Deep Passion.Great Teaching. IGNITED

Have Base Ten Blocks Become Useless?

base ten blocks

I began my teaching career in August 1999 in Houston, TX. I was hired as a first grade teacher. I can remember teaching my first grade students how to add with base ten blocks and a place value chart. After I taught my lesson I could not understand why the students did not use the base ten blocks as a resource when they were not able to add or subtract. … Read More →

Middle School Rant………..Rational Forms

DecimalConversionChartUsingPennies (1)

The school year has ended and summer school is in full swing. Well, for some I guess. This school year I taught 4th grade math to 70 wonderful 4th graders. Now during the month of June I have the pleasure of teaching 8th grade math remediation. It’s very interesting to see how non proficient 8th graders struggle with elementary concepts. This was very evident on the first day of summer … Read More →

Meaningful Multiplication Practice


I am not a huge fan of dice in my classroom because they cause so much noise in addition to the students’ excitement and the dice somehow mysteriously disappear. After testing I needed some high interest activities that would keep the students engaged for about 2 hours. I remembered that I bought the dice activity book, but like most teachers had not used it yet because of various reasons. I … Read More →

Aha!….Converting Improper Fractions to Mixed Numbers


While reviewing fractions for the 4th Math LEAP test last week I had an aha moment. I was drawing the model for a mixed number and I realized that I had not really focused on converting improper fractions to mixed numbers. Well, I continued with my mixed number review but I sat there talking to talking to a student about how to convert an improper fraction to a mixed number. … Read More →

Using Division Houses and T-Charts to Teach Division


This year has been a challenging school year for me, however it has been very rewarding at the same time. Every 4th teacher knows that division can be and sometimes is a difficult skill to teach students every year. Believe me this year was not any different for me! One day at the beginning of the year I was talking to my students about all the different topics that we … Read More →

What Does it REALLY Mean to Simplify a Fraction?


Teaching fractions to students can sometimes become complicated especially when the teacher relies on how he or she was taught fractions. I can remember when I was in school my teacher would call simplifying a fraction reducing. When I realized that I loved math so much I decided to stop teaching  5th grade math and science and enter the world of  middle school math. By the time I began teaching … Read More →

Decomposing Fractions to Multiply


I  have always loved to teach fractions, but this year I have learned so much more about  fractions! Truth be told, I’m not a big fan of  The Story of Units math curriculum (Engage NY) but when I realized that my 4th grade students had to learn how to multiply fractions  by a whole number I was kind of scared because I knew that multiplying fractions had previously been a … Read More →

Reciprocal Teaching an Alternative to Close Reading for Teachers


One day after school while I was sitting at a table in a classroom one of the teachers brought her test to me and asked me if her it could be done in Edusoft. I looked at the test and then we began to discuss all of the different components that were on the test.  I asked her why she had so many matching vocabulary items on her test?  Her … Read More →

What Does the Zero Mean in Multi-Digit Multiplication?

2digit multiplication

For the past two weeks I have been requiring my students complete a Computation Check Up everyday because even though they may have learned the skill they are not fluent with any of the 4 operations. Each day the students complete 4 computation problems  that addresses one of the 4 operations. The first problem is always subtraction with zeros, the second problem  2 digit by 2 digit  multiplication, the third … Read More →

How Does Motivation Affect Math Achievement?

bone factory

Within the last 5 to 6 years student engagement has been apart of the buzz words in education. So what exactly is student engagement? Student engagement can be defined qualitatively by the actions of students as they complete a task. When looking for student engagement these actions can be observed: the students are attracted to their work,  they persist in their work despite challenges and obstacles, and  they take visible … Read More →