I have taught elementary age students in an inclusive practice classroom and English Language Learners for 21 years. I have taught ELA, Social Studies, Science, and Math to students from first grade to fifth grade.
Throughout my career concentrating on student learning has been my focus. Your students tell you where you need to go by analyzing their work each day. I use Gradual Release to determine grouping of students each day. Student groups are either intervention groups (those students that didn't get the concept) and enrichment groups (those students who did get the concept). Literacy is a big part of my Enrichment groups, as well as having students learn on their own through exemplary models. In mathematics, I teach the conceptual, iconic, then symbolic.
I have attended the Mickelson Exxon Mobile Teacher's Academy, have been a mentor teacher and a teacher coach. I was a state finalist for the Presidential Award for Science and Mathematics and was a state finalist in mathematics from the Louisiana Association of Teacher's of Mathematics. Finally, I was elected by my peers as Pecan Grove Primary's first Teacher of the Year. It was a humble experience that my colleagues bestowed that honor on me.
After graduating from high school, I attended Louisiana Tech University and graduated in 1992. After teaching for 5 years, I began graduate courses in English as a Second Language in 1997. I graduated with my Master's in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization of English as a Second Language in 1999. Since then, I keep up to date by reading many journals and books, especially Marilyn Burns, Suzanne H. Chapin, Art Johnson, John A. Van de Walle, and Robert Marzano.
Mathematics is part of literacy. Mathematics is also considered a foreign language by researchers. It is imperative that students are math language learners to be successful at math. The way to teach students to be fluent in the language of math is to start off with conceptual understanding (manipulatives), move to the iconic (pictures), and then into the symbolic. Students have such a hard time with Algebra and symbolic forms of math because the iconic is left out. Students MUST move their conceptual understanding into pictures to create spatial sense and logical reasoning, before learning the symbolic. The symbols and all the workings involved with them will make sense because the brain has anchored itself to schema and can make connections.