Monday, November 22, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
.........at least I have a start for this weeks posts.......
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
I find that it is incredibly difficult (although not impossible) to incorporate student discovery if it’s on the first day where a new unit has started. In a class like precalculus, when a new unit is introduced, there is a lot of information that needs to be given to students in order for them to proceed with each subsequent section of the unit. For example, before a student can do transformation to trig expressions they mush know trig identities and these identities or properties are given. I can see how we can let students explore the discovery of the Pythagorean expression by drawing a right triangle on a coordinate grid but this is mostly, these properties are given. Within a time constraint, it would be difficult to have students discover all the properties themselves. Whether or not students memorize the properties or discover their applications, it seems that just as long as they are able to recall this information is what counts (merely a statement based on observation and not an opinion).
Usually you will have a lesson prepared prior to actually teaching the class but throughout the day you make changes to your lesson plan as you discover what works well and what doesn’t in class. As you make these amendments, you apply these changes to your future classes and at the end of the day you have a lesson plan that can be used for next year. If we take these lesson plans at the end of the day and put them in a binder, we would have a complete set of lessons already prepared to use for next year! (minding that adaptations will be made contingent on the skill level of each class-since that changes every year as well.)
Monday, November 1, 2010
While creating my lesson plans, I had to incorporate a lot of equations. I had to insert the object ‘Equation Editor’ and then once I click out of the highlighted area, the window for Equation Editor disappears. Then if I had to use it again, I would have to go to the task bar and insert an object again. This would not be as time consuming if I only had to use this function once but I was constantly using the Equation Editor and therefore would have liked to have the window open all the time. On one of the computers, this ability is available but unfortunately the one I’m on does not-until yesterday that is! We had a worksheet creator installed on the computer where I’m located that has the equation editor loaded on it, so now I am able to use the Equation Editor as a separate window! Fantastic! Then I went home to check that I have this capability on my Mac because again I was just inserting the equation editor as an object. Fortunately, Equation Editor on my Mac can be opened as a separate window by finding it under my applications! YAY!
When I was creating my first lesson that will be observed, I realized how difficult it was to find the standards that my lesson will align with. I asked my cooperating teacher what standards he looks at when preparing for his lessons for PreCalculus and he stated that there are no true standards exactly outlined for PreCalculus. So I took my dilemma to class to make my inquiry there and I was given the same answer. What I have to do is pick out different standards outlined from other subjects (like algebra) and the general math standards and see what in my lesson covers those standards. It makes it more difficult for me to pinpoint exactly what standards I am trying to address in class, unlike Algebra where the standards being addressed are specifically stated.
I went into a classroom where the teacher has a microphone that she wears around her neck and at the back of the class are the speakers (which I may add has great sound quality). This was provided to her from the school because of vocal difficulties she has but I thought it was a great idea for those who cannot seem to project their voices (such as I). It just feels like I’m yelling when I try to project my voice although, since I cannot hear myself from the back of the classroom so I cannot confirm if my “yelling voice” is necessary. I asked input from my CT regarding my teaching voice and there has been a few times where my volume had to be turned up but otherwise I am acclimating myself to the volume I need. I just feel that having a microphone is so official! =)
My cooperating teacher an I have developed a plan that I would start working with students during their PAWs break on their math assignments. I wanted to present some of them the opportunity to raise their grades up in math class, but initially I was thinking of providing them extra work that they can get points on to boost their grades. When it was decided that there would be no extra points awarded, I felt that I lost my “hook” to lure the kids into taking the time to work with me so I was a little bit hesitant in offering help to these students if they felt that they will no receive immediate rewards. However, when I approached the students, I asked them how they felt about their grade in math at the moment and when they responded that they are doing poorly, I asked them if they would like the opportunity to do better and they gladly agreed. I merely told them that I want to help them raise their grade by offering my time and assistance when they needed it. I think that they are really willing to work with me or their response was to merely get my out of their face. We shall see…
That feeling of being completely exhausted engulfed me on Friday. One would think that creating lessons and mentally and physically preparing for class would not be so difficult but ohhhh noo, it does wear one out. I think that the well-rested, casual and fluent demeanor that many experienced teachers carry so well can only come with time and practice-something that I am only starting to do. Also planning for my after school tutoring sessions also takes a toll on my time but I think it wouldn’t be as bad if the content aligned itself to the content I am teaching in school..but no, I have to prepare chemistry lessons after class while teaching math in school. =)
I realize now how long it takes to make an electronic version of a group test. The original test was handwritten, and although it was very functional as-is, I thought it would be beneficial for my cooperating teacher to have a test stored electronically where the document can be easily edited without having to rewrite the entire test. Also, I really wanted to test out my new graph-making skills and what better way to do it than for a group test. Although the conversion was a much longer process than I anticipated-it was well worth the time.