Tag Archives: practicum

Fall Practicum Report 2: Literacy is Everywhere!

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by Caitlin
Master of Teaching student

 

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I introduced each colour by reading a book and engaged in a critical discussion about the themes or the colour representation. I wanted to give you my book list and some guiding questions that I used.

Colour Inquiry

Book

Author

Background and Guiding questions

Red Red is Best  Kathy Stinson This story follows a little girl’s love for red. A good book to talk about feelings and how colours can make us feel good. I used a clip of “Anger” from Inside Out, to demonstrate that colours can make us feel different emotions.

  1.  How does red make the little girl feel?
  2. What items were red?
Orange Sixteen Runaway Pumpkins  Dianne Ochiltree We used this book on “Orange and Black” spirit day. A simple book that can be used to emphasize counting and one-to-one correspondence.

  1. Can you find more orange items in the book?
  2. Is there any orange items in the classroom?
Yellow Girl on the yellow giraffe  Ronald Himler This book can be used to enter into a discussion about poverty and living conditions. It is very simple, so you may need to read it a couple of times in order for students to pick up on it.

  1. Why did the girl love her yellow giraffe?
  2. Was the giraffe real? How do you know?
Green Little yellow and little blue  Leo Lionni  An awesome book to introduce mixing colours. Also, has an underlying message about friendship and families.

  1. What happened when little yellow and little blue played together?
  2. How did they turn back to their original colour.
Blue Red: a crayon’s story  Michael Hall This is a great book to have students make predictions with. The main character is a red crayon who is actually a blue crayon! Write your students predictions before reading, and come back to it after!

  1. What do you think this book is about? Why do you think that..?
  2. Why was everyone confused with the Red crayon?
  3. What happened in the end?
Purple Mix it up!  Herve Tullet  This is the book that helped my students learn about mixing colours. I did the colour volcanos after reading the book so I could reinforce the ideas.

  1. What happens when you mix…
    Red and Blue?
    Red and Yellow?
    Yellow and Blue?
  2. If I wanted a lighter colour, what colour do i add to it?
  3. If I wanted a darker colour, what colour do I add to it?
White and Brown White rabbits color book  Alan Baker Another great book to reinforce mixing colours. Also it helps children learn that white helps keep colours vibrant. I created a bunch of white bunnies on chart paper prior to the lesson and invited students to come up and colour as we wen
t along. (Spoiler alert, the white rabbit turns brown in the end!)

  1.  If the bunny was dipped in yellow and red paint, what colour would it be in the end?
  2. If the bunny was dipped in yellow and blue paint, what colour would it be in the end?
  3. If the bunny was dipped in blue and red paint, what colour would it be in the end?
  4. What colour was the bunny in the end?
Black and Grey The black book of Colours  Menena Cottin This wonderful book gives you an idea how a person without sight sees colour. All the pages are black, and the pictures are raised off of the page just like braille. This story helps children understand what colours look like if you were blind.

  1. What did the story say yellow felt like?
  2. What did the story say red felt like?
  3. What did the story say blue was like?
How colour make us feel My Many Coloured Days  Dr. Seuss This is one of Dr. Seuss’ hidden gems! This book helps give examples of how colours can make you feel. This was a great lesson near the end of the inquiry, to wrap up the concepts we spoke about in the Red lesson

  1. What colours make you feel good?
  2. What colours make you feel mad?
  3. What colours make you feel sad?
Skin colour Skin again

The Colors of Us

Bell Hooks

Karen Katz

These two books are great at introducing different skin colours and addressing some stereotypes that people may have about skin colours. I was unable to get the Colors of Us on loan from the library, so I found a youtube video that reads it outloud! Find it here!

  1. Look at your friends on the left and right, do you guys have the same skin colour?
  2. Some people may use the “peach” colour to colour themselves. Do you use the peach colour too? Why or why not?

