Deep Passion.Great Teaching. IGNITED

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 →

Why is teaching adding fractions with unequal denominators so hard?

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Fractions have always been my students’ Achilles heel even before the math standards changed. I’m sure you know that many of the fraction concepts that were once taught in middle school have been moved to fourth and fifth grade. Since I’ve taught middle school the new content for these grade levels didn’t scare me, but what did scare me was teaching more complex concepts to young learners. I just couldn’t … Read More →

Is Student Engagement a Part of Your Classroom Management Plan?

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I thought I had classroom management all figured out figured out until 2017. I’ve taught all kinds of students and by this time I’d been teaching for seventeen years. Like most urban school districts our school district had schools in certain areas of the city that had been neglected and were facing state take over. In order to get the school out of Improvement Required status teachers were offered a … Read More →

Can Plickers Help You to Increase Student Achievement?

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I often wonder why administrators put so much emphasis on lesson plans. Truth be told my lesson plans never reflect exactly what I’m teaching, because most of the time more than sixty percent of my students are working below grade level. Lesson plans become less important especially during dreadful test prep time prior to testing. Getting students prepared for testing can be a stressful time for teachers. Since teachers are … Read More →

What Does Trauma Look Like in the Classroom?

No, He's Not a Behavior Problem, IgnitED

“Something is going on with James (name is changed to protect the student’s privacy)”, I said to the ELA teacher on my grade level. He has become quick tempered and is angry. My teammate agreed and said that something must be going on at home. After this initial conversation I was discussing James’ behavior and how he had changed with our school counselor and the ELA teacher. Shortly after the … Read More →

Making Project Based Learning Accessible to ALL Learners

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Two years ago I attended a school district workshop on Implementing Project Based Learning. The two presenters were educators from the more affluent part of our school district but that didn’t matter to me. Although the presenters and I didn’t teach the same demographic of students I still stayed for the entire presentation. The information and resources they provided during their session was phenomenal! When I left the session I … Read More →

How to Actually Teach During Test Preparation

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This year I decided that I wasn’t going to test prep my students to death by making them do endless amounts of math word problems during every class period. And yes, I do question whether or not this will be an epic failure. But I have to keep reminding myself that I went through the same thought process when I decided to transition from a 100% paper based classroom to … Read More →

What Can Test Preparation Teach You About Data Driven Instruction?

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The second semester of the school year is absolutely the worst part of the school year for me. You’d actually think that I’d be excited because school is close to being over, but nope that’s not the case. The only two words that I can ever think about from January to May are TEST Preparation. If you’re not an educator or don’t teach a testing grade level the second semester … Read More →