Deep Passion.Great Teaching. IGNITED

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 →

STEM and the English Language Learner

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At the end of every school year I begin to prepare for the next school year by trying different teaching strategies with my outgoing group of students. Well, this year I decided to introduce my students to the engineering design process because all year long I have felt like something was missing from lessons. I teach at a school where about 90% of the our school’s population is Hispanic and … Read More →

Why is Feedback Necessary?

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I think I’m the kind of teacher where I can pretty much take feedback or criticism from virtually anyone. As a veteran teacher I have had to deal with so many different personalities and people where I treat feedback like a buffet. If I feel like  it’s applicable then I take it and reflect on it, if not then I leave it on the buffet. I didn’t realize how valuable … Read More →

Teach Like a Pirate- Content Passion

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It’s 7:40 am and it’s time to pick up the students from the multipurpose room. I slowly leave my classroom to walk  down the three hundred plus steps hallway that it takes to get to the multipurpose room. It’s Monday morning, but this Monday morning  was very different from all of the other Monday mornings.  When I entered the multipurpose room I had to remind myself to smile and greet … Read More →

Decomposing Fractions: An Alternative for Struggling Learners

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I, like many elementary teachers across the nation have found myself teaching math concepts to 4th and 5th grade students that were once taught to middle school students. Truth be told, when I first began teaching these skills I must admit I was very skeptical about teaching multiplying fractions and whole numbers to 4th and 5th graders. As I grew more comfortable with the idea that I have to teach … Read More →

3 Ways to Survive Preparing Students for Standardized Testing

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No matter how you feel about standardized testing it is the standard by which students and teachers are held accountable. Like many veteran educators I can vaguely remember when standardized tests were not used for promotion and retention. The teacher’s grades were the sole deciding factor that determined whether or not a student either passed or failed. Ahhh….the good old days! Now back to reality. Every January I, like many … Read More →

Simplifying Fractions is Just NOT that Simple!

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Before school let our for the Christmas break I was at my wits end with trying to teach equivalent fractions and simplifying fractions to students who were deficient in their understanding of the “true” meaning of multiplication and division. I know that there are so many different skills that students need to have mastered before they can simplify fractions. I had to face the fact that the students who were … Read More →

What’s in Your Teacher Toolbox?

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 I wrote a blog post for The Educator’s Room titled 5 Do’s and Don’t for Teaching Elementary Mathematics. One of the things that I suggested was to purchase math resources for teachers. Much to my surprise a teacher responded and said, ” No! We should not purchase. The districts should pay for it. We don’t make enough to pay for extra material.” When I read this comment I was kind of … Read More →