Deep Passion.Great Teaching. IGNITED

Flipping the Urban Classroom-The Beginning

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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?

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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?

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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!

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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 →