Susan Midlarsky

consultant • tutor • trainer | inspiring excellence

Let’s Write a Comic!

Would you like a fun summer writing project to do with your child? Why not create a comic? Comics and graphic novels are legitimate forms of art and writing, and for visual people, they can be more accessible or relatable. And they require thought and good design to be interesting. This spring, a girl I’ve […]

New Parent Workshop: Understanding Math Education

Over my time as a math teacher, I’ve met hundreds of parents and teachers who all came to me with the same fundamental need: “I don’t feel good at math or confident enough to help my child (or students).” We rarely hear this from parents about literacy – everyone knows it starts with reading to […]

Singapore Math Cheat Sheet: Starting a Child Mid-Year

A teacher recently asked me a question: “What do I do with the student who is strong enough in his math concepts, but he has no idea about Singapore Math approaches like number bonds, and he starts our school late in the year?” For her and other teachers in the same boat, I’m making this […]

Pi Day: Pi Music and Classroom Activities

With March (and spring!) right around the corner, many teachers are already thinking about celebrating Pi Day, or March 14. This is a great day to celebrate how much fun math can be. I was inspired all over again by this music video using Pi to make music.   If you would like to make […]

Free Printable: Money Pinch Strips

How is it possible to assess a whole classroom in a moment? One great tool for this is pinch strips. To use these, the children are asked a question, for example, “How much is $1 minus 95¢?” The children then pinch the strips on the segment showing the correct answer – in this case, the […]

iPad Apps for Education: Part 1 – Stop Math

As an eager tech user as well as a teacher who likes to use any tools that are handy, I am always trying out new ways to engage students. I recently obtained an iPad and have been trying to fill it with the best educational tools possible. Imagine my delight when I found an interactive […]

Why Learning Should Be Fun

Or, Why Baby Animals Have It Better Than Schoolchildren UPDATE: Pediatricians say not to cut recess! “In order to learn well, children need a period of concentrated academic activity followed by a break that allows them to process information…” Back in the mid-2000s, when I was a newly-minted teacher launching my career, I interviewed at […]

Descriptive Writing Exercise

As National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) approaches, many people gear up for an enormous leap into creative writing. November has been one of my favorite months of the year for this reason, now for almost a decade, as my tenth year of participating in this program approaches. One of the areas young (and other) writers […]

Fun With Blocks: Foundational Geometry

In the course of my teaching and tutoring experience, I’ve come across the fact that Americans often fall short of others in geometry1,2. Besides the fact of test scores, I see that in how difficult it is for bright high school students I tutor to grasp certain spatial concepts. In fact, I was recently tutoring […]

Story Board Game

Nearly all writers have experienced writer’s block. There are many ways to overcome it, including by using a variety of prompts. I have used Rory’s Story Cubes, which the students and I love, writing kits, and more. Today an idea came to me to make a board game with writing prompts. My students have had […]

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