Deep Passion.Great Teaching. IGNITED

Reading Comprehension Strategies in the Math Classroom

comprehension group work

I’m sure you have heard the phrase “Reading is thinking.” In fact this statement is the absolute truth! This school year about one third of my students are ELLs or English Language Learners. Having so many ELLs requires that I focus on reading comprehension as well as math concepts. I can’t say that I am pro at finding a balance between the 2 because this is something that I haven’t … Read More →

Problem Solving: Predicting with Evidence

predicting with evidence explanation

As a math teacher I am used to telling students “Show your work!” I thought if the students shows their work I could see where they went wrong. What I realized this year  is that by the time the students began to solve the problem showing their work didn’t matter because the calculations were a product of their thinking. If the thinking is incorrect then the product of their thinking will … Read More →

Teaching the Distributive Property Through Multiplication

mutiplication-number talks

The math curriculum for elementary has changed tremendously. Many of the math concepts that were taught in middle school have now found a home in 3rd -5th grade. Elementary teachers have found themselves scrambling for new teaching strategies to address this shift. One of the most complicated concepts that elementary teachers have to now teach is the distributive property. Many middle school students struggle to really understand the concept of … Read More →

Literacy: The Math Teacher’s Thorn


Everybody who knows me will tell you that my specialty is mathematics. Well with the implementation of the new math standards sometimes I don’t feel like the math teacher I feel like I have turned into the reading teacher. Like me I am certain that many math teachers are feeling the pressure to include literacy strategies in their math lessons.  I’m sure most curriculum leaders would say that this is … Read More →

How To Not Suck at Teaching Math


Math teachers are a special group of people. They quantify, analyze, and look for patterns in everything that they do. The only other group of teachers that really understand math teachers are science teachers because these teachers get excited about things that nobody else understands. In my 15 years  of teaching I have had to the pleasure of working with, supporting and coaching many many math teachers and the one … Read More →

3 Steps to Converting Fractions to Decimals Conceptually

converting fractions to decimals demo

Teaching students to understand how to convert a fraction to decimals seems like an impossible task to many 6th and 7th grade math teachers. Math teachers in elementary school usually teach students using fraction wheels for fractions and decimals grids for for decimals, however I have never seen them apply fraction concepts to decimal grids. This seems to be where their understanding of decimals reaches its end point. When I … Read More →

Decomposing Fractions : The Role of the Denominator


I absolutely love teaching fractions! It just makes sense to me, but I realize that I am in the minority when it comes to teaching fractions. I have taught elementary and middle school math and one common issue that many of the students have is understanding the role of the denominator. I have learned that  students cannot have a real conceptual understanding of fractions until they understand the role of … Read More →

Overlooking the Value of Place Value


The last 9 weeks of school is always my favorite part of the school year because standardized testing is over and most of the curriculum has been taught. This is my time for reviewing concepts that were not mastered and maybe finding a different way to teach a particular skill or concept. I have been teaching my current 1st grade class for about 2 months. When I started in December … Read More →

EXPIRED! Teaching Students to Add Using Their Fingers

boy counting on fingers

Before I left Louisiana I was apart of a LSU Cain Center collaborative called the Math and Science Project. The math and science project’s goal was to build elementary teacher’s math and science content knowledge. I learned so much from this collaboration but there was one thing that always stuck with me,  the article  13 Rules that Expire. This article highlighted on all the rules that were taught  to us … Read More →

10 More, 10 Less: The Bigger Picture

ten more tenl less model

I write the math lesson plans for my grade level and on Monday I will begin teaching my 1st grade students how to identify whether or not a number is 10 more or 10 less. While talking to my co-worker yesterday about this skill I showed her an example of the number bond of 23 and 33. Her concern was that she understood the number bond and 10 more or … Read More →