### Why and How to Scaffold Reading with Complex Texts

The Science of Reading has become the latest hot topic in education. However, The Science of Reading is a broad term that refers to scientifically based research about teaching reading. While many know the Science of Reading has a large focus on phonics and decoding, many are unsure of what this looks like for upper elementary grades. So how do elementary teachers push forward with helping their students progress with

### Understanding the Meaning of the Equal Sign

Who knew that in all of those years of my school career, the equal sign didn’t just mean that the answer goes on the other side of the equation? That’s what the student side of me thought, but the teacher side of me knows better now. The equal sign actually means that the equation is balanced. I know, I know… we didn’t balance equations until high school algebra, or did

### Adding Three Numbers up to 20 in a Word Problem

I love teaching adding 3 numbers in word problems. Yes, you may be furrowing your brows right now. I know word problems have somewhat of a stigma of making students and teachers cringe and for good reason. They can be challenging on both ends. The beauty of adding 3 numbers in a word problem is that most of the leg work has already been done.  Strategies for solving a word

### Ideas for Teaching 10 more 10 Less in First Grade

Can we take a second to talk about skills that we were under an assumption would be easy for students to grasp but in reality it’s just a smidge more challenging than we thought it would be? Every year I would say “I’m going to stop assuming.” And guess what happens? I keep assuming. Did any skills come to mind as you read the first sentence? The one that came

### Strategies for Introducing Word Problems

It’s a couple of months into your school year and you’ve probably made your way into teaching math word problems by now. Once the foundation for computational skills has been laid, it’s time to add some words and context to the mix. There’s rarely a real-life scenario where we are asked to compute numbers without any context surrounding them. That is what makes teaching word problems so important in the

### Seven Tips for an Easy and Fun Classroom Holiday Party

The holidays are a wonderful time to celebrate with your students! But if you’re anything like me, the thought of planning a party for 20+ kiddos can be daunting. Never fear! With a little planning and these six easy tips, you’ll be on your way to hosting a stress-free classroom holiday party that your students will love. 1. Keep it Simple The holidays are already a busy time for you

### Ways to Teach Greater Than and Less Than

Ok, you’ve made it over the hump of teaching basic place value, so now it’s time to build onto that skill. Number comparison (greater than and less than) is a skill that usually comes soon after teaching basic place value. And whether you were one of the teachers that loved teaching place value or one of the teachers that didn’t, we can all usually agree that comparing numbers and ordering

### Activities for Teaching Place Value in First Grade

There are two types of teachers in this world – Teachers that love to teach place value and teachers that don’t.  Ok, there’s definitely more than two types of teachers, but you get what I mean. Show of hands of those who love teaching place value in first grade? Show of hands that don’t? See what I mean? Definitely a house divided. One of the most vital foundational skills to

### How To De-Stress Your Class Holiday Party

We’ve all been to a class holiday party. Well, 99% of us at least. The plates and napkins get passed out; Next comes all of the junk food, and then the movie. As a student, these were the fun days. As a teacher, these are some of the more stressful days. In theory, it doesn’t seem like it should be stressful. Teachers are used to passing out materials and showing

### How to Teach Counting to 120 in First Grade

Some of the very first math skills children learn revolve around counting.  Counting to 120 is something that sounds so easy, but in reality, is so much more than just saying numbers in sequential order and calling it a day. Gone are the days when we stood up in front of the class counting each number one by one. Well, I shouldn’t say the days are gone. The days are