 

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

Email: oise.ambassador@utoronto.ca

Fall Practicum Report 1: Inquiry Without Borders

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by Caitlin
Master of Teaching student

Hey guys. I know its been a while! I finished my 4 week practicum block on November 20th, and then I started my last 3 weeks of the fall semester on November 23rd! If you have read my other blog post, you will know that I was sick the last couple of days of practicum. So I was not a happy camper going back to school exhausted and sick 🙁

But enough of my sick self, and lets talk about my practicum. I was in a Full Day Kindergarten class in York Region. My AT was amazing! This was the first time I saw and was apart of an inquiry and play based model She really let the students’ inquires guide the discussions, activities and interactions in the class.

During my first experience day, my AT asked if I could teach a colour unit with the class. She let me create my own unit, and lent me some resources to use. I was excited as it was my first inquiry unit! But then again, it was my first inquiry unit! I had no idea how to implement anything…so I turned to a teacher’s best friend, Pinterest!

After sifting through an overwhelming amount of “pins,” I realized that there had to be some structure to the inquiry unit. So I decided to to have a  general discussion about colours on the first day and then focus on a colour a day until the end of the inquiry. Before we began our colour inquiry of the day, I read a book to set create a focus for the day. I have a detailed book list in this blog post here.

I didn’t want to just read the book and have the students be on there way. I wanted to incorporate a variety of activities to accompany the colour of the day too.  I had to think of flexible and differentiated ways to engage my young learners. In doing this I was able to engage in cross-curricular subjects or create lessons for subjects I was not familiar with! I wanted to share some of my activities that are simple, meaningful and exciting to my students.

Math

  • Students were able to sort various classroom materials by colour. We sorted legos, coloured letters, jewels, and much more
  • Students made colour patterns. I cut up strips of chart grid paper and had students create their own pattern using colours. I clipped the strips onto clipboards so the strips did not slip around when they coloured. If you decide to do this, try and have students vocalize the colours as they colour the squares. It will help them remain focused and on task.
  • Created different patterns using link cubes.

I have done math in my previous practicums but I was so excited to engage students in doing coloured math lessons! They were having so much fun and didn’t know they were learning math.

Science

  • We experimented and made colour volcanos from this page. The kids loved it, especially with the overflow of liquids! We co-created the chart paper together. We identified the materials, our predictions and wrote down what the two colours made. I had two students come up and help me pour the coloured vinegars together. They loved that part and seeing the overflow!!  If you decide to do this experiment, make the coloured vinegar as concentrated as possible. Like put a lot of food colouring in there! I only used 8 drops per colour and the colour pay off wasn’t that great.
  • We tried to make snow slime.…and it was only great to play with for one day. The students had a lot of fun to make it, especially sprinkling the glitter in! This recipe was alright, but I don’t think I put enough borax in there. I will try and experiment with another recipe next time

I have never been interested in science, and I really didn’t like how it was taught when I was in school. Even though these two activities did not pan out the way I expected it to, I think they were a great start to my future years of teaching science.

Literacy

  • I cut up construction paper and wrote out the letters, in upper case and lower case. I had students help me construct the word on

    the board after I read the book. I also had additional letter cut outs on the literacy table.
  • Students used white boards to try and practiced writing the colour of the day.
  • I left the coloured books out on a table
    in the classroom. I didn’t tell the students I left them there. I wanted them to “discover” and read the book independently.

I had to create different activities as my students had a range of needs and strengths. For those who couldn’t write their letters, I had the letter cut outs so they could at least arrange the letters to form the word. For those who were interested in reading, I had the books out for them to look at without any judgment.

Social Studies and Socio-Emotional Development

  • We engaged in discussions about different skin colours and how each person’s skin colour tells us a story about our history and family. I started this discussion by using two books, “The Colours of Us” by Karen Katz and “Skin again” by Bell Hooks
  • We talked about how colours make us feel. The students often said that their favourite colour made them feel happy. So when the students drew themselves, using one colour, they often said their favourite colour makes them feel good or happy.

Students have a profound way of communicating themselves, and these lessons were no exception to that fact. Never underestimate a child’s power to connect and express their feelings about themselves or their global community.

