Thursday, October 28, 2010


Guardians of Ga'hoole was a huge hit with my grade 7 student! I gave her the book three weeks ago and by the time we saw each other again on Monday she had read books 1-4 and was working on book 5! FANTASTIC! So I HIGHLY suggest the book!

The bad news is.... is that I hadn't read it so I couldn't really talk much with her about it but I will try to get some ideas over the weekend to chat with her about it on Monday! Hopefully there is a webpage with resources out there somewhere!

Also, my grade 9 student read 'Hard Love' and she really liked it. We also had a lot of things to say about the book and to discuss. Luckily, I had read this book in a previous EDCI class and had noted a few important things to talk about. However, I think I would definitely have to read over it again, take notes, high light, add sticky notes etc.

Mini Lesson --> bringing me down

So on Monday I produced a 15 minute mini lesson in my English class.

Personal Comments:
1. The teacher gave me back comments about my work and the frustrating part was she was saying to give more time for things or to add a few things in between... I only had 15 minutes! I already went over time! Obviously I would have had a way better lesson if I had more time :( That part was frustrating to hear that I could have read it, got the kids to read it, asked questions first, then got in to groups etc. but obviously if I had more time to make it in to a REAL lesson I would have done a lot more work on it. Something that wasn't mentioned was that I would have defined some more words within the story. There were at least two that were hard words to know.
2. It was great to actually get up in front of the class! However, I really didn't feel very confident in my knowledge. I was also told that I should have paraphrased what my students said and maybe gave more examples of things, but at the time, I just didn't feel confident enough in re-wording what had already been said in fear that I would say it wrong! So that right there busted down my teaching confidence level a lot.
3. I realized I really am not as prepared to be a teacher as I thought. I love the actual TEACH of WHAT I KNOW. But the problem is, is that I am feeling like I really don't KNOW that much about English, or at least be as 'prestigious' and 'literate' as my professor and classmates. My English Confidence has sunken to about a 2 out of 10.

Therefore.... I hope that I get a teaching job in something like Psychology, Planning 9/10, Peer helping, etc. and maybe only one block of English.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Issues in schools....

The one thing that really got to me about the high school I went to, was something that probably happens across all the schools. I also see the same problem at my work:

-Coming to class unprepared (missing books, writing materials etc.)
-Not handing in assignments

I think I am going to do my assignment for my seminar class on this topic.
I have found that 'a lot of young people to day' seem to disregard time restraints and the importance of being on time.
It frustrates me so much that young people at my work are always absent from work or late.
Are teachers being too lenient on due dates? Do they have any power over it? What can I do as a teacher to make sure my students are handing things in on time?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Back to school.... or from school?

Hey everyone!
So... to sum up my observation:

1. Most of the teachers were sick for a few days so it was very hard to track down the teachers that were recommended to me
2. Since most of the teachers were sick, if they were at school, they ended up not doing too much of a lesson because their voices hurt/they weren't feeling well
3. A lot of teachers said to me 'today is going to be a bit of a weird day but feel free to watch' and so most of the time they did group projects/worked on homework, etc.
4. I only really saw 3 full lessons at most

However, I was still really happy with my experience. Everyone on staff was very friendly and helpful. I was really interested in watching how the students were, to see their reactions to things, and to watch the classroom management skills of the teachers. I was very impressed with what I saw and I did learn a few things to do/not to do when it comes to classroom management. I'll be honest, I'm kind of scared that we won't go over classroom management skills as much as I would prefer!
Anyways, now it's back to the University Life!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

First day! AWESOME!!!

Oh my gosh my first day was awesome!
It was quite a Fluke but as I was waiting outside one of the classrooms a friend of a friend happened to be teaching at Parkland! It was great to see her and during the staff meeting after school she introduced me to one of the teachers I really wanted to meet and sit in on! Fantastic!

So block A:

We just did a school tour

Block B: I sat in on a Grade 9 Intro to Math class which was great to watch because the kids were all excited about getting their immunization shots and because me and Jocelyn were sitting in on the class.

Block C: I sat in on a Spanish class and learned about two media programs! 1. Xtranormal 2. Pixton. I thought it was a fabulous idea for teaching secondary languages because you can make dialogue and hear the characters speak it or you can make little cartoons!
She also suggested I check out Prezi and Blogster.... so I'll have to do that sometime!

Oh and the best part? Is that she invited me to teach her Spanish 9 class for a week when we do our 5 week practicum! SWEET! I sure hope I get in to this school!

Block D: I sat in on my friends class and we watched the last bit of the movie Titanic. During this class I realized that all the classrooms had projectors set up for media which is great!

Then after school we stuck around for a staff meeting and I met one of the teachers that teaches English and Theatre and I have set up a whole day with her tomorrow as well as one block with another teacher that my friend suggested.

I think I am going to ask them to introduce me to the other teacher I am interested in watching so that I can set up my Thursday!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Powerpoint Succeeds!

So I showed my grade 7/9 students the power point as well and it was great! They really enjoyed having something to look at and I felt they were more confident in trying to answer the questions they were reading than if they just had me to look at. When the two of us are just looking at each other they feel the pressure to answer correctly or answer right away so they don't even try. Therefore, if I give them something to look at (like a computer screen) they are more likely to take their time, stare at the screen, and are less likely to feel my eyes on them (feel pressured). I will try to continue using powerpoint presentations for my tutoring sessions and see how it works out.

Also, I have my observation placement: Parkland Secondary School!!
I am really excited and I see that they teach Psychology 11 so I am going to try to meet the Psych teachers, as well as the counsellors, Spanish teachers, Math 9 teachers and, of course, the English teachers!

Another good thing about Parkland is that it is in the same school district as my old high school (District 63) so it might help to make teacher connections in the same school district so I can try to get on the teacher on call list in that area!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Another new book...

I just bought this book from my work. I know it has just come out in theatres but that could be a fun 'compare and contrast' essay topic! And who doesn't love watching a movie as homework!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Powerpoint in the classroom....

So I made a small powerpoint presentation for my grades 7-10 students about literary terms. I thought it might be good for them to have something to look at while I was talking.
Today I showed it to Sam and then we went over a short story, 'Bread' by Margaret Atwood, and discussed the terms in comparison to the story. Sam did pretty well! I was impressed!
We then moved on to some grammar exercises that were in a book I borrowed from the Curriculum lab. However, I think the book was a bit too easy for him so I'll have to see what else I can find.
I have to say that I am really impressed with the questions Sam asks. Every session he has asked at least one good question so at least I know he is interested in learning and is thinking about what he has been learning!

Right now we are starting work on a book report. He has chosen to read "Holes" from my portable Library. Hopefully he really enjoys it and I can actually get him in to reading!