Daily (Morning) Meetings

Our daily meeting is by far my most favorite way to start the day. I love sitting down next to my students in a circle. Spending time checking- in and “seeing” each other before we jump into the busy day of learning and work. This special time, each day, allows us to learn about how […]

Start Math Class Calmly with these 3 Productive Ideas for Every Teacher

start math class

If you’re anything like me, then you’re a teacher looking for ways to start math class calmly and engage every single student. That’s what we want right? We want our students to walk into math class and immediately engage in some deep math thinking. However, we want it to be calm, welcoming, and easy for […]

Student Centered Math: What Exactly Does That Mean? A Classroom Tour

student centered math

Student Centered Math in My Classroom Have you heard of student centered math? I’m confident that by the end of this episode you’ll understand what makes a classroom student centered.You’ll find out why student centered math helps students understand more deeply and motivates them to participate. Finally, you’ll get some tangible ideas of how to […]

Math Vision: How will your students experience math in your class?

math vision

When you consider how you want your students to experience math in your classroom, what comes to mind? This is your math vision. Your math vision is what you want your math class to look like, sound like, and feel like. Your math vision also includes the actions by both teachers and students that will […]

Why Use Math Tasks to Engage Students in Math Class this Year?

math task

Are you wondering why (and how) to start the year with math tasks? By using open math tasks you’ll engage every student and create a positive classroom community. Let’s chat about what math tasks are and how they can be used to jump start engagement in your classroom. What are Open Math Tasks? An open […]

Real Life Math: 2 Simple Strategies for Joyful Math Talk

real life math

Today we have the pleasure of hearing from expert in real life math, Alice Aspinall of @EveryoneCanLearnMath. If you follow Alice on social media you will see her beautiful pictures of real life math and practical tips on how to use opportunities in our everyday life to incorporate math! I knew having a guest blog […]

Foster Collaboration in Math Class with 3 Incredible Ideas

collaboration in math

Collaboration in math is one of the most important parts of a math classroom community. As you start the year are you thinking about how you can promote collaboration in math? Today I have three ways that you can use in your first month back to help students engage in collaboration in math. Partnerships are […]

Unlock the Power of Coteaching with these 4 Practical Power Moves


Coteaching is a model for teaching in which educators work together to plan, teach and assess the same group of students, generally in the a common classroom. Coteaching is an opportunity to maximize the skills and strengths of each teacher while reaching all students. Introducing… Carly McKeague, coteaching pro! I would like to introduce you […]

3 Simple Steps to Teaching Classroom Routines in Math

teaching classroom routines

Teaching Classroom Routines will create a student centered classroom community that will engage your students for the entire year. In the analogy of building a student centered math class is just like a house, we are in step 2- the structure. When you’re building a house first you need a solid foundation. In this case, […]

3 Tips to Motivate Students to Take Risks in Math

take risks in math

Are you looking for ways to motivate your students to take risks in math class? If you’re like me you want your students to be motivated and take risks in math class. I have three tips to help your students be motivated to take risks in math class! #1: Choose the Right Math Task to […]

4 Reasons Mistakes in Math are a Good thing

mistakes in math

Mistakes are proof you’re trying! When you’re teaching in your classroom you might wonder… are mistakes really a good thing? Don’t students have to get the answer right, too? Today we are going to talk about why mistakes are a good thing in the math classroom! Let’s jump in. What are Mistakes in Math? Mistakes […]

How to have a growth mindset in the elementary math classroom

math mindset

Can I just say that I’m SO excited! I makes me so happy you are here, searching out ways to have a growth mindset in math. This is exactly what we need in our math classrooms! I can’t wait to jump into this work with you. In fact, if we haven’t met yet I hope […]

Math Stories: Using Our Pasts to Empower Students

math stories

Reflecting on our math stories can help us analyze how we got to where we are in math. Our past experiences, current mindset about teaching are all part of our math stories. Our Math Stories: Past, Present, & Future Let’s start by reflecting on where’ve we’ve been, our past. What memories do you have of […]

5 Tips to Engage All Learners in Math Discussions

engaging students in math discussions

Math Engagement is a real problem and one way teachers can re-engage students is by using math discussions. This post will give you 5 tips to engage students in math discussions tomorrow. Because when you get students talking, it not only helps them love math (because what kid doesn’t love talking about themselves?) it also […]

Test Motivation and Confidence is the New Way to Test Prep


It’s Testing Season And that means we have to get test motivated. What is test motivated? Keep reading… I’m gonna explain it all. I don’t know about you, but spring means April showers, May flowers and standardized testing. I don’t know about you, but it instantly makes me shake my head. Don’t get me wrong […]

Increase Engagement with Problem of the Day for Math


What is Problem of the Day? In my classroom Problem of the Day for math is an instructional routine that helps students achieve deeper learning through inquiry and exploration of mathematical ideas. Okay, so real talk– it’s a routine we use everyday so kids can THINK deeply about math. The routine is simple, but the […]

Black History Figures that Empower Math Students

Black History Figures

In this post you’ll find Black History Figures that will empower and inspire your math students. I’m sharing how I help my students see themselves as mathematicians by using inspiring words and stories of these Black History Figures in mathematics. If you asked your students to name a Black Mathematician, could they? There is a […]

