Prime Minister’s Award For Teaching Excellence in STEM – Certificate of Achievement Recipient
“Every student deserves to have that feeling of looking back at their school years and remembering that special teacher who impacted them so greatly that they have left a lifelong impression. It is that teacher who helped you to learn something new through such creativity that you will never forget the lesson. It is that teacher who inspired you to step outside of your comfort zone and helped you to recognize that it is okay to not understand something and to make mistakes. Perhaps even, it is that teacher who helped you get through a particularly difficult time of your life through immense kindness and empathy. For the students who have been fortunate enough to have had a math class with Alice Aspinall, she was that teacher.” – Colleague
Alice is passionate about breaking down the reputation of the traditional mathematics class – one that is intimidating, discouraging, and non-collaborative. Instead, Alice creates an atmosphere in which students can be excited about math, are comfortable asking questions, and embrace the journey of turning mistakes into learning opportunities. Among her teaching strategies, she includes the principals of the Thinking Classroom – a space where individuals think collectively, learn and construct knowledge together, and understand through activity and discussion. Alice’s class is a place that students are comfortable being a part of.
In the Classroom
In her classroom, Alice incorporates graphing technology, using platforms like Desmos to connect algebraic models to graphical models. Additionally, she uses applications like Desmos and Knowledgehook to provide opportunities for students to access online activities during lessons, inspiring her students to investigate new topics through interactive activities. Using the Knowledgehook platform, Alice provides extra practice and engaging games for her students to consolidate their learning both collaboratively in class and individually while at home.
Finding new ways to present information to students is an important part of Alice’s teaching style. She is continuously learning innovative strategies to help students develop an understanding of math concepts. In recent years, Alice leveraged the Spiralling technique to help students retain knowledge of math material. This technique of repeatedly building upon previously learned skills means students are making connections between curriculum concepts and frequently reviewing topics, rather than working on one unit and simply moving on to others. She has demonstrated that her approach helps students make connections between an activity in the classroom and curriculum expectations.
Alice has created and organized a digital library of math tutorials in a series of 80+ videos into playlists that match the Ontario Secondary School Mathematics curriculum. Alice uses this digital platform to reach as many learners as possible. Her students and learners around the world find this so incredibly useful that some videos have in excess of 100k views. As part of their TVO Learn program, TV Ontario has even featured one of Alice’s YouTube videos in their online learning material.
Alice Aspinall, B.Math(Hon), B.Ed, is a Portuguese-Canadian secondary mathematics educator in Ontario, Canada. She loves spending time with her husband and two children reading books, playing math games, and exploring the outdoors.
Alice is a strong advocate of the growth mindset. She is continually looking for ways to build young people’s confidence in math and to make math fun, challenging, and satisfying. Her innovative lessons and her dedication in the classroom have made a positive impact on her students’ attitudes toward math. Her YouTube channel, “MrsALovesMath,” exemplifies her commitment to her students’ learning.
Alice is also a champion for females in STEM by encouraging girls to pursue science and mathematics both in high school and in post-secondary education. Alice believes everyone can learn math and she is on a mission to prove it.
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