Deep Passion.Great Teaching. IGNITED

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 →

What Does Being Smart in Math Really Mean?

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This Summer I began reading Smarter Together! Collaboration and Equity in the Elementary Math Classroom, but to be honest when I bought the book I really was more interested in the collaboration part of the book than the equity part. As with most things the part of the book that I was interested in was not the part that I needed. I have been teaching math for a very long … Read More →

Are Teacher Evaluations a Waste of Time?

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The part of the school year that I absolutely without a doubt loathe is evaluation time. It seems as if my anticipation of it every year gets worse and worse. I’m not saying that I don’t need to be evaluated, but when I find out who is evaluating me is when I always tend to look and….SMH. During my 15 years of experience I have had all kinds of evaluations … Read More →

Explicit Instruction: An Instructional Strategy Lost in Translation

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It’s no secret that teachers interpret and implement instructional strategies in different ways that meets the needs of their students. Last week I wrote the blog post “My Students are Below Grade Level…..Now What?  and posted the article in the Facebook group Mathematics Education Research. I was blown away by the responses that I received in objection to using direct explicit instruction and not discovery to introduce math concepts to … Read More →