Deep Passion.Great Teaching. IGNITED

RDW- Read, Draw, Write


This school year my students have challenged my ability to teach problem solving because of their lack of problem solving skills from previous grade levels. At the beginning of the year I assessed my students problem solving ability and on a scale of 1 to 4 every students score a 1 which is considered a novice problem solver. This really alarmed me because I have never in my 14 years … 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 →

Teaching Tip: Front Loading Instruction

Many states and school districts have made the transition to the Common Core State Standards and some school districts, such as the one that I work for began to fully implement the new standards this year. This has caused educators such as me to search for ways to implement these standards to students who have already had instruction that does not support conceptual understanding of mathematics. I have found that … Read More →

Factors vs. Multiples

Chart 2

Have you ever wished that there was a magic word that you could say to get your students to understand and identify the difference between factors and multiples? You are not alone! Factors and multiples are introduced in elementary school between 4th and 5th grades. It’s amazing to so many secondary math teachers that by the time a student reaches middle school many students continue to struggle with identifying a … Read More →

Teaching Tip: The Mystery of Reading a Ruler


I have begun to teach customary measurements of length to my students and as with every teacher we always want to assume that our students have been taught the necessary skills from the previous grade level. In 4th grade students are supposed to have been taught how to read a ruler to the nearest quarter inch. I quickly realized that they did not have a clue as to how to … Read More →