is part of the page I created.  This is an organized way to present the information and it is visually appealing.

page

One Final Thought:  This is a great resource for not only teachers but students as well.  Students could use Adobe Spark for projects for a variety of classes!

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Assessment

This is an exit note that could be done at the end of class after completing 6.2.  It would be an easy way to make sure students are understanding the concepts.  If students aren’t understanding the material, you could go over the concepts with the entire class.

exit-note

I have also created a mid-chapter review for students to complete after we have finished going over the handout from 6.2.  This would be for marks.

If at anytime there is leftover time at the end of class or if you want to start the class with this, there is an online matching game for polynomials with a degree less than 3.  You could even make it into a competition if you wanted to.  See how many matching you can get done in x amount of minutes.  This would be a fun way to do some review!

A Good Start!

I have a good start on my major project and I so far really enjoying this project!  I have started to create a summary of my unit plan that includes concepts that students should understand by the end of the unit and a brief description of each lesson.  I have also created the second lesson plan.

I decided to start with a lesson that has students pair off and use an online graphing calculator, called Desmos, to determine a variety of characteristics of a horizontal line, linear function, quadratic function and a cubic function.  I think Desmos is a great app (it can be downloaded on phones/Ipads and can also be used online) that is easy to use and really gives students a good visual representation of the characteristics of the polynomials we would look at.  For instance, below is an example of a quadratic function and students can see that a positive a value will make the graph open up.

unit-project

Before the handouts are given, we would watch two introduction videos to Desmos, one intro to Desmos video and one on sliders.  After that, in pairs, students will each complete a hand out that students will need to complete.  We would then go over it as a class.  If students disagree on an answer or are confused, you can project Desmos on the SmartBoard and the students can visually see what the answer is and a further discussion can be had.  I love using Desmos for this part of the unit because not only is it free but students can manipulate the graphs to find out the different characteristics on their own.

I realized after creating this lesson that there would be new definitions and concepts that students had not seen before.  I’m searching for a way to present these new definitions in a different way than me at the board saying ‘here is the word and this is the definition’.  I want to find some online app to use to change it up a bit.  So if you have any ideas, let me know please!  So the Desmos will really be the second lesson and I’m still thinking of a unique way to do the definitions!

So far, I think this major project is going well, even though I started the second lesson instead of the first lesson!  I’ve had a lot of fun so far creating handouts and finding new online apps to use in the classroom!

Edmodo

This week we were asked to look at any of the LSMs that we looked at in class.  I decided to look at Edmodo and use Edmodo for my major project for this class.  I really like Edmodo because it is an easy way to get in contact with students and parents.  You can post word documents/google docs so if students miss a class you can put the notes/assignment online and students can access it there.  I am not great with technology and I found the site easy to use.  You can also schedule to post things at a specific time or day.  The only thing about that is make sure to double check the date and time!  You don’t want to accidentally set something to post at 4am instead of 4pm!  Teachers can post assignments that students can complete online or print out and complete.  I would definitely use this in my class because it is easy to use and it is free!

edmodo

That is more or less what the homepage for a class might look like!

Major Project

This semester, I will be doing my major project on a Foundations of Mathematics 30 unit.  The unit I will be covering is part of the outcome FM30.7 Demonstrate understanding of the representation and analysis of data using: Polynomial functions with a degree less than 3.  I love this unit and am very excited to incorporate a variety of technology that I would not have thought of before this class!  I hope to gain different ways I can incorporate technology from this course.

I am excited for this opportunity because I am not great with technology.  I have a difficult time with it sometimes (actually, most of the time) so this will be a good opportunity for me to make myself better with using technology.

math

My game plan is to start out with looking at the unit, finding the key concepts and making a list of things I would expect students to know by the end of the unit.  From there, creating sections that the unit will be split into.  During this time, I will also be researching different technology applications to use during the unit.  Once I have the sections planned out, I will then start planning each individual lesson using different sources of multimedia.  I will also try to find ways to use technology with formative and summative assessment.

Graphing lines is so much fun and I really enjoy this topic in math so I’m looking forward to this major project!

