6th Graders CAN Multiply

Dear friends and readers I have some wonderfully fantastic news.

My girls increased their multiplication fact fluency from 18 percent measured on February 17th, to 88.3% (and yes....they deserve that dang .3 percent!!!) on Friday March 28th! As it stands now the boys have a final total of 64.6% (they also deserve the .6% ☺ )

I am so dang proud of them.  All of them.  Even the boys.  hehehe

It started in 2nd hour.  2 hour is my co-taught special education class.  I have 37 girls in there 15 of them have ieps and 9 504 plans.  Ironically the rest of the girls are all labeled GT.  It is one of the most difficult sets of students that I have ever had to differentiate for!  The girls came in on Friday ready to take the test...ready to kick the boys butts.  I asked if they wanted me to explain the homework first or if they wanted to take the test.  THEY ALL SAID TAKE THE TEST.

Three minutes on the clock.

Pencils up....


Pages turned, pencils scratched, mechanical pencils squeaked, lead broke, panicked looks on faces...Don't worry your teacher has your back and put extra on the table.

one minute passes.  I look around and my students are rocking it.  Even my one girl who the best she ever got was 8/100.  The day before I had told her to really study her 2, 5 10, and 11's.  We talked about how any number times 10 you just add the zero (I will talk about why with her later...let's face it this girl has MANY struggles in life.) and how any number 1-9 times 11 is that number 2 times  (you know 3•11=33).

I only had 12 girls that were NOT proficient!!!!!  SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!

and the coolest part.  EVERY SINGLE GIRL MADE HUGE GROWTH!  I am not only talking about my girly above.  EVERY GIRL!

I had this awesome time to talk to them about how they should not need a competition or a carrot in order to want to do well.  I asked all of them how good they felt and they were all BEAMING.

4th hour happened.  This is a HUGE class of 39.  Many of them are mainstreamed ELL level 1 students.  I asked them the same question.  Same response...test first.

Three minutes on the clock.

Pencils up....


Pages turned, new pencils scratched, mechanical pencils squeaked, lead broke, panicked looks on faces...Don't worry your teacher has your back and put even more on the table.

STOP.  Pencils down,  RED pens up.

I rattled off 100 multiplication answers one at a time from the top left and over all the way down to the bottom right.

And this time...only 5 did not pass with 90% or more.

I was walking around and high-fiving girls who passed.  I walked up to one of my tinniest little girlies...(she is literally a 6th grader that wears a size 6-7 clothing.  TINY).  She was hiding her score.  An 88. out of 100. 18 better than she has ever done before.

I crouched down and asked her how she felt.  She said...mad she did not pass.  I squatted down further and whispered in her ear that she is smarter than she gives herself credit for and she passed when it comes to effort, dedication, and growth.

I stood up.  Had the same conversation about not needing a contest...but then it hit me.

I was so proud.  SO PROUD.  I started talking about how as females in this world we have a notch against us just for being females and that is out of our control.  I talked about how not only is everyone in the room a girl but every one of them is a student of color...meaning they now have two notches against them in life...and they can't control that. I then went on to say many of them were ELL students...and that is beyond their control.

There are many things in this life that is not in our control. We can not control the actions and words of others, who loves us, who we love, who walks in or out of our lives, or when we leave this word. The two things in life that we can control how we love ourselves, and the amount of knowledge that we allow to be put into our heads and we retain.  I looked at TINY and said...that score sweetheart, is awesome.  You should be incredibly proud.

I almost cried.

Lunch happened and so did 7th grade boys - nothing could break me today...not even 30-7th grade boys...

6th hour came in.  This is my "small" class of 27 but two girls were gone on Friday.

Same question, same answer.

Three minutes on the clock.

Pencils up....


Pages turned, scratching and squeaking happened.  This time I am noticing about the 2 minute mark girls were putting their own pencils down....and had nearly a minute to check their work....WHAT!!!!

STOP.  Pencils down,  RED pens up.

One cutie pie exclaimed "I ONLY HAD 2 LEFT!"
I said "CUTIE, that is the best you have EVER DONE!" an other sweetheart in my class asked from across the room "really?" but not in a mocking way...in a genuinely excited for her friend way...

Cutie shakes her head.

Sweetheart begins to clap.

I begin to cry.

Cutie begins to cry.

WHOLE CLASS starts clapping.

Sweetheart begins to cry.

It was a beautiful moment that I am not sure would have played out the same in a co-ed classroom.  The dynamic was so supportive and positive that I had goosebumps and was shaking as I rattled off the answer key for the last time, EVER.

100% of my 6th hour got 90 or more on the test right!

I am floored.  ABSOLUTELY floored.

My Students Rock.

I know that my students are going into 7th grade next year with an amount of bravery and personal success that they have maybe never felt before in math.  My school has some of the worst tests scores in the district.  I can proudly say that they are leaving my hands with at least ONE hole filled in their mathematical lives.  It is for this reason and this reason alone I entered the education field.

Cheers friends.


  1. I LOVE this :) Thank you for sharing. Your students are wonderful and so luck to have you!

    1. Thank you Danielle,

      That means a lot to me. My 6ers are special to me and I love, love, love each and every one of those girls. I am sad that I only have 6 weeks left with these cuties!



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