Fine-motor Development

  • My AT found these long foamies at the dollar store. She thought these would be great for students to cut out and exercise their fine motor abilities. They surprisingly had so much fun doing it! After we cut them up, we put them in our sensory bin and had students sort them amongst the other colours. For even more fine motor development, students could use tongs and have them pick them up!

This is a crucial area that needs developing, especially in the early years. For some of my students, they couldn’t even hold a pencil correctly. This task helped them gain control in their muscles and move their fingers accordingly.

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

Email: oise.ambassador@utoronto.ca

Master of Teaching Vocabulary

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by Caitlin
Master of Teaching Student

Greetings Blog-o-sphere. When writing my last post, I realized that I throw around acronyms or words around that many of you may not know. It’s like we have a specific MT vocabulary. So I decided that I would clarify some words and provide my definitions for them. So here we go!

Teacher Candidate (TC)- That’s what we call the students in the MT program, or in any education program for that matter. We haven’t earned our stripes as Teachers yet but we are suitable candidates for the job! In practicum you will be probably introduced as a TC or Student Teacher by your AT.

Cohort-These are the other TCs you will be studying with for the next 2 years of the program. The MT program is huge that all TCs are separated into specific groups or cohorts by their grade level. For example, I am in PJ 161, which means I can teach Primary/Junior. 161 is our cohort number.

25/26 of my cohort friends with some of our loved ones at our Holiday Party

Primary Division-Kindergarten to Grade 3

Junior Division- Grade4-6

Intermediate Division-Grade 7-12

Practicum-The period of practice teaching in a classroom/learning environment. Each TC should get a different practicum site every fall and winter, and hopefully in a different division. For example, I had a Grade 3 class in the fall (primary) and I am currently in a Grade 6 class in the winter (junior).

The layout of my Grade 3 class for my first practicum.

 

 

Before school starts, the Practicum Team asks which school boards you would prefer to work in. You are asked to give three options. It is likely that you will receive your first option, but I know of some people getting their second instead. You are unable to pick which school you want to teach at, just the specific board. The school boards have to be located in the GTA.

Field Experience Days-These are two or three days selected by the MT program for you to go and observe your practicum classroom. You are not required to teach, but if you are like me you can’t help yourself. I often spend the morning to familiarize myself with the classroom routine and strategies used by the AT. Then in the afternoon, I try and walk around the classroom and help out with the lessons.

Associate Teacher (AT)-This is your mentor teacher in the classroom. They should be the person you turn to for support and guidance when you are in practicum. They also evaluate mid-way through and at the end of your practicum. The final evaluations become attached to your Master’s transcripts, so when you apply for teaching positions, school boards and employers will have access to them.

Educational Assistant (EA)-EA’s are in the classroom to help students who have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Individualized Program Plan (IPP). In my last placement, I had an EA in my class and she brought so much life into the classroom. She was like our little ray of sunshine.

Faculty Advisor-This is an OISE MT professor who comes to supervise you during practicum. They visit you twice, once in the first two weeks and once in the last two weeks. If there are any issues you don’t feel comfortable telling your AT, you should seek guidance from the Faculty Advisor

I hope this cleared up any confusion you may have! Let me know if you need further clarification on any of the terms.

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

Email: oise.ambassador@utoronto.ca

Preparing for My Winter Practicum

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by Caitlin
Master of Teaching student

 

Its almost that time of the year and I’m so excited! And no, I’m not talking about Valentine’s Day or the Lunar New Year but the start of Winter Practicum!

Before practicum starts on Feb 18, I am given 2 Field Experience Days to go in, meet my class and take some notes. On my first Field Experience Day I went to meet my class. I am teaching Grade 6 and there are 31 students in the class! And to my surprise, one of my cousins is in my class! What a crazy first day to learn all those wonderful facts!

Knowing the expectations of practicum, I took the initiative to ask my AT a lot of questions about the classroom, strategies she uses and her long-term plans for the class. We also set the expectations of my lesson plans and what I will be teaching during practicum. I am so excited for the lessons I am responsible for, so I decided to share it with you!