Demonstration of Learning

My philosophy of assessment and evaluation has changed throughout this semester due to this class (ECS 410) and my pre-internship experience.  I thought I knew a little about assessment but this class showed me there is so much more to it than I thought.  Also, now I know the difference between assessment and evaluation, at the start of the semester I definitely thought they were the same thing.  Assessment is so important for teachers and students I am glad we were able to have the opportunity to take a class on assessment.

People assume that there are only tests and quizzes in math and I think for many math teachers that is the only option.  I have learned from this class though that there are many forms of assessment and we should be using them in math classes to help students succeed.  My philosophy now is that diagnostics should be done at the beginning of every unit and should never be for marks.  Then teachers can refer back to the diagnostic throughout the semester and it gives students a chance to demonstrate to teachers what they know and what they can improve on.  I rarely ever did diagnostics in high school but this is something I want to incorporate into my classroom.

This class opened my eyes to formative assessment.  Not everything needs to be for marks and I think students and parents need to realize that.  From my field experience it seemed like teachers were pressured to put marks into Home Logic.  Formative assessment is very important because it gives teachers a chance to see where students are and as a class, where they should go from there.  Overall my philosophy has changed a lot this semester and I am sure will change as I gain more experience in the classroom.

Assessment strategies:

There was a variety of assessment strategies that I tried during my pre-internship, here is three different ones that my partner and I tried.

Quiz – A check in to make sure students understand the work and not only doing it with peers.  For many students, their marks between the homework and the quiz differed quite a bit.  I would use the quiz again but change the wording because many students misread the question.  Maybe next time I would bold or underline key words.  This was a good check in for the unit because we were able to see where students were going wrong and what we needed to address before moving on.

Mid-Chapter Review: A multiple choice review, but students needed to show their work, they could not just select an answer.  I would use this assignment again.  I liked the format of this assignment, leaving blank space for students.  I gave more time for students if they needed it and most of them did need extra time.  I guided them through some questions; they knew how to do it but needed help getting there.

Co-op had a rule that students could correct assignments, hand them back in and get half marks for the corrections.  I think that is a good idea, because students would have motivation to do the corrections and see where they went wrong.

Chocolate cake challenge: Formative assessment (assessment by observation).  Jon and I walked around the classroom while students did the activity.  We saw most students engaged but still found that sometimes only one person in the partnership did the work.  I really enjoyed the activity though and would do the activity again.  It gave students a chance to figure out for themselves where the formula came from.  It was a neat experience because when I was in high school we were for sure just given the formula and told to plug in a number.

I did not include students in assessment though.  I would include students if I was doing a project, I would include them in the process of creating a rubric for the project.  My assessment and evaluation practices in the field aligned with my philosophy.  There were no real barriers that I had during pre-internship.  My partner and I had the same ideas of what kinds of assessment we wanted to do.  Our co-operating teachers had some requirements (unit tests, projects, quizzes) but we were able to design them ourselves if we wanted to.

3 Key Learnings:

  1. Tests are not the only option, that being said I don’t think there will be a day where high school students won’t have finals. There are such a variety of assessment strategies (group tests, diagnostic, journals, take home tests, projects, assignments, etc.) but I still feel like most math teachers still only use tests and quizzes for assessment strategies.  I honestly do not know how to be the only teacher using a variety of assessment strategies.  It might take students some getting used to because they probably aren’t used to different styles of assessment.
  1. Consistent marking is everything. Teachers need to keep their marking consistent for everything they correct.  I think having an outline of where the marks are coming from for each question can help with that.
  2. Differentiation is not always easy but it is so important. Before the semester started I really was not sure how to differentiate in the classroom.  From doing assignments, talking about it in class and my field experience I feel like I have a better understanding of how to differentiate.

 

ECS 410 – Blog Post #3

Pre-internship has been an amazing experience and I have learned a lot about teaching and assessment.  I have seen some variety of assessment strategies used in the math classes I have observed and/or taught, but a majority of the assessment strategies are tests, quizzes, diagnostic tests and homework assignments.  Some classes though, like a Workplace and Apprenticeship 20 class, might have a project that they do at the end of the unit.  We have talked a lot about different assessment strategies in education classes and I think they could be implemented in math classrooms but as of right now, I do not see many math teachers having a huge variety of assessment strategies.  I would like to try group tests, because then you could try more difficult questions and it would give the students a chance to work together to come up with answers.  The only worry with that for me is that one student might end up doing all of the work.

