Deep Passion.Great Teaching. IGNITED

The Anatomy of a Cognitive Demanding Math Task

mainpic

You all don’t have school tomorrow, I said to my fourth period class. “Can I come to school anyway?” one student shouted. I looked at him and asked why? I don’t want to deal with my parents bullshi*t! I pay bills and my parents still try to put me out. I sat there for a second looking confused. Then I said, “You’re only fourteen.”  Another student chimed in and said, … Read More →

A Practical Guide for Improving Problem Solving

mainpic

I’m always amused by the choices of word problems that teachers share on social media. Often times they are fictional problems that don’t have very much substance. Problem solving is supposed to give students a context to help them make sense out of the mathematics they are learning.  According to NCTM, “Problem solving means engaging in a task for which the solution method is not known in advance. In order … Read More →

What Really Is the Best Way To Build Number Sense?

mainthing

I’m always amazed when students who struggle with math haven’t got a clue about how to use a number line. I’ve been teaching my ninth grade intervention classes how to add and subtract using a number line. I was at a loss for words when one of my students proclaimed, “I don’t know where to start?”  I stood there for a second then said, “What do you mean you don’t … Read More →

3 Simple Alternatives to Traditional Math Workstations

MainPic

Before I moved to high school as a Math Interventionist, I taught elementary math for over fourteen years. When I taught fourth or fifth grade every year without fail, I’d always have the same struggle with my administration over math workstations. At the beginning of every school year, the Teacher Development Specialists would descend from high to meet the teachers at their campuses. During my first classroom observation, the TDS … Read More →

How to Identify Students For Math Intervention

MainPic

Have you ever heard this quote, if it quacks like a duck it must be a duck?  Well, certain data points may quack like a duck, but it’s really not a duck. This means sometimes what the numbers tell us about students may not be consistent with who shows up for class everyday. We always meet our students on paper first. Test scores and grades can be misleading, because students … Read More →

How I Used Thinking Routines to Improve Procedural Fluency

screenshot-docs.google.com-2019.09.04-11_21_43

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

screenshot-docs.google.com-2019.08.25-16_15_02

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?

mainPic

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

Teacher Helping Elelmentary Students Working At Computers

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!

WilliamsApril11

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 →