Come on in! Learning happens here!

Welcome to my webpage. Here you can find general information about my classes and learn how to connect with us online.

Contact me at: jeremy.hiscock@fmpsd.ab.ca

My Courses for 2016:

  • Grade 9 - Mainstream/Islamic Program - Mathematics/Science
  • Grade 8 - Islamic Program - Mathematics/Science
  • Grade 7 - Mainstream 7B - Physical Education

Delivery of Content:

Science

Science is not just a body of knowledge, but a way of thinking. It is a process of observation, experimentation, and measurement that creates a body of knowledge. It is, by far, our best tool for discovery. My approach to science education is to generate the kind of thinking that actual scientists perform. I try my best to have interactive discussions/projects/small group work for every class.

Our grade 9's also have a Provincial Achievement Test at the end of the year, which means really understanding the concepts. Pure knowledge as an approach is inhibiting when it comes to these tests, because they are almost entirely critical thinking questions. Click this link to find the released PAT exams from previous years. You'll notice that each question has some form of reading to do regarding a concept. The knowledge we gain from class is simply to support our understanding of concepts, so that when faced with a question regarding the concept, students are equipped with the tools to tackle questions like the PAT may bring. A common misconception from students regarding the PAT is that the specific details we talk about in class is all they need to know for the PAT. That idea could be crippling to the student if they get hung up on the memorization of facts. The government tests (including the diploma examinations in grade 12) do not focus on specific details, but a deeper understanding of the overall idea. Therefore, the details we discuss in class are the MEANS to understand the concepts, not necessarily EVERYTHING to do with the topic. That being said, some of the key knowledge that comes from the topics must also be memorized in order to tackle questions (think vocabulary, it would be hard to understand what a question is asking without knowing what the words in the question are - that is a knowledge requirement). 

For my grade 9 classes, I have also been preparing video lessons on every topic in the course for science. They can be found by searching MrHScience on YouTube, or clicking this link.

Another useful link for grade 7-9 science that provides several reviews, explanations, and other great resources is edquest. Definitely worth the look for all junior high science classes.

My other classes I am currently still teaching through direct teaching (a traditional classroom) due to the high demand for time to create the videos.

Mathematics

Math is a very skill-based course. I often get asked - why do we need to learn this? Imagine, when in life will I need to use an equation of a triangle to find the third unknown side of that triangle? Can't I just grab a measuring tape?

The simple answer is yes, you can grab that measuring tape, you won't need that equation. That leaves many students stumped as to why we continue learning math beyond the adding/subtracting/multiplying/dividing that we all ACTUALLY use in our lives. It can sometimes leave them disenchanted with the purpose of mathematics.

I offer a two-part explanation:

1) There are many careers that use higher level mathematics as a means of making measurements and creating solutions. Computer sciences, physics, chemistry, biology, etc... all require a solid understanding of mathematics to learn at a higher level. Engineering, architecture, accounting, finance, are all professions that utilize mathematics.

2) Math is hard. Isn't that a beautiful thing, though? A daily chance to challenge your mind to solve problems and think outside the box. There is false a notion that intellect can't be changed, that some people are just 'born' with it. That has been proven false many times over. Intelligence is a matter of working on your brain. Math is an opportunity to do that, its nature is problem solving. As your brain learns to solve problems mathematically, it learns to solve problems in general. Think about what engineers do - they take a problem, and solve it with mathematics and sometimes the reverse as well. They are some of our highest level thinkers through the use of mathematics. However, that doesn't mean you can only make use of mathematics if you become an engineer, as not every problem requires that level of thinking. Even high school mathematics will prepare you to face harder challenges than you would have otherwise been able to solve. Face the challenge head on, develop your brain, and become a better person! It takes work, but that is the joy of mathematics.

A great resource for grade 9 mathematics is from a YouTube channel, mathwithmrbarnes. His channel has 9-12 math videos, describing all the content we learn in Alberta. A great help with PATs.

Course Focus:

Since doing hands-on tasks tends to enrich learning more, I spend a lot of my class time doing projects. It is called Project-Based Learning, or PBL for short. All of my classes spend a significant portion of their time doing projects and other hands-on assignments to that end. This is where one of the advantages to flipping the classroom comes in handy, it opens up classroom time for these types of activities, lowering the expectation of doing these projects from home.

If you need any other information, feel free to contact me via e-mail: jeremy.hiscock@fmpsd.ab.ca