Deep Passion.Great Teaching. IGNITED

When It’s My Turn to Vote: Creating an Informed Voter Base

your vote

I never thought that I would witness the kind of insanity that has taken place with the election of Donald Trump. Our elected officials from both the Democrat and Republican parties have basically failed to do their jobs.  As a result, constituents on both sides of the fence are angry. Donald Trump has been in office for little over a month and many Republican voters are experiencing the equivalent of … Read More →

We the People….

constitution

The day after the election saying that I was depressed is an understatement. One would think that I was depressed because Donald Trump won but that would be the furthest from the truth. I was so depressed because I dreaded going to work the day after the election to face my students. I work at a predominantly Hispanic school and I knew how hurt they would be if Donald Trump … Read More →

5 Ugly Truths About Workstations in the Urban Classroom

morning work

Small group instruction is great, workstations not so much! Every week I am in awe of how many administrators and support personnel offer workstations as a solution for students who struggle with certain concepts. I have learned that silence is golden whenever I am offered workstations as a solution to any of my teaching problems. Here are 5 ugly truths that you should know about workstations before you implement them … Read More →

Response to Intervention- Data Tracking Done Right!

rti-background

I hear administrators tell teachers that they should be using data to drive their instruction. I’m not sure if they understand that teachers have to be taught to track and use data. It just doesn’t happen by osmosis. I didn’t realize it until recently that analyzing and interpreting data is not easy for a whole lot of teachers. Data Tracking There are many different data sources of that you can track. … Read More →

Flipping the Urban Classroom-The Beginning

divided-classroom-1

This school year was supposed to be different than last school year. What began as excitement about the new school year has slowly turned into despair because I feel like my instruction is being held hostage by my principal. Resistance Last summer I spent my time reflecting and planning for this school year. Only to return to school and have my ideas met with resistance by my administrator. At the … Read More →

Will Public Schools Survive the Era of School Choice?

school-choice-with-logo

Yesterday Betsy DeVos was tapped as the Secretary of Education by the Trump administration. Tonight many educators in traditional public schools are cringing and bracing for the worst because DeVos is known in Michigan for her support of school vouchers and charter schools. The charter school topic can be a very controversial among educators, especially when it comes to discussing funding. For decades the public school system has enjoyed a … Read More →

Self-Efficacy- Should it Matter in Urban Education?

simone-manual

After a less than stellar school year last year I wanted come back with a vengeance! I came back this school year ready to use culturally responsive teaching in my classroom. I had decided that I was going to introduce my students to mathematicians that looked like them! Armed with my new teaching tool, I began to search the Internet for famous mathematicians. This search lead me to conclusion that … Read More →

Converting Improper Fractions: The Zebra Cake Challenge!

zebra-cakes-blog-post-pic-2

  As I slowly walked down the hallway to my classroom I told myself, “Last school year was a complete disaster but this year is going to be different!” If I could paint a picture of the students that I had last year, it would look like a scene from Major Payne. Every morning when I entered the building I felt like I was entering boot camp and I was … Read More →

Interactive Notebooks: Engaging the Unegaged

interactive-notebooks-blog

Every year I get questions from teachers asking about how to use interactive notebooks in their classrooms. Interactive notebooks are a great way to teach students how to take notes in a more engaging manner. I’m the only teacher in my building that uses interactive notebooks, so when the students realize that they get to use markers and can cut and paste the boys become really interested. Now as a … Read More →

Culturally Responsive Teaching: Can Students See Themselves in Your Lessons?

culturally-responsive-pic

I can remember like it was yesterday having a conversation with a young, motivated, and passionate former journalist turned 8th grade ELA teacher about how the TAP Master Teacher did not agree with her choice of activities and selected readings that she had chosen for her students. The teacher said that TAP Master Teacher (who was white) had convinced the principal ( who was black) that she needed to expose … Read More →