1. Math! I am given the challenge to teach math again. I am quite nervous but I am also optimistic that I can do this! I don’t know what unit I am teaching just yet, but on Friday for my second Field Experience Day I will be given the student textbook, workbook and teacher’s resource guide to prepare myself.

2. Speeches/Oral Presentations. I mentioned in my last practicum posts that I helped my Grade 3’s with their oral presentations skills. I am excited to implement the strategies that I used with my Grade 6’s.

3. Religion and Art lessons. My AT told me that she integrates Religion and Art often, and I could not be more excited to do some lessons. I recently finished my Catholic Education course, which is the introductory course that allows TC’s to teach in Catholic school. And I have always been creative, so I am excited to mesh the two together.

I’m sure I will be responsible for more lesson plans, and I will be sure to update you. I expect this practicum will be different than my last practicum when I had 19 students in my Grade 3 class. But I am up for the challenge! LETS GET THIS DONE!

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

Email: oise.ambassador@utoronto.ca

January Recap from a Master of Teaching Point of View

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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…

CTL7000H LITERACY

  • 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!)

CTL7001H EDUCATIONAL PROFESSIONALISM

  • 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!

CTL7002H MATHEMATICS

  • 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.

CTL7003H SCIENCE/SOCIAL STUDIES

  • 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.

CTL7006H REFLECTIVE TEACHING AND RESEARCH

  • 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.

CTL7014H FUNDAMENTALS OF TEACHING

  • 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

Beyond Graduation: Professional Preparation Conference Recap

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by Caitlin
Master of Teaching student

Every winter the, OISE Social Services department hosts a Professional Preparation Conference for Consecutive BEd, Concurrent BEd, Masters of Teaching, and Masters of Arts (CSE) students. The conference is a three day event that features different workshops and talks from employers, teacher unions and school boards.

I had the pleasure of attending the three day conference. Although this conference is directed towards graduating BEd students and year 2 Masters students, I wanted to familiarize myself with some of the material to better prepare myself for next year’s conference. And how selfish would it be if I didn’t share this information with you! Whether you are in year 1 or an incoming student, the facts I share with you can help you familiarize yourself with the education network and information.

The Schedule

Day 1 was to prepare the Teacher Candidates(TC) for interviews, whether its for the Public, Catholic or Independent board. TC’s were involved in mock interviews where they could practice answering interview questions. TC’s were also involved in the following workshops/seminars: Resume Writing & Interview Skills, Transferable Skills Exploration and Understanding Online Applications. To read more about the online applications workshop, click here for my advice on accessing it.

Day 2 was dedicated to prepare TC’s for issues or problems that may arise in the classrooms. There were mini-sessions targeting various issues in the classroom. I hope that next year I will be able to attend more mini-sessions that I am interested in. This year the snow storm caused many of the mini-sessions to be cancelled. In the afternoon, there were seminars held by the Teacher Unions in Ontario: Ontario Teacher’s Federation, Elementary Teacher’s Federation of Ontario and the Ontario English Catholic Teacher’s Association. The day was wrapped by a panel for Alternative, Innovative and Inspiring Career Paths for Teachers. I was incredibly inspired by this panel that I expanded on 3 key points in this blog entry here.

Day 3 was reserved for the Employment and Professional Information Fair. I found great resources and contacted some future employers at the fair. I compiled a list of every organization at the fair, and you can check it out here. While the fair was running, there were seminars by the Ontario College of Teachers, OISE’s Continuing Education and the Qualifications Evaluation Council of Ontario.

If you missed out on the articles I have written about the Conference, check them out below:

Are you curious about OISE student life? Contact me:

Email: oise.ambassador@utoronto.ca

November Recap from a Master of Teaching Point of View

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by Caitlin
Master of Teaching student

It’s beginning to look like the end of fall semester….

As I say in every monthly recap, but where did November go? I wanted to share one memory that has stuck with me since leaving practicum.

One day during a classroom discussion, one of my students raised their hand and asked “Ms. Cheung, would you rather have a million dollars or be a teacher?” All the students looked at him and then to me for my response.

