About

Shana McKay (Shana Donohue) - Scaffolded Math and Science

Hi there! My name is Shana McKay and I started teaching math (and biology) in Massachusetts public schools in 2004. I am certified to teach math grades 1-12, biology grades 8-12 and students with moderate disabilities. I live in Massachusetts with my teacher husband and our daughter. Here is a short intro video posted on my YouTube channel.


These days I spend my time making math classroom resources to help make it easier for teachers to support their students. I also enjoy spending time in our math teacher Facebook group Visual Math.

Shana McKay (Shana Donohue) scaffoldedmath.com, Scaffolded Math Pi Science

What I believe
I believe that all kids can find success in math and enjoy learning. I also believe in a varied approach to teaching math. Memorization is close to impossible for some kids, while others thrive on structure. 

In my own classroom, I gave a variety of assignments and assessments so that every student could find success. Sometimes kids need to experience success to know what it feels like, so I believe in building in opportunities for students to find this success.


What I teach
After teaching general education algebra, algebra 2 and biology for 8 years, I got a job teaching special education algebra 2 and consumer math in a high school outside of Boston. Soon after came a certification to teach students with moderate disabilities and a realization that teaching math to kids with math anxiety is what I enjoy doing most. 


Education and Work History
My undergraduate degree is in Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. After 4 years using my degree in the environmental consulting field helping to remediate leaky gas stations, I had enough and became a substitute teacher in Boston. By the next year I was certified to teach math and biology and teaching both subjects full-time at South Boston High School. 

Five long years later and after many, many late-night T rides from Cambridge back to Southie, I had my graduate degree in Mathematics for Teaching from Harvard Extension School. My thesis centered around a manipulative to help kids add and subtract integers, especially those tricky negative ones. 

A couple years later in 2013, right before our daughter was born, my certification was finalized to teach students with moderate disabilities. 

Shana McKay (Shana Donohue) graduate thesis

Facebook
Facebook is where I share all the cool math ideas that come across my feed.

Scaffolded Math and Science on Facebook


My new shop:
In 2022 I started a shop for my Consumer Math curriculum. You can find other math bundles there as well.


My TpT shop:
In October 2013, a few months before our daughter was born, I decided to start adding resources to my tpt store. The extra income helped pay the bills during my maternity leave.



Thank you for reading my bio! I hope to catch up with you someday soon!



My favorite posts:









Scaffolded Math and Science blog home
blog home



©2022 Scaffolded Math and Science

21 comments:

  1. Impressive. Love your body of work.

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    1. I have a question about the getting to know your students pennants. What does the 3, 5, 8, and 13 stand for? These number represent something. I need to know to explain to the children how to follow the glyph.

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    2. Those are numbers from the Fibonacci Sequence. 3+5=8, 5+8=13. The First three numbers in the sequence are 1, 1, 2. The ratio between any two numbers in this sequence is close to the Golden Ratio, which is the ratio of the sides of the rectangle that has the Golden Spiral inscribed into it. Architecture throughout history has been shown to match the Golden Rectangle in dimensions. When asked which of a group of rectangles is the "most perfect rectangle", people more often point to the one with these dimensions. If you Google "golden ratio architecture examples", examples of buildings and other things will come up that show a link to the ratio. It's pretty cool how many places it shows up.

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  2. Your a genius, very passionate, I love all your creations. I want to give you a big round of applause. I am so impressed and motivated to create teaching materials like that. Thanks for sharing your talent.

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    1. You made my day, Charito. I needed to hear this today! I appreciate your words so much. Please always reach out if you need anything. I hope you are having a wonderful year. -Shana

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  3. Hi Joyce, I think I may have shared that post on Instagram from someone else. I'm a little old school in my lesson planning-- I use Excel. But my friend Laura from EngagEDucate may have a template. Also, if you comment on the Instagram post I can see which it was and point you in the right direction....

