January Recap from a Master of Teaching Point of View

by Caitlin
Master of Teaching student

Hi blog-o-sphere! Its the beginning of February and you know what that means…its time for my monthly recap.

A lot happened during January…and by that I mean a lot of assignments! Most of my classes are full year classes, and a bunch of assignments were due this month! I’ve never really talked about my assignments, mostly because they are reflective pieces and I usually share my exciting reflective pieces here!

But I decided to shake it up this month and give you a breakdown of the assignments I have handed in or are working on before practicum starts! Most of the emails I get is about the workload, so I want to share with you what your January might look like if you are an MT student!

I’ve broken it down by class, so here we go…


  • Facilitation- Each student is responsible to facilitate a discussion on the readings for the week. I presented a facilitation on critical literacy. Many of the books I mentioned in my library post are books I used for this facilitation. 2 great things came out of this assignment: I got to develop a deeper understanding on critical literacy and I added some new books to my wish list! (I mentioned some of these books in my blogpost here!)
  • End of term task- During practicum, I need to find examples of literacy in the classroom that changed or added to my pedagogy on literacy. I have a feeling on what I will be looking for, especially with the expectations my new AT has set for me…(if you are interested in learning what these expectations are click here!)


  • Professional Ethics Mind Map- as a group, we had to research one article about a teacher crossing professional boundaries and violating our professional standard of ethics. Once we have found it, we had to determine which standards they have broken and justify if the disciplinary action they were given was just. It was interesting to hear about the different cases. This assignment helped ground me and realize that yes, there is fun to be had on the job but if there is ever a slip up, the consequences are huge!
  • Field trip-in pairs, we get to plan out a field trip and go on it! But before we can, we need to do some research, write a proposal, look at the logistics, arrange transportation and create a backup plan. I don’t have a lot of information of this assignment yet, but I am excited to plan and go on a field trip!


  • Math lesson- we arranged ourselves in groups for our math lesson. In the fall, we began to  plan a lesson for 4 students. We had to follow the Ontario Math curriculum, and focus on one strand (specific) expectation. My group got grade 3 data management. So we created a coffeeshop for our lesson! We had a menu board with items for the students to buy and we were brave enough to give the students real money to use. (Don’t worry, we set the expectations before bringing the money out!) We had students figure out what they wanted to buy from the coffee shop, and determine how much money they would need. We then extended the task by asking them to create different variations of their total. It was a huge success! I wish we could have done the lesson with more students!
  • Reflection- Now, I need to start working on my reflection for that lesson. I need to address some observations I had during the lesson, expand on it with theory and reflect on the whole lesson. I can’t wait to get this reflection done and explain all the highlights from the lesson.


  • Unit Plans- for both classes, Social Studies and Science I have to design a whole unit plan! Thankfully I am able to complete the project with a partner (Social Studies) or a group of 4 (Science). Both unit plans must include 2 full lesson plans, a calendar, the big ideas and curriculum expectations.
  • Museum assignment- for Social Studies, we were asked to go to either the ROM or the Bata Shoe Museum and sketch 3 artifacts. We then had to relate how we would use it in the classroom, or how we would introduce the artifact on a trip to the Museum. I am a huge nerd of museums, so I was so excited to do this assignment. I was one of those people who sat in front of the artifact…so if you saw me do that…I apologize..
  • Current Event Presentation- in groups of 4, we had to present a current event topic, find how we could teach about this current event in school, link it to a curriculum expectation and reflect why its so important. We chose to address homelessness in Toronto and linked it to the Grade 5 Social Studies expectations.


  • Literature Review-Part of the major research paper for my masters is the literature review. And let me tell you what I have realized when writing this. In undergrad, I wrote literature reviews to satisfy course requirements and was often bored because I was limited to a topic. But this literature review is different. Its personal and its all the information I need to know to better understand my research questions. I found myself looking for more information each day, which was good if I had months to write it, but bad since I only had 3 weeks to write it.
  • Critical Peer Review-Once my literature review is submitted, my professor reads it and also another student in the class does too. I read my partner’s work and produce a review of what I thought of their work. I synthesize the strengths, areas of improvement, and provide recommendations for their next draft. I really like this assignment as I get to learn about my peers’ research paper and I get to compare the structure of my paper to theirs.
  • Facilitation-similar to the literacy facilitation, I guide a discussion on the readings that week and have my group members dig deeper into the material. Often the facilitator relates the article back to our teaching pedagogy or research paper so we can develop our “theory to practice” skills.


  • Creativity assignment- I spoke about my creativity assignment in this blog post. Check out my full post here
  • Portfolio- We get to design our teaching portfolio that we will carry throughout our careers. We can insert lesson plans, code of ethics, observations and assignments that best represent our educational pedagogy and disposition. I haven’t completed this assignment yet, but once I do, I will post it for you guys to see!

I hope this gives you a glimpse into the variety of assignments you can expect when you enrol into the MT program. If you need any clarification on anything, let me know!

Are you curious about the OISE student experience? Contact me:

Email: oise.ambassador@utoronto.ca

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