How to use games to teach physics

Here is an interesting article from BBC news:

It is about a teacher who used a video game to engage his students into handing in assignments and paying more attention in his classes. He has made up a “game” related to World of Warcraft which allows the students to gain points in class if they hand in assignments on time, show good behaviour, helping others with homework, and doing well on exams. He also has given the students incentives if they reach a certain level of the game, such as allowing eight extra minutes to finish an exam. There are also penalties to the game if a student misses handing in an assignment. I think that this sort of idea could be beneficial in the class to be motivated and engaged to learn and hand in assignments. It also allows the students to be on a team and if the team has a penalty, the students learn to work hard as a team and play a role on the team. There is proof that it motivates the students and engages them in a way that some would never think that it could.


Learning Journey

I have learned a lot about myself and my teaching philosophy this past semester. The journey to becoming a teacher has been unbelievable and I must say I was blessed with the opportunity to pre-intern at the Regina Huda School. I have learned a lot about the different culture, how the students are very motivated and engaged to receive good grades, and how well behaved those students are. Not saying that no other school was well behaved, but the classroom management that I received with the small class numbers at Regina Huda School was very helpful. Teaching Accounting and Information Processing was great as I learned how to adjust quickly to teaching a chapter from the middle of the text book in Accounting, and I made up an assignment in Information Processing that was related to a project that they were working on. I feel that I am way more confident in front of a room full of students after this experience. I also feel that lesson planning is just natural now and it is fairly simple to come up with a lesson to teach once you have a started path.

I found myself using assessment all the time while I was teaching in pre-internship. Whether it was just observing the students work by checking in, using exit slips and bell work, or making up a marking scheme for the Brochure Assignment that I had the students complete, I have found myself assessing the students’ learning daily. I think this is a great start, which will help me in my internship and future teaching career with assessing the students’ learning. If it wasn’t for ECS 410, I don’t think that I would have learned assessment anywhere else, and I am thankful that the textbook, handouts, and discussions have helped me understand the different types of assessments more thoroughly.

I am certainly excited and confident to enter internship with a bright mind and I am hoping that my experience and learning journey from pre-internship carries on through internship as well.


One thing about assessment and evaluation that I have learned from ECS 410 is that in a Rubric there is no room for giving half marks. If the student does not meet all the criteria under a certain category (for example a 4) then they do not deserve that mark. I am glad I have learned this and it has really made me think about all of the assignments that I have marked or that I have been marked on and it makes me ask “Do they know this rule?” In my EBUS 351 class I had to research an evaluation strategy and I did my research on Rubrics. The research is in the word document below. After doing this research it helped me a little with creating rubrics, but lots of practice will definitely help me create really good rubrics in the future, because I think that Rubrics are one type of evaluation that I will keep learning about as time goes on and I make more and more of them.

Evaluation Strategy Paper – Rubrics

Pre-Internship Reflections

March 5 and 6, 2013

I have had the greatest time at the Huda School over the past two days. I just got home from judging the science fair which was a great experience ! I am very excited to start teaching in the Accounting 10 and Information Processing 10 classes. These classes consist of all girls, no boys which is such a difference that you would not see everyday. We observed the Grade 11 and 12 classes as well and the class sizes are very small which is very nice to see and it will be easy for us to get to know the students and hopefully create a good relationship with them. Ashley is great ! She is very friendly and open to whatever we want to teach. Nancy Armstrong has also opened up her IP classroom for us to come into and teach and observe for another Business Education experience. I am so glad that I volunteered to go here and am very excited about this experience to come !