I also noticed at the school that I was at, is that all of the teachers I talked to did not do the outcome in Foundations 20 and Foundations 30 that require students to research a current topic in math or a topic in the history of math.  That makes me sad because I think it would give students a chance to find out what they genuinely enjoy could relate to mathematics.  This would be a form of assessment that is not commonly used in mathematics.

In the future if I want to try out different assessment strategies, I think I will need the support of my colleagues and parents to help incorporate these strategies because most likely the students will have not seen these strategies before.

ECS 410 – Blog Post #2

This week in my assessment class we were asked to read chapter seven and eight from the textbook Making Classroom Assessment Work written by Anne Davies.  In this reflection, I will talk about some parts of the assigned readings and discuss an article I found online.

In chapter seven, there was an example of a class who were doing a research assignment and the teacher noticed students were having some difficulty so she had the students create a list of what is important in a research project.  After the list was created, the class made a T-chart from the list.  Students were given a copy and highlighted what was true about their project and which criteria they have met and what they could improve on.  I think doing this is very beneficial for the students because they can see what they may need to work on for their project.  I think it is worth teachers trying this out

There was an online article that I read recently that was very interesting and I would definitely recommend reading the article.  In this article, a teacher talks about how for a media class she and the students decided what would be taught during the course, developed rubrics for projects and had a large say in what they were doing for assignments.  It was very interesting to see how she gave students control of the class and it ended with overall positive results.  I understand you would not be able to do this in a lot of classes but I still think it was a unique idea that I have never seen done before.

ECS 410 – Blog Post #1

We had a guest presentation this week in our assessment class from the Ministry of Education.  There were many discussions that we had and one of them that stuck out to me was the following question: is ’47 a 50’?, which means that at the end of the semester if a student has a 47% it is the same as a 50%.  For me, I hope that it would not come to making a decision at the end of the semester whether a 47 is a 50.  If a student is failing a class, action should be taken so that the student does not end up in that situation at the end of the semester.  On the other hand, if students do not take action themselves then the question might be: Should a student pass if they didn’t put the effort in when they knew they were in danger of failing a class?  Also, does it make a difference if something in their personal life is affecting them?  I don’t think I would pass a student if they did not pass the course but who knows what I would do if I was in that situation.  I do not think I can know for sure until I am in that situation.

We were asked to read the third and fourth chapter from the textbook Making Classroom Assessment Work written by Anne Davies.  I am going to talk about something I read in chapter two though.  I like the idea of having goal setting conferences, which was something mentioned in this chapter.  This is when parents/guardians are invited to talk about the student’s strengths and areas that may need improvement.  I think this would be beneficial for students and would give the teacher a good idea of who the students are.  I do not think high school teachers get to know parents as well as they could in some cases because some schools have parent teacher conferences with their homeroom teachers instead of their teachers, which was how it was done at my high school.  In my education math class though we talked about why some parents/guardians may be unable to attend these meetings so that is something that would be needed to take into consideration.  Overall though, I hope this is something I could try out in my classroom because I think it could help myself and the students.

Treaty Education

Treaty Education is required to be taught to all grade levels, yet there are teachers who do not teach Treaty Education for whatever their reason is.  What bugs me is that teachers do not take math units out of what they teach because they do not think they need to teach it, but somehow teachers can take out teach Treaty Education and some people think this is okay.  For my practicum last year there is a checklist of things that we had needed to do and one was incorporate Treaty Education into a lesson and my professor told the class that many times the box gets checked whether you did it or not.

Some teachers have the mindset that if there is no First Nations, Inuit or Metis students that Treaty education does not need to be taught and that should never happen.  Every Canadian is a Treaty person because we are living on Treaty land and therefore it is important that everyone learns and understands the history of Treaties.  All teachers should acknowledge that and talk with their students about why we are all Treaty People.  It is a difficult position that the preservice teacher is in but I think my advice to her would try and talking to the teacher about why they think Treaty Education is important.  Also, Claire could probably help the person out with resources.  But overall, this makes me sad to hear that some teachers having that philosophy when it comes to Treaty Education.