Deep Passion.Great Teaching. IGNITED

Webb’s Depth of Knowledge vs. Bloom’s Taxonomy

depth of knowledge and blooms

I had the opportunity to attend one of our districts data review meetings with my principal. It was very interesting to see how personnel from the district office dissect and internalize information. As I sat there listening to the  PPT presentation that my principal worked frantically to create for this meeting, her supervisor stopped her at the slide that had a copy 5th grade Language Arts teacher’s assessment on it. … Read More →

Teaching Division With the Division Rap

division rap

This is my 9th year teaching elementary school and by far the most challenging because many of my students are afraid of math. I have been encouraging them to continue to try even though the material is difficult for them. Last week I told the students that we were going to begin division, before I could get the word division out of my mouth one student yelled, ” I don’t … Read More →

Teaching Students to Look for Patterns-Mathematical Practice #7

place value multiplication

This week I have been teaching my students how to multiply two digit by by one digit numbers using number discs and the place value chart. The expectation for 4th graders is that they must make the jump from the conceptual understanding of multiplication and division to multiplying and dividing using the standard algorithm. When I began teaching my lesson this week I started with multiplying a two digit number … Read More →

How Do You Keep Your Students Engaged?


After 4 years of teaching secondary mathematics and 2 years as a TAP Master Teacher, I decided to return to the elementary school setting as a 4th grade math teacher this year because I really missed teaching math. I also knew that implementing the math CCSS was going to be difficult for elementary teachers. The school that I work at has been deemed as a “turnaround” school. This means that … Read More →

Model Drawing……Help!

adding fractions unequal denominators

Like many teachers across the nation who are implementing the math Common Core State Standards, I have been introduced to Singapore math and model drawing or tape diagrams. Prior to implementing the CCSS I had not heard of model drawing. This year our district has decided to follow Engage NY lesson to support our implementation of the math Common Core Standards. As a math teacher who supports conceptual understanding of … Read More →

Teaching Tip: Breaking the Code-Context Clues

In our after school tutoring I have 12 students that I target for remediation in reading and math. On our reading days we focus on decoding multi-syllabic words and vocabulary. We have been reading a nonfiction passage that focuses on the life of an elderly lady  who did not have any formal training but painted from memory. I noticed that the students were  having difficulty finding the meaning of unknown … Read More →

Problem Solving With Read, Draw, Write


This really alarmed me because I have never in my 14 years of teaching encountered 4th grade students who were all novice problem solvers. I rolled up my sleeves and came up with a plan!  I decided to introduce C.U.B.E.S to the students Circle important numbers, Underline the questions, Box in math action words, Evaluate the information, Solve. This helped tremendously, however there the students continued to show a disconnection … Read More →

OMG!!! Making Inferences

Inferences formula

Yesterday after we had completed administering benchmark assessments I had the opportunity to teach language arts to my 4th grade students. The reading passage that the students were required to read was a story about 3 boys scouts going on a hiking trip in the Grand Canyon.  While reading the passage with the students I quickly noticed that when they answered the comprehension questions the students always added extra details … Read More →

Teaching Tip: The Power of Retelling a Story


Last school year I had the opportunity to support second and third grade students in reading. I knew that the students were struggling with decoding words but what I  was surprised to hear from the second grade teachers was that based on their DIBELS testing the students were not able to retell a story that had been read to them. Retelling may seem like an easy task to master but … Read More →

Teaching Tip: Reading Whole Numbers Using the Swoop and Group Literacy Strategy


When students learn how to read they begin to read words with CVC patterns but as they encounter more words they soon realize as words get larger some words have vowel pairs, diagraphs and diphthongs. These words require a different word attack strategy than words with the CVC patterns. Swoop and group is a word attack strategy that teaches students how to analyze a word mentally swoop the letters in … Read More →