March 11, 2013

What I did today?
Today went very well at the Huda School! We started today off by observing the Accounting 10 class and then went into Information Processing 10. I taught my first lesson in Info Pro today about Microsoft Publisher 2010. Their lack of using Publisher was surprising as I thought that they had experience of the program but they actually did not. It was shocking at the start because I wanted them to share with me some advantages and disadvantages of using Publisher instead of Word, but I ended up adapting the lesson and just telling them the advantages and disadvantages and got them to write them down in their notes. The rest of my lesson went well and I got them to create posters and email them to me about themselves, which is helping me get to know them better and what they are interested in. Ashley (because Nancy was sick) gave me some very constructive feedback which was very helpful and I will definitely take it to my next lesson tomorrow to help me.
My highlight of the day
My highlight of the day would be when we got to sit in on the SLC meeting and helped discuss ideas for Earth Day. It was a highlight to see how those meetings are run and it is great to see the students and the teachers so involved in putting on fun activities throughout the school.
What I would do differently?
One thing that I would do differently was in my lesson when I explained the Poster Project. I should have written what I wanted to see on the board instead of just verbally saying it. Ashley’s feedback helped me understand this as I was asked a few times after I explained it what I wanted on the poster, where if I had it written on the board the students probably wouldn’t have had to ask.
Other than that my day was excellent !
March 12, 2013
What I did today?
Today started off by observing Kim’s lesson to the Accounting 10 class, which was very well done. She did a very good job of including all the students with problems on the board and they also performed a skit of accounting which was very engaging and fun. I was supposed to do a lesson in Information Processing again, but Nancy was very sick and Ashley did not want the substitute teacher that was there observing me because let’s just say he wouldn’t have given very good feedback. So I postponed my lesson until tomorrow so hopefully Nancy is back. Kim and I observed the Information Processing class anyway, but the substitute didn’t do much and the students were asking Kim and I questions which was nice to be involved and helpful for their Reunion projects that they are doing, since the substitute teacher didn’t really know what was going on.
Highlight of the day
My highlight of the day was probably the staff meeting that we had the chance to sit in on with the high school teachers. It was a very relaxed meeting and they seem to work very well together and they bring their ideas together well in order to benefit their students.
What would I do differently?
One thing that I would have done differently would have been to teach my lesson anyway to the Information Processing class, because today the students didn’t work as hard as they should because the substitute didn’t really know what they were to do (even though Nancy had a plan). Not saying that I would have done an amazing job, it would have just helped to keep the students on track and focused on something. After saying that I am excited for Nancy to come back and observe my lesson.
March 13, 2013
What did I do today?
Today I observed Kim’s lesson of Accounting again, and I taught another Information Processing class dealing with text and pictures in Publisher. I had them edit their posters that I had them make on the first day and also had them make a calendar on Publisher. We then observed Ashley’s math classes and helped the students with any questions that they had the rest of the day. In the last class they were using Pinterest in their Interior Design class so I thought that was very interesting and a cool way to look for different designs and pictures within a home.
After school, I had the chance to sit down and look at the posters and calendars that I had my students make today. They allowed me to get to know the students a little better and their interests.
Highlight of the day
My highlight of the day would have been the lunch that some of the staff put on once a month, with a theme. Today was Mexican theme and Kim and I were involved in the lunch and got to bring something that was Mexican themed. The staff at the school is very welcoming and it was nice to sit down with them today and meet the ones that are involved in this lunch group.
What would I do differently?
One thing that I would have done differently is have a template of my own for the lesson that I taught today as I had trouble with the template that I used from Publisher for wrapping the text around a picture, but one of the students eventually figured it out and then I showed the rest of the students how we found out how to do it.
Today was another great day at the Huda School and I am excited for you to come and see my lesson in Information Processing tomorrow morning !
March 14, 2013
What I did today?
Today I observed Kim’s accounting lesson and really enjoyed the “Are you smarter than an accountant” activity that she used in her lesson. In the next class I taught Information Processing (as you saw) and taught them about Brochures. I really enjoyed seeing you today! It was the Pi Day at the school (3.14.2013) so they had activities in the gym for high school students related to Pi which was really interesting to be a part of. After lunch (which was pizza pies) we observed a Career and Work class with Jodie Hall and she is going to have us perform interviews for the students next week sometime. The last class was Interior Design and we got to be a part of the conversations of painting the classroom which I thought was fantastic and am really excited to see how this will turn out.
Highlight of the day
The highlight of today was when one of the Grade 9 students was trying to explain to me that 3.14 is P.I.E spelled backward and then I told him that it is correct but Pi is spelled P.i. and they all laughed so having that positive relationship with the students is improving extremely and they are very accepting of us being there.
One thing that I would change
One thing that I would change is to make sure that all the students in Info Pro are on task while I am showing videos and such things. The girls were fairly good today but the other day they would be trying to work ahead and I just need to make sure that their laptops are closed when showing something on the projector.
March 15, 2013
What I did today?Today I observed Kim again in accounting and she used the game of Life which was great. Next I taught Info Pro and they just had a work period for their brochure which went really great and all the students were on task really well !

