Laura Carter

Teaching is my Superpower!

"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou
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About Me

This is my seventh year teaching math to 5th graders at North Ridge Elementary. Two things that are very important to me are building strong relationships with my students and discovering ways to make math exciting for them. I absolutely love my job!

To Infinity and Beyond with Technology!

Technology makes learning fun and engages the 21st century learner. I am a "techy" person by nature, so I love integrating it whenever I get a chance! Here are some of my favorite ways to use technology in my classroom:

  • Nearpod and Class Kick to deliver lessons, formative assessments and opportunities for peer tutoring (large or small group)
  • Kahoot and Plickers to turn any lesson or review into a fun and competitive game
  • Video apps to enrich and stretch learning, like student-made video tutorials
  • Whiteboard apps like Show Me and Explain Everything to teach whole group, small group or a flipped classroom lesson
  • Memes to generate interest or just hook them into math
  • Bloomz and Volunteer Spot to connect and communicate with parents
  • Websites like Matific, Quizlet and to expose students to a variety of exciting ways to learn math concepts
  • Google Forms to document RTI sessions and groupings
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In December, we participated in the "Hour of Code" which encourages kids to learn computer coding in a super cool way!

Able to Flip a Classroom in a Single Bound!

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Shortly after creating my first math blog, I was chosen to serve as a juror on a capital murder trial last fall. Because I knew I would be out for at least a month, I decided to try out the flipped classroom idea, but with a twist. My long term sub LOVED knowing she could just push "play" and it was just like I was there teaching the kids! The parents also liked being able to access these at a later time at their convenience. I definitely will be adding more in the future! (photo courtesy of the C & I November Newsletter)

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a...GO PRO!!!

Last summer I wrote a grant for a Go Pro Camera and editing software and was so surprised when they called my name during Convocation to say I was one of the grant recipients! I had already decided I would take on the yearbook for this year and let students get involved like never before. My yearbook staff is for students who need enrichment opportunities in my classroom, and they love being a part!
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My Most Recent Superhero Trainings

PLC Training

I serve as the fifth grade team leader at North Ridge and sit on the leadership team. We traveled to San Antonio last summer to attend the PLC conference. I learned lots of things about professional learning communities and how they can benefit our students and their learning! To learn how to make our campus PLCs the best possible, I led a book study in July over Patrick Lencioni's The Five Dysfunctions of a Team; the members of the campus leadership team met and discussed topics and how they related to our campus. Once school was back in session, I implemented some of these into our weekly PLC meetings where we discuss our students' RTI progress and needs.
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My team participating in the 1st Annual Chili Cook Off!

My MTM and CAMT Experiences

I love to learn new things! In fact, I think it is so important as educators that we be exposed to and try out new things in our classrooms. Our audience changes year after year, and we must keep up with the changes in order to connect with our students!

I applied to be an MTM (Math Teacher Mentor) last spring as part of the Texas Regional Collaborative through Region 17. I have become a better math teacher as a result of the 100+ hours of training and collaboration with other teachers from all over the region. I also had the opportunity to attend CAMT (Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching) in June; I was like a kid in a candy store with all of the math breakout sessions taught by my math heroes!

My Mission: Whatever it Takes to Get Kids EXCITED to come to Math Class!

Make it Real

Twice a year (usually on a free food day), the fifth graders participate in Free Market. Groups decide on a type of product to "sell" and how to advertise, merchandise, and price their items. Then, on Free Market Day, all the kids weave in and out of our classrooms buying and selling their wares with their "Tiger Bucks". It is a huge success every year and something that our kids remember about fifth grade!

Make it Big

Anytime I can make a math concept or activity larger than life, not only do my students think it's cool, but they also seem to remember it for a longer time. Below is a dot plot Wendy Reeves and I created to teach one of the ways to analyze data! The students added his/her dot sticker above the number of siblings in the family. Next, we will generate questions for them to revisit the graph and take that knowledge even further!
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Math & Food

Math is more fun when Twizzlers are involved! This particular fraction division activity was a quick way to assess the students' knowledge as well as keep them engaged!
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Take it Outside

To appeal to different learning styles, it may actually help some kids to go outside and do math problems with sidewalk chalk. Or, maybe the kids truly need an extra five minute recess to run all that energy out. Whatever the case, there's lots to be said about the great outdoors!
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Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

When I throw in a little friendly competition into a lesson, engagement goes up as well as interest and retention. This semester, Wendy Reeves and I decided to create a motivational display to use with Think Through Math, our online math program for grades 3-5. Since the program promises success with a minimum of 30 lessons passed, we based the bulletin board on this idea. Once a student in any grade passes five lessons, the teacher prints out his/her custom avatar that the student then places on the board. Every five lessons after, he/she moves the avatar up to the next level. So far, the kids love it and are motivated to get on the program more often!
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The Real Heroes: My Team!

I am blessed to work with these five ladies. They are my support and my cheerleaders. They are a part of my family. I do not know where I'd be without them!
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