Scaffolded Math and Science

(formerly ZeroSum Ruler)

A Free Slope Puzzle! November 23, 2014

Filed under: algebra — Shana Donohue @ 10:52 pm
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If you teach slope and are looking for a fun activity to help in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, I’d love for you to try my new slope puzzle. You can find it in the “Today’s Flash Freebie!” box over there on the sidebar of my blog or the Freebies! tab on my Facebook page. Already I am wondering if it is too much of a pita to cut out the pieces…. I’d love to know what you think and, better yet, how your students liked it!


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Bad Day, Better Tomorrow. November 18, 2014

Filed under: algebra — Shana Donohue @ 9:16 pm


I had a bad day today.  I haven’t had a bad day like this one in a very long time.  At some point in the last few months after having a bad day, yet nothing compared to the one I had today, I wrote myself an email.  I read that email today.


When you’re having a bad day, the challenge isn’t getting through it. The challenge is allowing yourself to believe that tomorrow may be the best day you’ve ever had.


Here’s to a better tomorrow.



Halloween Graphing Task Cards: Introduction or Intervention October 13, 2014

Filed under: algebra,graphing — Shana Donohue @ 7:22 pm
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A while ago I wrote about my student who still couldn’t graph in 11th grade.  As much as I tried to explain to her that we move along the x axis and then up or down depending on y’s sign, she could never consistently graph a coordinate.  This always bugged me, and still does, and I think about ways to help her and other kids who can’t graph often.  I have this same student again this year for Consumer Math, and by golly she’s good at crunching numbers.  When I asked if she’d consider working at a bank, her answer was, “What if I mess up?”  I’ll keep pushing.

These task cards are meant to introduce graphing to students or to be used as an intervention for students who still struggle with the concept like my student does.  Each group of students gets a Halloween graph, a set task cards and a student answer sheet.  For teachers there is an answer key.  Students look for a coordinate, for instance (10, 31) or (January, 19), and answer with the Halloween picture that is underneath that coordinate.  You can find the file for FREE for a little while in the “Today’s Flash Freebie!” widget in the sidebar (over there —>).  You can like my Facebook page for notifications of more freebies.



Who’d want to visit US? We’re Special Ed. October 6, 2014

Filed under: algebra — Shana Donohue @ 10:09 pm

This broke my heart.

As part of the Consumer Math class I am teaching this year, I am asking professionals from the community to come in to talk to my seniors. All of my students in my Consumer Math classes are on IEPs for some sort of disability, whether it’s Math, ADHD, dyslexia, or some other disability that keeps them out of the general education classroom for Math. We had an AWESOME guest speaker a couple weeks ago who trades stocks for a living (and who has been emailing me to ask about the steps to becoming a teacher – whoo hoo!).  A couple days after his visit, one of my students asked, “Why would anyone want to come to our class? We’re Special Ed.” This sank my heart. I told him not to sell himself short and that of course people would want to meet him, just as much as they’d want to meet anyone else! I hope he believed me.

Kids with disabilities, in my opinion especially in Math, have self-esteems that have been so destroyed by repeated failure. These are GREAT KIDS! I have more visitors lined up to visit every cycle from now until December 2 and I am searching for more!


Task Cards! Do you use them? September 28, 2014

Filed under: algebra,Geometry — Shana Donohue @ 1:27 pm
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Do you use task cards in your classroom? We joke that they’re just “cut up worksheets”, but for some reason kids love them! Maybe it’s the collaboration between classmates or the low-key learning environment they create. Who knows? Whatever it is, they’re great!

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What is YOUR definition of “Interactive Notebook”? September 1, 2014

Filed under: foldable,interactive notebook — Shana Donohue @ 10:41 pm
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QuestionmarkWhat is YOUR definition of Interactive Notebook?  I have been thinking a lot about this lately.  In my current school and the one I worked in prior to this position, there were no textbooks.  Well, there was a textbook at my last school but it was so horrible no one used it!  Because of this, it forced me to create note sheets for the kids.  When I compare them to note sheets being called INB, I see a lot of similarities.

To me, interactive notebooks consist of foldables and flipables, almost what are used to make homeschooling lapbooks.  What I’d consider scaffolded student notes are being called “interactive notebooks”, so much so that I am questioning my definition.  What do you consider INB?


{Limited Time} Free Foldables (11 in total) for an Algebra INB!

Filed under: algebra — Shana Donohue @ 10:26 am
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coverOMG, what am I doing?  I guess the first long weekend of the brand new school year has got me feeling inspired!

It’s good to be back with my students – many I’ve had for 3 years in a row (minus a few months of maternity leave) for Geometry, Algebra 2 and now Consumer Math as seniors.  It’s good to be back.  I missed my students and had to keep reminding myself that as much as I wanted it not to be true, there is only one of me.  I can’t be in 2 places at once.

For a VERY limited time, you can get my Interactive Notebook foldables (11 in total!) for FREE!  What?  Yes, free!  After downloading and seeing all that you get (remind me again what I am doing here?), don’t forget to review!  Happy 2014-2015!



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