Highlight of the day

Today I really enjoyed the conversation I had with one of the girls this morning. She just came up to me and started talking about her morning which really made me feel special that she wanted to talk to me !

What I would have done differently

I would have gave the girls a break in middle of class but class went so fast and I didn’t get a chance to!

March 18, 2013
What I did today
I got to observe Kim’s Accounting lesson with you ! Then I had the pleasure of teaching my last Information Processing lesson for my sequence and had the girls work on their brochures for the period as well as review the Hyphenation setting on Publisher (as you saw today). For the rest of the day we observed the Math classes and the Interior Design classes.
Highlight of the day.
My highlight of the day was in the Interior Design class when we got the chance to have input on the color scheme that the girls are choosing to paint the classroom! It was very interesting listening in on their discussions, and having them ask us what our opinions are.
What would I do differently?
I would have liked to have everyone finish their brochures by the end of the class (they all were very close to finishing them, and some were done) since Kim is starting to teach them Access tomorrow. I know that this is hard to avoid and a lesson well learned that not all students finish their work at the same time, so we will just have to adapt that, and I am going to ask Nancy what she thinks will be a reasonable date for those to be emailed to me by when she gets back tomorrow!
March 19, 2013
What I did today?
Today  I started to teach Chapter 17 in Accounting 20 to the Grade 10’s. I reviewed with them the steps of writing out an Income Statement and the Cost of Merchandise Sold calculation. Second class I observed Kim while she was teaching Access 2010 to the Grade 10 Information Processing class. The next two classes the students had Math tests so we just observed and then in the final class, Interior Design we observed the girls discussing their proposal for the Principal to hear about their room design for the classroom. Ashley also showed us the PowerSchool program that they use for grades which was nice to learn and understand how that works.
Highlight of the day
My highlight of the day was getting Ashley’s feedback from my Accounting lesson as she provides great feedback and little ideas such as words used when instructing that will help me in my future teaching. Her feedback is very helpful and she gives great ideas to move forward.
What would I have done differently?
I would have printed out a handout of the steps of how to make an Income Statement and then have them fill in a blank one as I went through the steps on the board. This would give them practice with the indentations and format of the Income Statement for future reference.
March 20, 2013
What I did today?
Today I taught a short lesson in Accounting for about 35 minutes as they were off to the Art Gallery at 9:10. The lesson went well and I got most of what I wanted to be done in the short amount of time that I had. Second class we had prep because all the high school students got to go to the Art Gallery, so in this time I got some marking from the Info Pro class done. After lunch, I observed Kim teach a Math class to Grade 10’s. She used the Frayer Model which was very interesting and all the students were engaged.
Highlight of the day?
Watching the students in Interior Design present their proposal of their design for the classroom to the Principal. I was very proud of them because they spoke very clearly and spoke very intelligently of their design. It was my highlight mainly because we get to help them paint their classroom starting on Friday, which is so cool !
What I would have done differently?
In my Accounting lesson I would have explained to them more clearly what would happen if there was more than one revenue account in the Income Statement, as I quickly talked about it but I don’t think they will ever come across a point where this would happen.
March 21, 2013
What I did today?
Today was an interesting day at Huda School. It was Traditional Dress Day so most of the students wore their traditional dress that they would wear for their culture, instead of their school uniform and they were beautiful! In the first class I was supposed to teach Accounting, but there was a guest speaker from the University of Regina about his immigration to Canada and about Anti Racism. The second class was Information Processing and I observed Kim teach the students about Access. Third class was Grade 11 Math that we observed. The class after lunch I had the opportunity to perform interviews to the Career and Work 30 class, which was really cool and exciting to see how they react to interviews and to see how prepared they were. I was very impressed with their interview skills. The last class was Interior Design and we are now in the “painting stage” of the project so we cleaned the walls and taped to be ready to paint next week with the students.
Highlight of the day
My highlight of the day was performing the interviews as it was something different and it was very fun to do.
What would I do differently?
For the interviews I was prepared, but I would have maybe thought of a few more different questions that I could have asked the students, because they were all watching the interviews so a little bit of it was repetitive but I tried to mix them up as much as I could.
March 22, 2013
What I did today?Today I taught accounting first class and it went great ! Second class I observed Kim teach access to info pro. Third class we observed grade 11 math and same with fourth class we observed grade 10 math. Last class was interior design and we learned the basics of painting and finished the taping before we start on Monday !

