Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Loving Online Marking and soooo Much More!

Wow it has been awhile since an update was written here. It must make it seem like I don't have much to say about what is going on (I'm sure those of you that know me are laughing/scoffing at that comment right now!). There has been so much happening but I guess some of it had to compound (and a few of you had to remind me to write) before I realized there was much I wanted to share.

I am in the midst of my first ever science placement. Teaching in a different department has brought on many new challenges and excitement since I have started. Math and Science both had their perks and their low points. Some of the things I have noticed are as follows:
- Coming up with and being able to perform demos as a normal part of my classes is a lot of fun and a great way to think about learning
- Doing demos is a lot of prep work and cleaning up is annoying! (But it is DEFINTELY worth it!)
- I am way less confident working with science concepts, but teaching it has led me to refresh my knowledge and even do a bit of research of my own. It has reminded me how much I LOVE learning and being curious about things!
- It really is amazing that departments within the same school can have such different dynamics!
- Getting to work with a new Associate Teacher has been a great experience. New things to learn and different approaches to observe.
- Enriches classes are SO curious about the subject. They are amazing to watch in class!
- Teaching four sections of the SAME course is REDUNDANT and I cannot keep track of who has be told what (Yikes!)

There are definitely other things that I have come across, but many of them are not directly related to the subject change so I will stop there. I will leave you with a brief account of some of the excitement I have encountered in the past two weeks.

1. I started teaching the Grade 9 sections today. You definitely have to be conscious of the ways you manage a junior Grade compared to a Grade 11 or 12 class. But you can also have a lot of fun with the material with them.

2. I was on the bench for the girls' last regular season hockey game. What an improvement they have made! Unfortunately I couldn't make the quarter finals or semis - but I was super proud of them for getting to the semi finals!

3. An experience of dealing with coming back to class after a supply teacher has been there...I was away and my associate teacher ended up being sick. Needless to say I am behind with my Grade 11's and there are more interruptions to come (gross).

4. Spending 3 days and 2 nights at an outdoor centre on a Grade 11 Biology field trip. SUCH a GREAT experience as a teacher candidate! An experience I will take with me and (dare I say) reflect on. It is definitely something I would do again and even though I have seen how much work organizing a trip like that can be I am definitely interested in doing something like that in my professional career. Getting to see what the students can get out of it and realizing that so many of them would never get some of those outdoor experiences otherwise. Lots of responsibility (and definitely some risk involved) and many new challenges with discipline and problem solving - and experience worth having!

I cannot believe that I almost signed off without talking about the title of this entry! I only remembered becuase I was running off to do more of it before I head to sleep. ONLINE MARKING!!!

My Associate Teacher uses turnitin.com - how awesome! It took him some time to get all of his students on the site and connected with the class they are supposed to be connected to, but now I can post bins for them to submit assignments to (in word format) that I am using to do formative assessments with my students. I will assign a communication type question for them to do based on something I have taught and they have to submit it before the next class. I review it (make comments on the work online that they can then access!) and then discuss with them the next class common mistakes I noticed or even realize that I need to reteach a concept. Marking this way is sooooo much faster than formative marking by hand. I am much less overwhelmed by it this time around. Oh, and I can also send entire classes emails from turnitin to remind them of the assignments, etc. I highly recommend checking out what it is capable of!

Happy March!!
(March Break in 2 weeks!!!!!!)


  1. "Math and Science both had their perks and their low points."

    Low points? LOW points?


  2. *Edit: "Teaching Math and Science..."

  3. Any thoughts on reducing the redundancy of teaching 4 sections of the same course?

  4. Each time you teach a lesson you can think back and decide on what you want to change, use again, etc. But you feel hard-pressed to change too much, otherwise your first period class is getting shafted that much more, haha.