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  4. I am just beginning to find your resources. I am returning to the classroom after 25 years of staying home with my own children whom I home schooled. I am teaching resource Alg and I too love my students and teaching math again. It's been a great challenge, but finding resources like yours that differentiate and are creative and engaging has been a delight and help to me and my students. Treasure the time you have with your daughter, they grow up quickly.

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    1. Your comment makes me so happy in so many ways, Kim. And I think you are amazing and inspiring for going back after 25 years. I do plan to go back but am also enjoying this time with my daughter. It was a tough decision to make, but hearing a little bit of your story helps me know it was the right one. I hope you are having a wonderful first year back. Please always reach out.

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  5. Hi! Wondering if an easy opportunity to share with kids who celebrate many holidays would be to turn the Christmas ornaments into mittens? We do a "mitten tree" in my room with warm wishes for others in December! LOVE this stuff (former Southie resident, now teaching in the North End!)

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    1. I wonder if we were there at the same time! Please let me know which you'd like me to convert. I have a bunch of Christmas pennants. A mitten tree sounds like such a nice way to celebrate warm wishes.

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  6. I just discovered your site as I was researching scaffolding with choice. I teach 6th grade math and generally have two blocks of students with IEPs & 504 plans. I am continually trying to find or create engaging learning activities for all my students, but it is definitely a challenge. Your resources are amazing as well as your bio. I am definitely looking forward to using them with my students. However, I find that organizing & implementing various activities within a class period of 60 minutes is extremely difficult. Any suggestions or ideas to make it easier other than pre-planning?

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    1. I found this difficult, too. There just wasn't enough time to plan a few activities each period that all covered the same topic to give students choice. What I did instead was allow students to choose from an activity the problems they'd like to do. For a task card activity, for example, there may be 12 cards but students can pick any 10. Any cards completed over the 10 can be extra credit. I wish there were more hours in a day.

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  7. AnonymousMay 04, 2022

    I love your material so much! I use many of the items with my struggling students. I tried Algebra tiles for the first time this year (with your help!), and it made such a difference with students who had never understood how to solve equations. Can't wait to try more!

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    1. This all makes me so happy to hear! Thank you for coming back to leave a comment, it means a lot. I hope you are having a great year and have an even better summer!

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  8. Thank you so much for your materials! I have many of your resources including the 6th and 7th grade word walls which are invaluable to my students! I would like to make a couple more of titles and visuals to add to my word wall and wanted to keep the fonts consistent. I was able to match up KG Lego House for my work. It's a fairly bold font, but on many of your materials the font is extra bold and I would love to know how you did that. Thank you so much for your help and for all the effort you put in to creating your materials!

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    1. KG Lego House is once that I use a lot, along with KG Red Hands and KG Sorry Not Sorry. To make the font a bit bolder, you can add a border to it. In PowerPoint, highlight the text, right click and choose format text effects. In there will be an option to add a border to the text.

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    2. Thank you so much for sharing your tip. I have Keynote rather than Powerpoint and I don't think I have that text effect option. Bummer.
      Thanks again for taking the time to offer your help.

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  9. Hi I just wanted to let you know I've been using your resources since I began teaching Resource/SPED Algebra and Geometry in 2020 as a first year teacher (I used your digital word walls and Google activities to get my students through distance learning). Now I'm on year 3 and I still keep coming back to all of your awesome visuals, and am trying out algebra tiles with my students this year for the first time. Your resources and how-tos have made me a better math teacher so thank you!

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    1. Your comment comes at a needed time, Amanda! Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day to write such nice things. It makes me incredibly happy to hear your words. I hope you have an amazing year. Always send me an email if you need anything. shana@scaffoldedmath.com

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  10. I am loving your word walls and all the extra math gems I am able to utilize from your site. I have been able to create anchor posters for each unit and love the look of them and the ease of interpreting as do my students. Concerning the 7th grade math word wall I was wondering if you had more content for Constant Rate of Change?

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