I was stunned by this question. For one, we were taking up the math homework. Secondly, this question always pops into my mind when I’m contemplating what my next “step” is. The teaching profession is not the most glamorous, in demand or a respected field. At the end of the day, this world is driven by profit and capitalistic ideals. Why not enter a different field that allows for a more financially stable lifestyle?

Before I could think of a response, a student broke the silence and said “She obviously would rather be a teacher if she’s here.” I wouldn’t have responded exactly in that way, but it captured the essence of what I was going to say.

Everyday of practicum, I woke up excited to get to school and teach my students the lesson that I prepared. I got to see my smiling, sometimes not awake, students file into the hallway. The best part was hearing them scream from the hallways “GOOD MORNING MS. CHEUNG!” And after a gentle reminder we are not outdoors, I have the students come and get ready for their morning schedule. The day would carry out with the same intensity and energy as we had started. And by the end of the day, I had to sit down and really reflect what happened in the class.

I am busy by nature. I am always up and about doing something. I am always standing and walking around because I get to anxious if I sit for too long. I don’t think I could pick a better field than education. It just fit right into education, and education fits right into my life. I am deeply passionate about teaching my students new things, sparking their curiosity and having them become more conscious of the world around them.

I am sorry to say if you are not passionate about education, you have chose the wrong field and the wrong school. OISE is for passionate, dedicated and diverse students that want to learn and keep up with the ever-changing landscape of education. OISE really prepares you to view the world in a different way, which in turn makes you look at education differently.

And so I end this what I told that boy in the middle of our math lesson. “I wouldn’t chose any other job than teaching. Even if they offered me two million dollars, three million dollars or four, I would chose to come to see you guys everyday and teach you. And I know this can’t happen just yet because I am not a teacher yet, but if I could I would. And now, who can tell me what number 4 is?”

 

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

Email: oise.ambassador@utoronto.ca

Fall Practicum Report 6: Kids say the Darnest Things

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by Caitlin
Master of Teaching student

The other day I came across an article listing 24 notes kids have left. Little did they know, these notes brightened up my Tuesday morning. The messages they wrote were direct, blunt and down right hilarious. I will include the link for you to check out here: 24 kids who are wise beyond their years.

Reading the article prompted me to show you some of the hilarious, heartwarming, or inspiring messages from my students. I have written a caption of what they wrote underneath each picture. You also might notice some blurred areas of the pictures; I have blurred the names to respect the confidentiality of my students.

 

“Dear Mrs. Cheung. 
I hope you have fun in university. But you know we want you to be happy. But we will miss you. So good bye!”

If you are a female teacher, you are bound to run into this problem. Kids will always mistaken you as Miss or Mrs. Many times I had to tell my kids, that I am not married yet and I am Miss Cheung.

“Starbucks cafe”

 “We will miss you Ms. Cheung. Starbucks” 

Everyday, I arrived to school with Starbucks tumbler full of coffee or tea. Eventually my students found out that I looooove Starbucks. So most of my cards had Starbucks coffee cups! Mmmm!

“P.S Thanks for letting me teach you recorder!”

This card was from the student that taught me the recorder. If you haven’t read the story about that, here is my previous article on it.

“Dearest Ms. Cheung,
We will miss you so much. I like you because you are an awesome student teacher. But the rest I am speechless.”

When I read this out loud in class, I couldn’t stop laughing! How hilarious was this message?

 

“Dear Ms. Cheung.
We will miss you so much. I like you because you’re the best teacher. LOL best teacher make happy.”

As the previous student said… I am speechless! Haha!

“Dearest Ms. Cheung,
We will miss you so much. I like you because:
1) You are an awesome student teacher
2) You teach great math lessons
3) You’re always willing to help
4) You’re always nice
5) You taught us to become great public speakers”

I loved all of the cards my students made, but this specific one struck a cord with me. It just reassured me that I am in the right field. I loved getting to know each of my students on an individual level. I really connected with the class, unlike any class I have taught before. They were absolutely amazing! I can’t wait to see them again in a few weeks.

