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A Go Figure Debut for a Couple Who Are New!

Matt and Tara's Store
When I first saw the Teachers Pay Teachers logo for the store "Tied 2 Teaching", I thought, "How clever!" "Tie" is definitely meant to be interpreted in more than one way. This store belongs to a married couple, Matt and Tara, from Arkansas.

Matt has been teaching full time for seven years, and has taught grades ranging from 4th through 8th grade. He has served as the chair of the math department and is currently involved with math and science leadership on the campus where he teaches. This year, he teaches all subject areas in a 5th grade class, and he loves it! In addition, his wife, Tara, homeschools their children as well as runs the business/social media aspect of their store.

This teaching team believes learning should be fun! Matt claims his classroom is often filled with silliness and laughter. From wearing funny hats to different ties each day, to creating magical math experiences, his students never know what will be next to bring a smile to their faces. He believes students learn best in an environment they enjoy! (Don't we all?) His students are encouraged to explore, create and try new things. In addition, he is passionate about finding ways to integrate math, science and literacy instruction.

Free Resource
This team has been selling on TPT for 17 months. Their store contains a broad range of product levels and content although the biggest percentage is for 5th grade math. They have over 370 different resources in their store, with 21 being free. 

Lately, Matt has been putting in more time into new science products. One of his free items is entitled, "Science Starters". It gives the teacher five designed printables to help establish morning routines and provides a varied, rigorous way to spiral and review Space Science objectives and standards with elementary students. They now have a free google drive version of this product as well.

Only $10.00
Another resource Tied to Teaching offers is a Math Test Prep Bundle for Fourth Grade. (It is also available for 3rd and 5th.) This collection of four Mathematics Prep-Tests is part of the comprehensive Smarter Design Test Prep Series. It provides the teacher with four complete, common core aligned, math prep tests that have been carefully constructed with the rigors of today's standardized tests in mind. Each test is designed to look and "feel" like the real thing and presents students with a variety of question types that ask them to grapple with information in multiple ways. Matt encourages teachers to take their students to new academic heights and PREPARE SMARTER, NOT HARDER, with Smarter Design Test Prep! 

With high stake testing just around the corner, this would be the perfect time to check out Tied to Teaching and the 30 test prep resources they have available. While you are there, why not become a store follower? In addition, take a few minutes to check out their Facebook page.

Problem Solving - Getting Unstuck!

Math courses are not like other courses. To pass most other subjects, a student must read, understand, and recall the subject matter. However, to pass math, an extra step is required: a student must use the information they have learned to solve math problems correctly. Special math study skills are needed to help the student learn more and to get better grades.

The study of mathematics should emphasize problem solving so that students can use and apply a wide variety of strategies to investigate and understand mathematical content. In this way, they acquire confidence in using mathematics meaningfully and the assurance that they can be successful in math.

But what is a real problem that requires problem solving? A real problem solving problem presents a challenge that cannot be resolved by some routine procedure known to the student and where the student accepts the challenge! Now, there's the dilemma, students who actually accept the challenge and are persistent enough to solve the problem.

What can we, as math instructors, do when students become frustrated, exasperated and discouraged and say they are stuck? Let's look at ten ways to help them get "unstuck".

Top Ten Ways to Get Unstuck
    Free Resource
  1. Re-read the problem. 
  2. Modify your strategy. 
  3. Change your strategy. 
  4. Combine your strategy with another strategy. 
  5. Look at the problem from a new perspective. 
  6. Look at the answer. 
  7. Look at other similar problems. 
  8. Ask for help. 
  9. Wait awhile and then try again. 
  10. All of the above.
Would you like a free resource about study tips? Check out Study Tips You Won't Forget. This resource lists 20 math study tips or guidelines intended to help students succeed in math.