Deep Passion.Great Teaching. IGNITED

Interpreting the Meaning of Division

division 3

This week my students and I embarked on the journey of learning the concept of division. When I began the teaching the division concept I did not realize that it would involve teaching students to interpret the meaning of division before they actually divide. This idea may sound strange but it made sense to me when I was reviewing 2 warm up problems with my students. The first problem was … Read More →

Teaching Inverse Operations to Challenging Learners


Last weekend I was looking ahead at the math skills that I had to teach my 3rd graders and based on what I saw I had to teach them how recognize that multiplication and division were inverses of one another. So, yesterday I was teaching teaching my students how to subtract 2 digit numbers with regrouping using a place value chart while teaching my lesson I had an AHA! moment. … Read More →

Using Number Discs to Teach Place Value

10 tens

With the implementation of the math Common Core Standards there have been a numerous changes in the choice of manipulatives that are used to teach the age old concept, place value. In second and fourth grades place value is major topic that is taught to students in these grades. Before students reach second grade the foundation is set in 1st grade because students are taught base ten strategies. These base … Read More →

Using the Make a Ten Strategy to Add

ten frame practice

This year I am teaching 3rd grade and our first unit is Adding and Subtracting to 1,000. So, I began this school year with reviewing ten frames and numbers bonds. I tried to begin with number sentences to make a ten but I quickly realized that most of the students were not fluent with the numbers that could be added together to make a ten. I made the decision to … Read More →

Literacy in Mathematics

math literacy

I found it very interesting when I taught middle school and I had a principal who has never taught mathematics evaluate me. Every time I would have my evaluation there were basically two responses: the lesson was great or the lesson needed improvement. Both responses sometimes always showed that my evaluators did not understand the language of mathematics. I’ve realized that educators that do not teach mathematics do not understand … Read More →

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 →

Are You Still Using Division to Teach Fractions Greater Than One Whole?


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 →

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 →