Featured Archives - Tales from Outside the Classroom

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), also were the lowest scoring in the place value and number sense sub-domain.  Over time and several years teaching in different settings with different grade levels, I’ve come to learn how very important number sense is, and I’ve picked

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Word Work Ideas for grades 2-4

Word Work in the Middle Grades

As a third grade teacher, I find that my word work center activities cover a variety of skills.  I want my students to review and refine their sight word knowledge specifically focused on the correct spelling of many high frequency words.  I want them to apply the phonics skills from the previous years and our current year’s instruction.  I want them to begin to recognize and apply affixes and have a base level understanding of

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YouTube math channels

6 YouTube Channels to Help you Teach Math

I like to use videos and songs in my lessons as much as possible, and math videos are no different.  Having a video give a minilesson gives students the opportunity to take a break from me and my voice, which they love.  It also gives me a moment to sit down.  Sitting down and being quiet for a moment is a glorious feeling that doesn’t happen too often in the classroom.  Watching a video also

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Grit

GRIT: What is it?

I originally heard of Grit during a conference discussing leadership in membership organizations when someone shared this Ted Talk from Angela Lee Duckworth.  I immediately thought of my students and how grit was an important part of the work we do each day as educators. As a former teacher, Duckworth wanted to see what kept students engaged and successful with school.  And what she said made so much sense.  In education classes in college I

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Assessing and Scoring Fluency

7 years ago (um, wow!) I was a reading teacher in a K-5 building.  We revamped our report cards that year to be very standards focused.  Indicators based on the standards were broken apart into the report card and each received their own score which then made up the overall grade.  One of the teachers came to me and said… At the time, all of the K-2 teachers were using DIBELS.  However, this was the

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Hi! I'm Tessa!

Tessa Maguire image

I’ve spent the last 15 years teaching in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades, and working beside elementary classrooms as an instructional coach and resource support. I’m passionate about math, literacy, and finding ways to make teachers’ days easier. I share from my experiences both in and out of the elementary classroom.

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