Deep Passion.Great Teaching. IGNITED

Why is teaching adding fractions with unequal denominators so hard?

colorful math fractions on the bright backgrounds. interesting m

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?

School Maths Class

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 →

Scaffolding Instruction to Support Diverse Learners

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The concept of scaffolding can actually be tied to Lev Vitgosky’s Zone of Proximal Development. Vygotsky believed that a learner’s developmental level consisted of two parts: the “actual developmental level” and the “potential developmental level. Scaffolding can be described as the bridge that is used to connect what a student already knows to the new learning that he or she will acquire. It is essentially connecting the new to the … Read More →

3 Reasons Why Teachers Struggle with Tier 2 Interventions

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Having students that are working at multiple grade levels can be stressful for even for the most seasoned teacher. It really shouldn’t be a surprise when teachers struggle with implementing Tier 2 interventions. The response to intervention model is very clear about what steps to take when students are not making progress with Tier 1 instruction. Yet, schools with large populations of  high need stundents continue to struggle to ensure … Read More →

Breaking the Pedagogy of Poverty Cycle

meme pedagogy of poverty

 I have always taught in low income or as some would call them high poverty schools. Over the course of 17 years my view of my role at these schools has drastically changed . When I finally moved up to a high stakes testing grade level I used to love being the underdog and then coming out on top. Then all of a sudden at the beginning of the 2008 … Read More →

Anchor Charts: You Can Have Too Much of a Good Thing

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 Anchor charts are the new mandate for educators across the country. Like with most education mandates the implementation can be compared to a California wildfire. Simply put, out of control!  What are the Benefits of Anchor Charts? According to Expeditionary Learning, anchor charts: build a culture of literacy in the classroom,  as teachers and students make thinking visible by recording content, strategies, processes, cues, and guidelines during the learning process. anchor … Read More →

5 Ugly Truths About Workstations in the Urban Classroom

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Small group instruction is great, workstations not so much! Every week I am in awe of how many administrators and support personnel offer workstations as a solution for students who struggle with certain concepts. I have learned that silence is golden whenever I am offered workstations as a solution to any of my teaching problems. Here are 5 ugly truths that you should know about workstations before you implement them … Read More →

Response to Intervention- Data Tracking Done Right!

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I hear administrators tell teachers that they should be using data to drive their instruction. I’m not sure if they understand that teachers have to be taught to track and use data. It just doesn’t happen by osmosis. I didn’t realize it until recently that analyzing and interpreting data is not easy for a whole lot of teachers. Data Tracking There are many different data sources of that you can track. … Read More →

Converting Improper Fractions: The Zebra Cake Challenge!

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  As I slowly walked down the hallway to my classroom I told myself, “Last school year was a complete disaster but this year is going to be different!” If I could paint a picture of the students that I had last year, it would look like a scene from Major Payne. Every morning when I entered the building I felt like I was entering boot camp and I was … Read More →

Classroom Management: Intentionally Building Relationships

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Merriam Webster defines a relationship as the way in which two or more people, groups, countries, etc., talk to, behave toward, and deal with each other. So, when 2 people are interested in the possibility of entering into a relationship with one another, they ask questions and behave in a manner that will hopefully yield a healthy relationship. All relationships whether they be friendship, professional, or a romantic relationships require every action to … Read More →