Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mathematics is a changing

Do you remember back to the good old days of adding and subtracting, vertically and right to left. That is how it was taught and that is how it was done. There was no time to be outside the box. I remember in my high school physics and my PDM ( math) class that we would get the problem wrong if we did it a different way than what the teacher showed us, even if we got the right answer. Now in elementary math it is all about mathmatizing. This has to do with having number sense. It is an amazing school of thought. MTH 222 has taught me all about new ways of doing math. There is a right to left way, there is an English way to do it, I even know how to add and make numbers like the Mayan did with sticks, rocks, and shells. This class has also taught me a lot about new strategies to teach math. They are so far from worksheet after worksheet. The strategies are all about games, making math more engaging.
I tutor a student at Evergreen Elementary. He was so interested in multiplication. Instead of just giving him a time table with all the multiples on it. We played a game that I learned in MTH 222. It is called Circles and Stars. It takes his addition skills and applies them to multiplication. The game allows him to create his own ideas about multiplication. At the end of the game we reflect on patterns he noticed. Then after the game I introduced some of the rules (the boring part) for multiplying by 1's, 2's, and 3's. He was engaged the entire time.
I have also learned new ways to help students with mental math. I use these strategies today at work when I am counting money and adding things together. All theses new strategies that I have learned in the class will make me a better teacher in mathematics.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

An introduction.

I am a student at GVSU. I am enrolled in the education at Grand Valley. The program has been recognized for being a strong and effective program. It is a five year program and prepares students to become the best teachers they can become.
I am in my second year at GVSU and in the education program. This semester has been full of tutoring opportunities. My first semester was just education classes, there was nothing outside the classroom. I did enroll in the MPower program and mentor two 6Th graders at Burton Middle School. Other than that there was no working with students. This semester has been the opposite. I tutor in ENG 308 as well as MTH 222. In my opinion, it is amazing that we are put in the position of teaching earlier on in the program as appose to just observing until student teaching.
My tutoring has been so much fun. I tutor two students at Taft Elementary in reading. When I first heard about the tutoring I was nervous. What was I going to do? Did I have to come up with activities? How was I going to teach these students to read? Then I was introduced to Reading Strategies by YOPP and YOPP. This text book is a bible for elementary teachers, teaching literacy. The book is full of activities to do with students to get them engaged in reading. There are pre-reading, during reading, and post-reading strategies. If a teacher is having a hard time coming up with a lesson plan for his or her literacy block the Yopp and Yopp book has everything you need. When I graduate I will still have this book and when I get my first job in the classroom this book will be at my desk.

This is a link to the College of Education's website. It will tell you about the well regarded program, as well as, allow you to browse the page and learn more about the program.