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A Go Figure Debut for a Special Ed Math Teacher Who's New!

Meet Brooks Jones. This is Brooks’ ninth year teaching; however, education is her second career. Currently she is a middle school special education teacher, co-teaching in math and English/Language Arts classrooms in grades 6, 7 and 8. She was drawn to the classroom after working in the corporate world, doing graphic design, marketing, public relations and writing. She wanted to do something more meaningful with her days and teaching has certainly provided purpose to her life.

She is licensed in elementary education, special education, reading specialist and high school math, but most of her years in the classroom have been spent as a special education math teacher, providing mostly inclusion services for students needing that extra boost to reach grade level standards. Many of the resources in her store are designed to help middle and high school students understand pre-algebra and algebra concepts. She uses a lot of visuals and color-coding, which helps them remember math basics. In addition, she tries to teach the underlying concepts, not just the algorithms, because she wants students to know why we rely on certain algorithms to solve math problems.

Brooks loves seeing students engaged and interested in math. She believes math can open doors for people, and so she tries to connect the content in the classroom with realities of daily life in order to make learning relevant for students. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing that glow of new understanding unfold on the face of a smiling student. Teaching is truly a miraculous career, and she wouldn't trade it for anything.

Last but not least, Brooks is married with three children: one is grown with two kids of his own; one just started college this fall, and one is still at home enjoying her senior year of high school. They have two cats and a dog. In addition, Brooks likes reading, knitting, playing the ukulele and singing when she isn’t working on new teaching resources!

Brooks store contains 55 products; two of them are free. Most of her resources are math related. Her free item is entitled “Laws and Exponents Poster/Anchor Chart.” Since working with exponents can be confusing, help your students master the properties and laws of exponents with this jam-packed one-page resource, which can be used as a cheat sheet, anchor chart, or classroom poster. Concepts included are the properties of multiplication, division, zero and negative exponents, as well as rational (fractional) exponents. Properties are color-coded, shown with variable symbols and explained in clear language.

Brooks featured paid resource is a math bundle of two resources about quadratic equations. It is an introduction to quadratic functions and the relationship between their equations and graphs using guided notes and practice activities. It is great for beginning a unit on quadratic functions as part of an Algebra I class, or for reviewing concepts before moving to more advanced content in higher-level classes (Algebra 2, Pre-Calculus). By purchasing the bundle, you save 15% vs. buying these resources individually!

Brooks also has a blog called The Educator's Lifeline. I highly recommend that you read the May 26, 2023 post on Math Education and AI.

As many of you know, I work with remedial math students on the college level. This year, we have more students than ever. Brooks’ resources are perfect for these struggling students in that she gives them more than just an abstract way of learning algebra. She uses visuals, color coding, etc. to help them learn and memorize. As a math teacher, I believe that is what we all should be doing; so, take time to check out Brooks’ store, and while you are there, download one of her two freebies.

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