Black History Month People in Math

Black history month

This year which Black History Month people will you be teaching your students about? For me, I try to incorporate in Black History Month people that my students might not know. This helps broaden their perspectives. In addition, I want to incorporate people from STEM fields, especially women. I have found that the follow four […]

3 Ways to Use Black History Quotes in Your Class

black history quotes

Are you ready for teaching teach Black History Month? I love using quotes to help students learn about Black History & Present. Keep reading for my top three tips for incorporating quotes into your lesson plans to help students reflect on Black History Month Leaders. Warm Up Activity Virtually or in-person I often start my […]

How Problem Solving Changed my Math Teaching

problem solving

What can you honestly say has changed your teaching? I don’t say that lightly. Honestly, I will claim just 2 things have changed my teaching career– character education and problem solving. Problem Solving Definition Let’s form a common definition. My training and research comes from a book called Children’s Mathematics: Cognitively Guided Instruction. This training […]

Virtual Math Discussion – 4 Ways to Make it Work!

virtual math discussion

Never Teach a Live Class to Crickets again! 4 Tips to Engage students in Virtual Math Discussions Anyone else feel like they are teaching a live virtual class to… no one? With student’s cameras off and hesitations to turn their mics on I often feel like talking to myself and my zoom screen. Believe me I get […]

3 Winter Math Activities to + Joy!

winter math activities

Are you looking for winter math activities to boost your student engagement? I’m sharing my 3 favorite winter math activities right here.

Virtually Teaching Math? 3 Tech Tool Reviews!

Virtually teaching math

Are you virtually teaching? I am going to assume your inbox has been inundated with emails from every tech company that has ever made an education tool. The onset of virtual teaching in March of 2020 opened the flood gates on technology tools for education. Let’s be honest, it is overwhelming.  I’ve been 100% virtually […]

Math Norms for Building a Growth Mindset

What are math norms? Math norms are an agreement that everyone in the math classroom community agrees to follow. Norms in math are short, easy to remember statements that clearly express the expectations for the math classroom. These clear expectations help students know what to expect and help them hold themselves accountable. In addition, it […]

Building a Math Growth Mindset

math growth mindset

By using positive affirmations I am not a math person. I’m just going to be real honest…. for MOST of my life I didn’t love math. I didn’t even like math. When I became a teacher I knew I would have to teach math, but figured I could just follow the curriculum. I would throw in […]

Top 4 Ways I’m Teaching Decimals

to my 4th & 5th Grade Are you frantically searching the internet because you’re teaching decimals and you NEED ideas. Teaching decimals is hard. Are your students struggling with conceptual understanding of decimals and you’re fighting the urge of just showing them all the “short cuts” that landed you (and I) hating math and feeling […]

Got Math Attitude?

math growth mindset

Surveying Students’ Attitudes Got Math Attitude?We ALL have some attitude about math. Maybe it is enthusiastic attitude or uninterested attitude? Our students come to us with a wide range of what I like to call “Math Stories”. Some come loving math and knowing exactly how to seek challenge but ask for help when overwhelmed. Then, […]

Parent Communication- Newsletters

Do you send out a newsletter? Monthly? Weekly? Bi-weekly? I’ll be honest, I always struggle to be consistent with a newsletter. It gets to a point in the year when I think to myself, is anyone really reading this? The answer is always yes. So, I’m going to share with you my best tips to […]

I’m Obsessed with Circles

I’m obsessed with circles. It’s true. When I started having my students sit in a circle my teaching changed and learning increased. What? Just a circle on the rug? I’m literally talking about just changing from having students sit in rows to sitting in a circle. That being said, I’ve always had rectangular carpets in […]

Me Museum: A Back To School Activity

July is almost over and all I can think about it what will our first week look like? We recently got word that we will start doing digital learning. We will have 2 weeks to build our classroom communities online. In addition to building community, we will use this time to teach students how to […]

Math Discourse- Sentence Stems

Student Led Discourse- Step 1: Sentence Stems Our discourse is student led. In my crew (that’s what I call my class), students do the heavy lifting in the discourse. What I mean is, they do the noticing, they ask the questions & they even call on one another. The number one question I get asked […]

Self Assessment– Levels of Understanding

Have you ever wondered how you can get your students to care about their grades? I wonder, have you taught them what their grades mean? As a class, have you walked through what it looks like to meet the goal, or be skill developing in a skill? Self assessment is a key part of establishing […]

Math Attitude Survey

Got a math ‘tude? Let’s face it we ALL do. Read how I start the school year by helping my students face their math story and begin to rewrite it.

Apologies Have 4 Parts

What do you mean 4 Parts?! We’ve all heard someone (or maybe it was us?!) tell a child to “say sorry”. The kid quickly, or begrudgingly, forks out a “SORRY!” along with a facial expression that clearly communicates the child is not in support of the words coming out of their mouth. We use 4 […]



In my crew, we grapple. My students know that learning takes place when we grapple. I tell my students that if they go home and say school was east I didn’t do my job! I tell them, “you should be struggling & grappling everyday because that’s when the learning happens!” Think about it, have you […]

End of the First Day


Are you wondering about the first day of school? The school year JUST ended and I’m already wondering what the first day will look like (thanks global pandemic). The anticipation we all feel for the first day is… special. It doesn’t matter if it is your first year or 10th year, virtual or in person […]