Highlight of the day

Preparing the room to paint because we are all so excited to get started !

What I would do differently

I would have used a net loss example as well to show the students the difference instead of just a net income example.

March 25, 2013
What I did today?
Today I taught Accounting again and did a lesson on making a capital statement. It went well and I am almost finished teaching that chapter. Second class I observed Kim’s Information Processing class and collected data for her during that time. Third class we observed the Grade 11 Math, and at lunch they were in her classroom getting extra help which we also observed. After lunch we talked to the students who Ashley is rounding up for the Case Competition and just told them what to expect and what happens at it. Fourth class we observed Grade 10 Math and last class we started the painting of the classroom in Interior Design.
Highlight of the day
My highlight of the day was when we talked to the students about the case competition as I think they will do very well as they are so smart and knowledgeable, especially in front of crowds. I hope that they will do well and I am excited to see them at the Case Competition in a few weeks !
What would I do differently?
In my morning lesson I would have cut out the part of making a capital statement on the overhead as it just took up a lot of time and was sort of repetitive from what I went over right before that.
March 26,2013
What I did today?
Today was Day 1 of painting the classroom! It was quite the job, and I definitely will not be pursuing a career in painting but I learned a lot. Since it was parent-teacher-student conferences there was no classes for the students, so that gave us the whole day to paint three of the walls of the classroom. It is looking great and I can’t wait for the finished product to be complete. The girls were very excited to see the colours that they picked finally up on the walls.
Highlight of the day
My highlight of the day would be the lunch that we went on with the high school teachers. It was nice to get to know them outside of the classroom and they are such a great bunch of people that they are very easy to get along with and relate to.
What would I do differently?
One thing that I would have done differently is I would have gone into the gym with Ashley for at least one of the interviews but time went so fast and the girls definitely needed the supervision in the classroom to make sure they were doing a good job of painting.
March 27, 2013
What did I do today?
I taught my final Accounting 20 lesson today about the Balance Sheet in first class since we finished the Chapter 17 content and they have an assembly tomorrow at this time so I wouldn’t be able to teach another one. In second class I observed Kim teach queries for Access in Information Processing. It went great and I learned a lot! Third and fourth class we observed the Grade 11 and 10 math classes and last class we painted the last wall in Interior Design. I am very impressed with the colors and we just have to put one more coat on tomorrow.
Highlight of the day
My highlight of the day was when Nancy asked for my teaching notes on Publisher. She said that she wanted them to refresh her memory and to use them in the future. This moved me as I felt like a colleague and it felt nice that she was asking for my stuff to help her teach. I like the warm community that these teachers share in this school. It is very heartwarming.
What would I do differently?
One thing that I would do differently is make an overhead of the balance sheet for me to write out instead of using the board as I ran out of room and had to erase some of it. The overhead would help the girls see the final product instead of me doing sections, but they had it all written out on their handout for which they could look at.
March 28, 2013
What did I do today ?
Today I went to assembly first class which was very neat and organized. Second class I observed info pro done by Kim. Third class I had a nice visit with Cyril and talked about how our time was going! After lunch we observed math and then interior design and finished the paint job.Highlight of the day
Visiting with Helen and Cyril and talking about how our time went.

The time at Regina Huda School has changed my perspective on the different cultures and religions in our society today. My teaching philosophy has changed so much and I have learned so much about myself and my teaching from this experience. I am so blessed to have had such a great experience and I look forward to Internship in the Fall.

