A Close Look at Fluency

I’ve always believed fluency is an important, and often overlooked, area of reading. I’ve read quite a bit about fluency over the last few years, have heard Dr. Tim Rasinski speak quite a few times, and even had him give me feedback on something I created (more on that later).  If you’re not familiar with Dr. Tim Rasinski, he is known as a reading researcher with a focus on reading fluency. I’ve had as a

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Working with Division text and equal group arrangement using Twizzlers and Skittles

Working with Division

Some people, districts, textbooks (take your pick) teach multiplication and division together in one unit and at one time.  I prefer to teach division a few weeks after multiplication; after students have had some time working with multiplication, exploring equal groups, and building a deep understanding of what multiplication means. You can also read more about how I introduce multiplication. For division, however, my go to is always, always food! Lesson engagement is at an

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Whole Group Classroom Management Systems

Classroom Management with Whole Class Behavior Rewards

Every few years you get a group of kids that help you become a better teacher, and this year is that group for me.  They need a lot of positive reinforcement and are high energy.  My engagement strategy toolbox has increased as I’ve tried out new methods to keep them interested in our lessons and our learning.  They’ve already made tremendous gains and I’ve seen some critical shifts in their thought processes about school, learning,

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Making my List & Checking it Twice

  The beginning of the school year is rough.  No matter how many hours and hours I spend in my classroom in the summer, August hits and I’m automatically behind and can’t get caught up.  As soon as I think I maybe, just maybe, might possibly be caught up after a marathon of a work session on a Saturday, I discover a bunch of things I haven’t yet done and my To-Do list once again

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9 Activities for Building Place Value and Number sense in the middle grades with base ten blocks

Building Place Value and Number Sense Skills

When I was an interventionist looking at our schoolwide data, I noticed something in our students’ math data.  The students in third grade that scored lowest in math overall on our benchmark testing (NWEA’s MAP test), were the lowest scoring in the place value and number sense sub-domain. As time has gone on, I’ve continued to see that trend- that the lowest achieving students in math, tend to have poor number sense. Here are some

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