Deep Passion.Great Teaching. IGNITED

How I Used Thinking Routines to Improve Procedural Fluency

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As a math teacher, I often struggle to get my students to share their math strategies and slow down enough to think about the steps for solving algorithms. My students were so used to mindlessly solving problems that they made countless mental errors with algorithms. To make matters worse their ability to problem solve was almost nonexistent.  After using FlipGrid as a tool for engagement and classroom management, I started … Read More →

Confessions of a Bored Math Teacher

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My teaching career began in Houston, Texas, but by the time I reached my tenth year of teaching  I felt like a mouse on a wheel. The year after I started teaching George W. Bush (son) was elected as President of the United States. Now you’re probably wondering why this matters. Well it matters because No Child Left Behind was created during his term. This was also when all of … Read More →

Are You Really Integrating Technology Into Your Math Lessons?

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I can remember teaching my first 5th grade math class for the very first time in 2005. The school I transferred to didn’t have any manipulatives and math instruction was nothing to write home about.  On top of not having any manipulatives nor the support in math I needed I was given all of the students who had been either retained or struggled academically. To say the least, this was … Read More →

For the Stubborn Math Teachers Who Never Use Technology

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Integrating technology is an important part of  teaching math. While most content areas have embraced the merging of content and technology many math teachers have yet to embrace this shift in education. Research has shown that the use of technology in the classroom had a positive impact on secondary school students’ success and attitudes in mathematics. Even though technology has shown to have a positive impact at the secondary level, … Read More →

Why Your Small Group Instruction Doesn’t Work!

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Guided Reading, Reader’s Workshop, and Math Workshop have narrowed teachers’ understanding of why small group instruction is necessary. These three instructional strategies use small group instruction to deliver math or reading instruction to students, which may lead many teachers to believe that they are interventions for students. Using small group instruction to close achievement gaps was introduced as Response to Intervention in 2004 within the re-authorization of the Individuals with … Read More →

3 Benefits of Small Group Instruction in the Math Classroom

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Teachers and administrators often confuse workstations and small group instruction.  Workstations are where students complete independent activities and is NOT a part of Response to Intervention. Most supporters of workstations would argue that workstations help students learn. Contrary to these beliefs there’s not any research that says that using workstations with small group increases student achievement. If you’ve never had your students in workstations no worries, as long as small … Read More →

Restorative Circles in the Classroom

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Early in my teaching, I was never satisfied with the outcome of sending my students to the office, because I felt like the consequence wasn’t ever appropriate. Even as a new teacher I rarely sent my students to the office because in my opinion it was counterproductive. As a result of my dissatisfaction, the way that I discipline the students in my classroom has become very nontraditional. Nontraditional meaning I … Read More →

4 Immediate Classroom Benefits of Social Emotional Learning

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The students that I have this year are very different from the students I taught ten years ago. When I say different I mean that they are entering the education system with so much emotional baggage that it inhibits their ability to participate in the education process. This emotional baggage can range from traumatic events to homelessness. I know when I began teaching I didn’t have one tool or strategy … Read More →

The 5 Step Process for Managing Student Behavior

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I used to believe that my classroom management plan would work for all my students. For the most part it did until about my tenth year of teaching. During my time in Louisiana, I learned a lot about behavior management, because there were so many students with behavior concerns. I think around this time I scrapped the textbook idea of a classroom management plan. What they don’t tell you in … Read More →

Managing Off Task Behavior with Nearpod

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There are some school years when I’m sad to see my fifth graders leave at the end of the school year. Then there are those years when I can’t wait until the school year end so I never have to see them again! If you’re reading this blog post I’m sure you can relate. Although I’ve been teaching for eighteen years I’ve had my fair share of students who have … Read More →