Standardized Testing in Saskatchewan

This is one of the many articles out there that are related to the issue that has come about based on standardized testing in Saskatchewan for all grades 4-12 in Math, Science and Reading.

In my opinion, I agree with Dr. Spooner in saying that they are not necessary and that they can cause a lot of stress to teachers and students and I think that it won’t allow us to be engaging teachers and will take a lot of time away from opportunities to be creative with using such techniques as Inquiry Based teaching or experience based learning in the classroom. These types of techniques can have an impact on the student’s learning and if we move to standardized testing I think teachers will stress over meeting the needs of those and not focus on their student’s needs and assessments to meet certain learning styles.

Homework- Does It Improve Student Achievement

This article mentioned above has me really thinking about whether homework is effective or not and does it improve student achievement? I think that practice at home of the skills and knowledge that the students are learning in class is very beneficial and allows for the students of all ages to practice good study habits. I think that practicing study habits are very important as I was never introduced to how to study properly and it would have helped me so much when coming into university. I’m not saying that students need hours of homework but just enough (even if it is 30 minutes every night or every other night) can help them understand what they are learning and if we make it relevant then they will want to go home and do it. Lastly, I do not mind the “flipped classroom” approach but one issue that may come up is not all students have access to computers at home and may not be able to complete the lead up activities to the homework that they have to complete in class. That is why we need to get to know our students and find out if we can use this approach in our classroom or not.

Making Classroom Assessment Work – Chapter 9 and 10 February 28, 2013

Chapter 9–  We all want the best for our students and we all care for our students. Parents and teachers care about the students’ education and how they are learning in the classroom. I think that it is very important to communicate with the parents as much as possible to show that you care for their children and to show that you are doing everything you can to help them succeed in your classroom. Student-parent conferences “increases the appreciation of their son or daughter as a learner, his or her level of skill development, the breadth of the classroom and sschool curriculum, and the efforts needed on everyone’s behalf to make learning possible.” I agree with this statement as student-parent conferences get the parents involved in their child’s learning and they can observe demonstrations and respond to the demonstrations of learning. The feedback that they receive can help guide their learning and will help the students understand what they have learned and what they need to learn. Newsletters made by the students provide the parents with information about the classroom and how they are learning daily in the classroom. Self-assessments also allow the students to reflect on their work and share those reflections with their parents. I think that reflections are a great way for the students to keep up to date with their learning and if they reflect daily then they will know that they are relaying as much information about their learning that they can to their parents about their learning. I also think that demonstrations at home or at school can help the parents understand what is happening, so to make an effort to make your students share what they are learning somehow with their parents at home can make the communication that much easier for you as a teacher. If the demonstrations are happening at home, then the parents can reflect and come with questions or concerns to you before it is too late and they are waiting around for a conference. Thoughtful conversations with the parents and the students can benefit everyone’s learning as long as you put in the effort that you want to get out of it.

Chapter 10– Throughout this text book, the message that I have received the most would be to work together with your students and their parents in judgements of what is going to be evaluated and how it is going to be evaluated. “Evaluating and reporting are straightforward last steps in an assessement process that begins much earlier.” This is so true as you should be assessing your students from Day 1 whether it is having a conversation with them or giving them exit slips of what they have learned, you are assessing how they learn and what they have learned. You are also assessing your own teaching and determining if you have taught everything you can or do you have to go back and review certain things so they have learned all that they can. When evaluating you are determining the worth or the value of the evidence and we should look at all the evidence such as observations, products, and conversations. Reporting is a way for the students to speak to their parents about the learning they are doing and report on it, have conversations with their teachers about what the learning is about, and to eventually conference in student-teacher-parent conferences. I think that student-teacher-parent conferences bring everyone together and they allow for questions to arise that they all may have been wondering about. Lastly, reporting allows for organization of evidence and allows the students to gather all their evidence and show it to their parents and teachers at many times throughout the school year. After reviewing different kinds of evaluating and reporting, I really enjoyed the progress report on pg. 98 as it introduces the child, their strengths and accomplishments, further attention areas, and goals and support for learning. This allows for the teacher to say positive things along with a few weaknesses, but in the end close up with positive emphasis.