 

Are you  curious about OISE student life? Contact me:

Email: oise.ambassador@utoronto.ca

 

Fall Practicum Report 5: On The Last Day of Practicum…

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by Caitlin
Master of Teaching student

It finally came. I didn’t think my four weeks would come and go so fast. But as I stood in my empty classroom at the beginning of the day, I couldn’t help and think about all the memories made in those 4 walls.

But I instantly snapped out of it, as I still had one more school day to go before getting emotional! The morning was filled with two tests (math and spelling), and a bus safety workshop. As all three tasks didn’t require my attention, so I put the finishing touches on our class’ door decoration for the holiday door contest. If you are unfamiliar with huge phenomenon that goes on in elementary schools every winter, this girl will fill you in. Each classroom is responsible to decorate their door for the upcoming holidays. There is usually a prize for the winning classrooms, but the real underlying message is to have the students work collaboratively and get into the holiday spirit.

Our classroom decided to create a “minion tree” for our door. Each child created a minion, from the recently famous Despicable Me move, and dress them in holiday gear. They created a santa, an elf or a reindeer minion. Once they were all completed I lined them up in neat rows; creating the illusion of a string of lights. And with about a million wads of masking tape, I put our holiday door decoration up before the lunch bell rang.

The afternoon ran as per usual. A little science work, a couple language exercises and before you knew it, we only had 30 minutes left before the final bell of the day rang. The students filed in from recess, and so did my AT with a card and present in hand. My class created a huge card and within it each student created an individual card. See my next post where I highlight the most touching, heartwarming messages. My AT also presented me with the book Only One You. This is an amazing book about individuality and uniqueness of individuals. I had the privilege of reading the book in front of my students as my last read aloud.

Finally the last bell rang, I saw my students file out and scream out “BYE MS. CHEUNG!” for the final time and I was left with an empty room once again. A flood of images came to mind as I remembered all the lessons and memories I made with my students and AT.  It has been a crazy, bittersweet journey. But fortunately it does not end here! I will be returning back to my classroom once classes end to watch the primary Christmas concert. I can’t wait to go back and see the kids and my AT! But until then, its two more weeks of classes and hardwork!

 

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

Email: oise.ambassador@utoronto.ca

Fall Practicum Report 4: The Power of Flexibility

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by Caitlin
Master of Teaching student

If you thought this post would be about my recent interest in gymnastics, you are horribly misguided. Unfortunately, I have not enrolled in a tumbling class but have instead expanded my duties outside of the grade 3 classroom.

I am going to share with you two experiences which occurred this week. These two experiences only happened because I decided to leave my classroom and enter another.

I was asked to teach a photography lesson to Grade 7 and 8’s. Although I am confident in my photography skills and abilities, I was nervous to teach a room full of teenagers. I kept having flashbacks to when I was in elementary school, and how obnoxious my classmates were in Grade 8. But it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The class enjoyed taking pictures, using the school’s iPads, and learned the various elements of design. To manage the class, I just adapted the strategies I used with my Grade 3’s and adjusted the tone of my voice from time to time. Since I haven’t taken a “how to teach intermediate students 101” I think I did great.

The second experience I had was introducing a math program called Math Prodigy to neighbouring Grade 3/4 class. Math Prodigy is an interactive math program that has been slowly introduced to the classrooms in my school. Aside from the initial battle of username and password entries, the students enjoyed the challenges and levels in the game. It also allowed me to sit one-on-one with students that had difficulty with the challenges. The experience also allowed me to learn some of the students names in this new class.

These two experiences allowed me to challenge myself outside of my own classroom. I was able to use a range of strategies for classroom management, lesson design and lesson implementation. And here I turn this to you; how flexible is your application?

I know we are only a few weeks away from the final submission of applications. Does your letter of intent represent your flexibility in approaching education? As many of you know, education is not a fixed concept. It is fluid, ever changing and dynamic. OISE is looking for individuals that are able to be flexible and resilient to the changes in education. Whether it is teaching adults, a different classroom or researching a topic, OISE students have to use their power of flexibility.

 

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

Email: oise.ambassador@utoronto.ca