Bio


Hi there! My name is Shana McKay and I started teaching math and biology in 2004. My husband teaches English and together we have a little girl who is the center of our lives. I'm certified to teach math grades 1-12, biology grades 8-12 and students with moderate disabilities. I grew up in Worcester, MA and have lived in a bunch of cities and towns all over Massachusetts. 

In June 2017 I decided to take the next school year off, which turned into 2 years off. My school was very generous affording me this time, which I have been spending with our little one and making math word walls, math pennants and virtually hanging out in the Facebook group Visual Math (I hope you'll join!). 

I love teaching and miss my students. Leaving the classroom, even if just for a year or two, is a difficult decision.

Shana McKay's classroom math word wall

What I believe
I believe that all kids can find success in math and enjoy learning. In my own classroom, I give a variety of assignments and assessments so that every student can find something they like doing. I know that sometimes kids need to taste success before knowing they want more of it, so I build in places where my students can find this success.

What I teach
After teaching mainstream math and biology for 8 years, I got a job teaching special education algebra 2 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 who are afraid of it is what I live for and what I love to do. Every one of my lessons starts with the question, "Will this work for tough kids?" My favorite principal once said to me, "A good curriculum is the best classroom management," and I have taken his words to heart with what I do.

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 I invented to help kids add and subtract integers, especially those tricky negative ones. A couple years later in 2013, right before my daughter was born, my certification was finalized to teach students with moderate disabilities. 

Publications
Math Anxiety and Success on Math=Love
Fraction Pennants for Math on kidCourses
7 Reasons Why Being a High School Teacher is the Best on Bored Teachers
6 High School Teacher Must Haves on Mrs. E Teaches Math
The Tao of an Eyepatch, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Middle School

Features
8 Out-of-the Box-Ideas for Teaching Algebra and Geometry on We Are Teachers
Elite Edupreneurs podcast, episode 34

Facebook
I post fairly regularly on Facebook and would love to connect. Facebook is where I share educational articles and all the cool math things that come across my feed.

Scaffolded Math and Science on Facebook

Instagram
Instagram is a smaller community and where I'll share information about sales, giveaways and about my other interests. It's a little more "behind the scenes" than Facebook. I'd love to connect there too!

Scaffolded Math and Science on Instagram

You can also always reach me at shana@scaffoldedmath.com.

Scaffolded Math and Science

My Teachers pay Teachers Store
On my birthday in 2012, I posted an integer operations manipulative in my Teachers pay Teachers store. Every once in a while one would sell, and then things would go quiet again. In October 2013, a few months before my daughter was born, I made the decision to begin adding resources to my store in the hopes of offsetting an unpaid maternity leave. Over the years, it's become so much more to me than just a store. I've made real friends through my work with Teachers pay Teachers and having this creative outlet has opened up my life. I love hearing from teachers that my materials work with their tough students. This makes me feel that the long nights are worth it. 

Scaffolded Math and Science top blog posts


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