February 21, 2013 – A little something to impact your life

Even though this video doesn’t have much to do with assessment, it has something to do with vocational guidance of students who don’t know what they want to do in life. It really displays the message of “Do what you want to do, and do whatever you want that will make you happy.” The best thing that can come out of something that you like to do is the mastery of that certain thing. Click on the link below to watch an inspiring video:

Tragedy and Hope- Alan Watts

February 13, 2013- Making Classroom Assessment Work – Chapter 7 and 8

Chapter 7 – To reflect on this chapter, I looked at the “Guiding Our Own Learning Questions” and I thought about a time when I was a student and was most engaged in learning. I was most engaged in learning when I was allowed to relate the project that I was doing in Career and Work Exploration to mine and my partners own interests. Our entrepreneurship venture was a Fun Horse Show that we put on to fundraise for the local “Hike for Hospice”. We allowed for children of all ages to attend the horse show whether they had a horse or not and brought in horses for the children to ride and take part in the fun horse show and activities. It allowed for my friend and I to use our own experiences and bring them to the forefront for children that would never have the chance to take part in an activity like this before. I loved doing this project as I loved to entertain young children and I was interested in horses so that helped me love the project and be engaged and interested in the project as well. Our teacher had expectations of us and we made sure to meet the expectations that were needed for our venture such as funding, organization, liability agreements, rent, etc. We knew what kind of evidence that we needed to perform in order to meet the expectations of the Venture Project and with a little worry of how many kids were going to show up and pay, we succeeded in bringing in money and making profit. We also succeeded in allowing the children to be entertained and having fun and we also had fun as the organizers. It felt rewarding to donate the money that we made to the local fundraiser and help out in the community. Lastly, we were able to self monitor our responsibilities and our actions and we were successful in being responsible and having our venture turn into a great experience. Our teacher allowed us to use our interests and prior knowledge and experience to assess ourselves and come together with a successful venture. 

After reading this chapter it made me realize that by allowing students to use their own experiences and interests it will help them succeed in their learning, just like it did for me in my Venture Project. I learned that there are many responsibilities to start a venture and by assessing myself I learned that you need to take your time and work away at little things one step at a time and use your prior knowledge to help you succeed with your ideas.

Chapter 8-  If students are to be involved in the assessment in support of their learning, then they need to know when they have succeeded and to do this collecting their evidence of learning is key. The process of collecting and organizing evidence has four main concepts. They are:

1. Keep the process simple – which means we need to help the students understand why they are collecting their work and evidence because I know that I would want to know the meaning of this way of learning. Telling the students who is going to see it will help them understand what they need to have and how they are going to share their evidence. Also by working with the students to design a simple system will help you get to know the students and how they organize their work and will allow them to ask questions and feel controlled with what they are doing.

2. Involve Students- Having the students show proof of their learning and asking them how they have done this and are organized and monitoring their progress. Show them what evidence is essential and where they have flexibility to show what they know in a variety of ways. Allow the students to make notes of what they have done and what they have learned on entry slips or exit slips.

3. Help parents and students value the evidence – I really agree with this idea of sharing the students work with the parents through open houses or conferences with their parents to show the parents what they are learning and allowing the parents to really understand what their children are learning. Letting parents know how you are assessing their children is also beneficial and a note such as the one on page 78 is a great way to inform the parents of the feedback that you are giving the students.

4. Reconsidering Evidence Collections- Portfolios are great evidence of collecting their work and they have purpose and an audience. They show progress and are a great way to show goals progressing throughout a period of time. Having students write a summary of the evidence can help the audience see what is important to the students learning and also can show their strengths and weaknesses with their work.

To conclude I think that support is highly important to help assist the students is collecting evidence to assess their own work. It allows the students to do the work and become responsible with their work instead of you nagging at them to come up with the evidence. They know their audience and it allows them to know how their audience will come to understand their learning and evidence. Lastly I want to take one thing away from this chapter, “the person who is working the hardest is learning the most.”