Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Literacy Strategies for Math Class

It has been a while! I have been wanting to revamp my blog and my chance has arrived.  I am a math teacher who also loves to bake.  This is a place for me to share some teaching strategies as well as amazing recipes.  I have been in grad school for a year and a half now and I have been learning a lot about becoming an educational leader.  One of the areas that I have excelled in is looking at school data and thinking of solutions for problems or areas where I can help student achievement.  Here is one of the projects I have worked on. 

A word problem...

A researcher conducted a medical study to investigate whether taking a low-dose aspirin reduces the chance of developing colon cancer. As part of the study, 1,000 adult volunteers were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Half of the volunteers were assigned to the experimental group that took a low-dose aspirin each day, and the other half were assigned to the control group that took a placebo each day. At the end of six years, 15 of the people who took the low-dose aspirin had developed colon cancer and 26 of the people who took the placebo had developed colon cancer. At the significance level a 0.05, do the data provide convincing statistical evidence that taking a low-dose aspirin each day would reduce the chance of developing colon cancer among all people similar to the volunteers?


So, I gave this problem to my students and, as many teachers find, students were overwhelmed and unsure of how to tackle this situation.  Some students were simply thrown off by how many words were in front of them.  Teachers: do you see similar struggles at your school?  How have you dealt with this?

My school has been finding that students struggle with long word problems.  Our SAT data also reflects this issue.  Plus, our school has an improvement plan in place to make gains in this area.  To confront this issue and support students, I did some research and found a literacy strategy to incorporate in math class!


  • Helpful to ESL students
  • Helpful to all students who feel overwhelmed
  • Make sense of long or tough word problems
  • Organization
  • Higher students slow down and read more carefully
How to implement:

  • Have students work in groups as a relay where one person does one part at a time.
  • Model annotating a problem using the CUBES strategy.
  • Have students write problems for peers who then have to translate.
If you have other suggestions, feel free to comment below! I am excited to revamp this space and share more educational ideas as well as recipes in the future.

Other resources for literacy strategies:

Friday, November 25, 2016

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Lasagna

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I can't believe we are already at Thanksgiving and December and the holidays are just around the corner.  I hope that everyone is having a great time with friends and family today and that you all eat some seriously delicious food and enjoy!

I made a Vegetarian Lasagna to have around in honor of Thanksgiving.  My husband is a vegetarian and thanksgiving food is typically not his favorite.  Sure he likes the sides, but the main course is obviously not for him.  So, I tried out this recipe I saw from The Kitchn and it turned out fantastic! I subbed a few different things in so here is my variation:

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Lasagna

12 no-boil lasagna noodles
1 large butternut squash
1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
8 oz creme fraiche
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp salt, plus more
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 oz baby arugula/spinach mix
1 lb fontina cheese, shredded
fresh sage leaves
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1. Heat oven to 375 and lightly grease a few baking sheets.
2. Peel the butternut squash, cut off the ends, and then thinly slice the rest.  Place the slices of squash on the prepared sheets, sprinkle with some salt and bake for 20 minutes.
3. While the squash is baking, in a medium bowl, mix the pumpkin puree with the creme fraiche, dried sage, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
4. In a 13 by 9 inch baking dish, spread a thin layer of sauce.  Place 4 lasagna sheets down then place some butternut squash pieces on top.  Spread more pumpkin sauce over the top, sprinkle 1/2 of the arugula/spinach mix, and 1/3 of the fontina cheese.  Place 4 more lasagna sheets on top and repeat the same process.  Top with the final 4 sheets, more sauce, and the rest of the fontina.  Place some sage leaves over the top and sprinkle with the parmesan.
5.  Bake for 45 minutes.

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Dark Chocolate Zucchini Bread - Tried out a new recipe!

In the past few months since our wedding, we have been having a really fun time trying out all our new kitchen toys!  I have been having a blast baking and cooking and trying out new recipes.  Recently, I ended up with a lot of extra zucchini because I was going to roast them with some other veggies, but then I had a ton of other veggies so then I saved them for zucchini bread!

I tried out a new recipe from America's Test Kitchen and I adapted it a tad to include dark chocolate chips.  I'm not sure I really believe in not including chocolate when the opportunity presents itself.  And so, I made this amazing Dark Chocolate Zucchini Bread.

This bread came out super amazing.  It was flavorful and stayed together nicely.  It stayed moist for a long time and was delicious with apple butter or regular butter.  This bread is great if you have a lot of zucchini lying around so make it before it goes out of season!

Dark Chocolate Zucchini Bread

1 1/3 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 small zucchini shredded
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
pinch of cloves
3/4 cups dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 325 and grease a loaf pan.
2. Beat the brown sugar, canola oil, eggs, and vanilla together in a large bowl.
3. Shred the zucchini using a grater onto a paper towel.  Cover with another paper towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Add the zucchini to the wet mixture and beat to combine.
4. Add in the flour, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and cloves.  Beat until just combined.
5. Add in the dark chocolate chips and stir to combine.  Pour into prepared loaf pan.
6. Bake for 65 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Chicago Marathon and Chocolate Chip Cookies

After a long weekend running and recovering from the Chicago Marathon, I decided to make some cookies to bring into school.  Now, I decided to make my "famous" Inception Cookies because you cut each cookie in half and you get double the cookies.  It makes baking for my advisory or other classes so much easier! I wanted to celebrate the marathon a little with them and we have a pizza party at the end of the day today and so I figured it was an excellent time to bake some cookies.

A few weeks ago, I decided to try out a new recipe and it was a huge success.  Now, this recipe doesn't have you putting oreos inside of cookies so it's not as cool looking, but it did turn into a really great chocolate chip cookie.  

I found the recipe over at Cook's Country.  I didn't do much to change it up except add a pinch of cinnamon to the dry ingredients.  However, the cookies came out really great! They were chewy with a bit of a crunch, flavorful, and stayed soft for a long time.  Everyone loved them!  Try it out! 

The Chicago Marathon was also a crazy success and a great reason to bake (and eat) some cookies.  It was my third Chicago Marathon and 4th marathon.  I finished with a PR of 4:18:39.  This is 12 minutes faster than my last best time!  I was so excited.  I finished with my best running buddy, Jana, and we were both so happy!  I celebrated with Brian and my family and it was a great day.  

Now, I need to recover and get ready for the New York City Marathon on November 6th!  I'll keep you posted on my ongoing training!