It’s no secret that we are a big supporter of teachers everywhere. To us, the teaching community is like a warm hug that always fills up our bucket and gives us a big smile! We love to support teachers as much as they support us. To help support teachers, even more, we are growing the Teach Starter tribe with some handpicked publishing partners who help make the teaching community buzz.
These publishers share their resources on the Teach Starter website to provide our members with more quality options and content. That means that as well as having a website full of Teach Starter-branded resources, you’ll get a variety of top quality resources from other publishers too!
We thought you would appreciate getting to know some of our new featured publishers a little better, so without further ado, we are pleased to introduce to you Carol and Cindy from TeachTransform!
Who Are TeachTransform?
Meet Cindy and Carol
What’s their teaching background?
Carol was a math teacher, district math supervisor, and STEM leadership coach. Cindy was a high school English teacher, district assessment specialist, principal, and curriculum and instruction coordinator.
What’s their teaching style?
Both Cindy and Carol believe that teaching and learning should be fun! This means that classrooms should buzz with the excitement of learning. To move beyond surface understanding, students need to talk about what they are learning and make connections across the curriculum. They need to look for evidence and learn how to question.
Making mistakes is part of learning and correcting them needs to be baked into the classroom culture.
Instructional activities should have multiple access points so that all students learn and want to learn. Finally, teachers should connect and respect because relationships are the foundation for excellent teaching and meaningful learning.
Why did they start publishing their own resources? In essence, how did ‘TeachTransform’ come about?
A few years ago, in Texas, the math standards changed. And it was a huge change! So Carol worked with a regional service center to create a product that explained the standards and gave some ideas for instruction. This product was super helpful, but it wasn’t enough. The changes were so drastic that teachers needed more. One rainy afternoon, she sat down and sketched out a series of instructional resources to support teachers in this instructional shift. She has been writing ever since.
When Cindy was thinking of retiring, Carol had an idea – why not join forces and build on what Carol had already started? Together they could continue to affect mathematics teaching and learning across the state of Texas as co-owners of the company. And the rest is history. They’ve been laughing, learning, and developing materials for about five years now, using their strong personal relationship and varied professional experiences as the basis for all they do. They’re a small company with big ideas, bursting into schools across the US and Australia.
What Type of Resources Does TeachTransform Provide?
Curriculum-Aligned Math Resources
How do they draw upon their teaching experience when creating their resources?
Carol and Cindy approach content like teachers, not a textbook company. They carefully consider the concepts being taught and the students who will be learning them. Then, they answer these questions:
- What do students know that can help them learn the new content?
- How does the new content connect to what they already know?
- What mistakes will students likely make? What misunderstandings might they have?
- Where is the activity being used in the unit – the beginning, the middle, or the end?
- Who is the learner – one who struggles with math, a middle-of-the-road student, or a raring-to-go student?
This brings them to meaningful, hands-on experiences that help students learn in active and fun ways.
What’s so special about TeachTransform’s resources?
Both Cindy and Carol are curriculum and instruction experts who appreciate the hard work teachers do. They use funny contexts as a vehicle to teach deep mathematics, from cartoon character stories to Find-the-Mistake activities to goofy riddles that they know kids enjoy. They help students develop flexible thinking and problem-solving skills by providing various experiences with models such as strip diagrams, area models, and number lines. In turn, these experiences allow the students to apply their learning and explain their thinking in multiple ways.
How Can TeachTransform Resources Help Teachers?
Using TeachTransform Resources in the Classroom
How can TeachTransform’s resources add value to the classroom? What makes TeachTransform’s resources relevant to the classroom in 2020 and beyond?
TeachTransform activities are easy to implement. The directions are clear, and the materials are items teachers already have, or, in the case of remote learning, students can quickly locate! Even the digital activities are designed to build peer relationships as well as teacher/student relationships.
What’s the best way for teachers to use TeachTransform’s resources in their classrooms?
The best way for a teacher to use any instructional resource is to start with the unit or concepts that students need to learn. Then, find the activities that best meet the learning needs. For TeachTransform activities, use the Teacher Page information to tell you where to slide the activity into your unit. Is it an introduction to a new concept, practice, small group instruction, centers, guided math, or tutoring activity? Then, get ideas for differentiation to meet students’ individual learning needs. Their activities provide support for new teachers and new ideas for experienced teachers. Be sure to use the Conversation Starter Questions and Sentence Stems to get students talking and thinking about the math. Then, use the journal questions to delve deeper into their understanding and figure out what students know and still need to learn.