Deep Passion.Great Teaching. IGNITED

Converting Improper Fractions: The Zebra Cake Challenge!

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  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

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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?

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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 →

Classroom Management: Intentionally Building Relationships

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Merriam Webster defines a relationship as the way in which two or more people, groups, countries, etc., talk to, behave toward, and deal with each other. So, when 2 people are interested in the possibility of entering into a relationship with one another, they ask questions and behave in a manner that will hopefully yield a healthy relationship. All relationships whether they be friendship, professional, or a romantic relationships require every action to … Read More →

DIY: Creating Dry Erase Boards Using Sheet Protectors and Card Stock

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Owning a classroom set of dry erase board can be considered a luxury for some teachers. Some teachers are fortunate to have individual dry erase boards in their classrooms. So, if you are new teacher or a teacher who works in a school with limited resources then this blog post is for you! I have been teaching for 15 years and I don’t think I got my first set of … Read More →

Academic Language: Speaking the Language of Your Discipline

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Last week I had the pleasure of presenting at the Region 11 Conference in Whitesettlement, TX. The title of my presentation was Moving Beyond Misconceptions with Composing and Decomposing Fractions. Even though this was my first time presenting on this topic I thought that this particular session could provide teachers with another tool for their math instruction. I was amazed at the depth of discussions that took place during my … Read More →

How to Solve Your Biggest Problems with Teaching Summary

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  Believe it or not I can actually teach reading! I just prefer to teach math or science because they challeng e me in ways that I can’t explain. That doesn’t mean that I have abandoned reading because if you have read any of my math  blog posts you will find that I use different reading strategies to teach problem solving. Most of you all probably don’t know that I moderate … Read More →

The Dumbing Down of the American Math Student

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  “Miss Williams, I can’t solve this equation without using a calculator”, said one of my 8th grade math students” while shaking the calculator in her hand. I slowly turned around to address the student who made the statement but the rest of the students in my 1st period 8th grade math summer school class began to chime in. Feeling a bit confused I began to ask the students for clarification … Read More →

Personalized Professional Development: Out with the Old in with the New!

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My school year has ended and I look forward to the summertime not only because school has ended but because I am able to reflect on the past school year and create goals to improve my instruction for the next school year. I thought that this was the norm for most teachers but when I became a Master Teacher I realized that many teachers are turned off when they hear … Read More →

Teachers, It’s Okay to be Tired!

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It’s the end of the school year and I like many teachers across the nation are doing the end of the year count down. My Facebook status for the last 2 Mondays have been….”Guess what? We only have 13 more days of school left! Can you feel my excitement? Yes, I’m a teacher and yes, I am tired and ready for the school year to end. Some people like to … Read More →