About Me

When I started teaching 11 years ago, I was handed a math book in which all instruction was whole group. Every student in the class received the same work to do, the same lesson…the same everything. I knew it wasn’t right, but it was what everyone else was doing, so I did it my first few years. As I began to reflect and notice what was happening with my students I knew I had to do something different to help them learn at high levels.

That was when I went on a mission to change and move beyond that traditional model of math in the elementary classroom. My blog features many of my projects, as well as how I’ve changed my practices throughout the years. I’m often reflecting on how to make math more real world, with project based learning and rigorous problem solving included.

I have over a decade of teaching experience in the Wisconsin Public School system.  I spent 7 years in third grade, and another 4 years as a Math Instructional Coach and Math Interventionist.  I was a participant in the Cooperative Educational Service Agency (CESA) math center, and an attendee at the Professional Learning Communities Summit in Phoenix, Arizona.

My experiences include being a subject matter speaker at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Regional Conference, the Wisconsin Math Council Annual Conference and the Mastery Connect MasteryCon standards based grading conference.

Education:

  • Master’s Degree, Educational Technology
  • Bachelor’s Degree, Psychology and Human Development
  • Teaching License: Grades 1-8
  • AddVantage Math Recovery Participant – Courses 1 & 2

Latest from the Blog

Uncovering Misconceptions One Array At A Time

Posted January 23rd, 2018

Today with my 4th grade intervention group, I noticed a lot of giggling when we were working on Piles. This is a known fact about students who struggle. The more giggling and fooling around, the more lost they are.

I’ve been working on the concept of “rows” with these students because there is almost no understanding of what a multiplication sentence could stand for. There was a lot of quick matching going on, just putting things together that had similar numbers, hoping they were correct.

So I had to bust that right up.

I asked them to build the card with my square counters, and to make it equal to what they thought the array would look like if it actually had squares. So essentially I’m looking for them to build an array with 6 rows that has 5 squares in each row. We talk a lot about what the counters could represent, like seats in a movie theater.

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Testimonials

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Being a special ed. and interventionist teacher, I was a little nervous that this would be above my 5th & 6th graders’ heads, but I was SO wrong! My students LOVED these! I got to see a new side to their thinking and these really got some good conversations started (students were working in pairs). These are a must buy for teachers looking to challenge their students! (Reasoning Puzzles: Fractions)

AnnMarie F.

I’ve used this resource a few times now and I’ve really collected a lot of samples for kids to get excited about. One of my students just asked me when we were going to make our Dream Bedroom that he heard about from prior students!!! Some groups can take the packet and have everything done by the due date. Others can only handle one page at a time, but everyone loves it! (Design a Dream Bedroom)

Karen T.

If you really want your students to understand and internalize the difference between area and perimeter, you NEED these in conjunction with your lesson. Promotes higher level thinking and discourse. LOVE!!! (Reasoning Puzzles: Area)

Ms. Martine

My students absolutely LOVED this project! They could not wait to plan their own sleepover- some might’ve actually gone through with it too! It was really neat to see students connect math to their own life and truly enjoy it. Thank you! (Sleepover Madness: Performance Task)

Marisa S.

Oh. My. Goodness. This is FABULOUS! My students are eating it up and SO ENGAGED!!!!! They keep wanting to add things to their yard… like fire pits, swing sets, etc. I’m going to create another set of criteria for their extensions! 🙂 THANK YOU! 🙂 (Doggy Dilemma: Open Ended Problem)

Jessi O.

Hands down, one of the best resources for teaching multiplication in a developmentally appropriate way. I used this resource for a reteach and students understood so much better after going through these steps. (The Cupcake Shop: Multiplication Project)

Emily C.

I love these reasoning puzzles! This is the second file of its kind that I have purchased from Beyond Traditional Math, and have loved them both (the other version I purchased was for fractions). These really get kids to think and REASON about the things that they have learned. I use them after we’ve thoroughly taught a concept to get kids to build upon their knowledge base. Thanks for another great resource! (Reasoning Puzzles: Area)

Cristin B.

I am obsessed with this product. I only wish every activity I did had reasoning behind it! My students really struggle with understanding the meaning behind the numbers and this really helped them understand. Thank you! (Reasoning Puzzles: Area)

Taylor B.

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