Interactive Math Journals

You asked! I answered!

I hope this video really help you all design the layout of your Math Journals! Now, as you will see, I am not the MOST creative; however, I did share meaningful tips that will help you through this process.


Scissors, Tape, Ribbon, Ruler, Sticky Notes, and Transparency Film


Click here to download the editable version of the Mathematician Creed, Bulldog Pride, and QR code handout.











Unpack the TEKS

Welcome to the world of TEKS! Before reading this post, please understand that I am so not a weirdo and there is absolutely no reason why I should be able to tell you so much information about how to accurately analyze TEKS the way I’m about to. Forgive me now.

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So, let’s get started! First, I think it is important to know that all TEKS regardless of content area are outlined the same. They have four essential parts that support teachers in understanding what should be taught. For the sake of time, I will limit our focus to fourth grade math:

Part I: Introduction

This is the part that most teachers never read. Now, that I think about it… I don’t think I was ever advised to read the introduction. I recall always going straight to Part III (SE’s). Any who, we as educators must STAWP doing this because this section is loaded with information we need to know. It gives us a great overview of what our students will specifically learn in this current grade level. Check it out.

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So I picked up a few important things I would want my fourth grade teachers to know:

  • Texas has good intentions. Do not laugh.
  • The process standards should be apart of instructional planning as it tells us exactly how the students will engage in the content. We should not be confused how a skill could be assessed.
  • Students must develop number sense and be conditioned to understand that problem solving takes time, effort, and perseverance. I think another bigger unstated takeaway is teachers must model this behavior. Every activity in the classroom should not be rushed. Some problems should be allotted an extensive amount of time as students engage in dialogue about how they could solve it various ways.
  • The big focal points are: use of operations, fractions, and decimals and describing and analyzing geometry and measurement. There are limits in all areas.
  • Including: must be mastered. Such as: possible illustrative examples.

Part II: Strand

The strands are made up of standards that are grouped and categorized. The strand is located right after the number. In this case, the strand is Geometry and Measurement. For those who are curious about the numbering of the TEKS… the first number corresponds to the grade level. The second number is the Knowledge and Skills number. Click here for a snapshot of the TEKS provided by Lead4Ward.

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Part III: Knowledge and Skills Statement

The Knowledge and Skills Statements give teachers an overview of the big ideas or concept that must be understood in the current grade level. It immediately follows the strand. One thing to keep in mind…

Many teacher impart knowledge but lack giving students’ opportunities and freedom to sharpen their skills. Have you ever noticed how often we say “I taught that. They know this. Why did they get this wrong on the test?” Well…. it’s because the students can recall facts about the concept; however, they have not developed the skills (behaviors and procedures) to apply (process standards) their knowledge to different situations.

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Part IV: Student Expectations

The Student Expectations are what we know well but often miss the mark when effectively teaching it. Let me explain…. SE’s are #LOADED with content. How often do we sit and break down one SE beyond the nouns, verbs, vocab, and potential gaps?

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Example: 4.5 Algebraic reasoning. The student applies mathematical process standards to develop concepts of expressions and equations. (A) represent multi-step problems involving the four operations with whole numbers using strip diagrams and equations with a letter standing for the unknown quantity.

This SE has two skills the students must understand although its jumbled in one sentence:

  • The students must represent multi-step problems involving the four operations with whole numbers using strip diagrams.
  • The students must represent multi-step problems involving the four operations with whole numbers using equations with a letter standing for the unknown quantity.

Extra Information

I highly recommend you do not stop here when completing a TEKS Study. You should spend time analyzing the supporting information, dissecting the vertical alignment, researching instructional vocabulary, analyzing test items and overviewing your campus data, and sooooo much more!

I have created a TEKS Study Form that will benefit you in so many ways! It also has outside resources that you should use every time you analyze Math TEKS.


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Customized Email Signature

I spent my first week of summer at an amazing Leadership Institute and STEM Maker Workshop hosted by Texas A&M University. During that first week, I was required to write two weeks of lesson plans so I decided to continue the journey I never wanted to revisit. Don’t tell Dr. D I said that, I love her!


Time: 25 – 30 minutes

Objective: To customize my email signature.

Materials Needed: LaptopMicrosoft Word, Google Docs, Preferred Professional Picture, Social Media Website Links, Website:

Explicit Instructions:


If you’re feeling like…


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Differentiating Word Problems Using A Poster Board

Fun Facts:

I love the song in this video (It Ain’t Me x Selena Gomez) and I LOVE this poster board even more. Ehhhh…. I guess I’ll give one more fact. This poster board helped me accomplish my goal of growing every student and over 90% of my students passing their end of the year exam, also known as, STAAR.

What is the purpose?
During small groups, we want to make sure we have activities that are beneficial to every student (individualized instruction and practice). The best way I have found myself catering to each child’s needs is through this math poster board. It also helped me track the students’ growth and document important specific information when needed. Students’ who are advanced would work with Level 3 and 4 questions on a certain concept, whereas my lower level students would work with Level 1 and 2 questions and work their way up.

How to make the math poster board?
I recommend you print out every page of this resource on colored paper to attract the eye. After printing, cut out each part and follow the instructions on the intro video.
Download PDF File here:

How to use the poster board?
Make copies of any questions you would like (STAAR test questions, Campus Common Assessment questions, workbook questions, etc.). Categorize the questions into 4 levels:
Level 1: Questions usually have pictures and symbols with little to no words.
Level 2: Questions usually have a combination of pictures, numbers, and words.
Level 3: Questions usually have more numbers and words with little to no pictures.
Level 4: Questions are usually word problems.

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