About Dr. Nicki

Dr. Nicki Newton (347) 688-4927  is an education consultant who works with schools and districts around the country and Canada on elementary math curriculum (including best practices, guided math and math centers) as well as curriculum mapping.  She has taught elementary school, middle school, and graduate school. Having spent several years as a bilingual teacher and staff developer, she has an extensive background in Sheltered Instruction and English Language Learner Strategies.  Dr. Nicki worked with Heidi Hayes Jacobs in facilitating both the Curriculum Mapping and the Interdisciplinary Curriculum Institutes at Teachers College, Columbia University for several years. She also taught several elementary curriculum, math methods and special education courses.


She has created a variety of workshops which include understanding elementary math; teaching math through picture books, poetry and songs; writing in math class; creating rich mathematical environments; developing a community of mathematical thinkers (routines and rituals that matter); and providing meaningful academic interventions. She has also been very instrumental in setting up study groups and math labsites (where teachers view and discuss lessons) in schools. She has done extensive work with bridging the home school connection by facilitating Family Math Nights, Family Math Carnivals, Math and Muffin Mornings, The Homework Club for Parents as well as a series of Test Prep Seminars for Parents.

Dr Nicki has an Ed.M. and an Ed.D  from  the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University specializing in Teacher Education and Curriculum Development.  She uses her strong understanding of curriculum to address the differentiated needs of all students in her work with teachers and administrators. Dr. Nicki builds upon current curriculum research and theory to provide practical, realistic 21stcentury strategies in today’s classrooms.  Dr. Newton is greatly interested in teaching and learning practices around the world and has researched education in Denmark, Guatemala and India.

She has presented at several national and international conferences on education– including being an invited speaker for the NEA as well as working on a special interdisciplinary social studies curriculum project for the AFT.

Dr. Nicki is an avid writer. She has written 7 books, including Guided Math in Action, Math Workshop in Action, Math Running Records in Action, Problem Solving in Action (k-2 and 3-5), Math Workstations in Action (3-5) and Daily Math Routines in Action. She is also an active pinner (https://www.pinterest.com/drnicki7/), tweeter (@drnickimath) and blogger (https://guidedmath.wordpress.com/).


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48 Responses to “About Dr. Nicki”

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Dr. Nicki,
I appreciate the enthusiasm and passion you’ve shared in our class at MCNY. I’m reading this same enthusiasm in your blog. It’s refreshing to see someone retain such a passion and interest in teaching and learning. I have been working with youth for nearly twenty years teaching visual art, youth development and some literacy. I really don’t have any regrets, but if I did, perhaps I wish I would’ve gotten this degree and ancillary licenses sooner. I sense that there’s a world you and other veteran teachers have seen that I am (gulp) willing to see too, and wish I had seen sooner. But, here I am. Thank you for making this very challenging journey a very intriguing one.

Thank you for your comment. I do love teaching. Working with youth for so many years, you have definitely seen a lot of things. This degree is going to help you bring theory to what I am sure is already a great practice! Enjoy the journey!
Dr. Nicki

wow Dr.,

Your thoughts about learning and teaching are truly inspiring. Please keep up the good work. Our children need you.

Iccha Devi
The RV

Thank you. I love the work I do and I think everyone who chooses to teach should be inspired. The children need all of us who work with them to be committed. They also need to eat good food, so be sure to write a book for them:)

Your enthusiasm for teaching and learning is really contagious. I am a convert in guided math groups. Thank you for providing teachers with a source of practical suggestions. I love the term “stretching our pedagogy,” It resonates with my educational philosophy.

Thank you! I really believe small guided math groups can help all children learn!

I don’t see an RSS feed option on your blog. That would be awesome. Thanks for the inspiration.

Never mind. I just figured it out. Happy to be on your list!

Great! Happy that you are on the list:)

Dr. Nicki,
Finally, I have found an expert on guided math!! I am a math coach for a K-8 school in New Haven, CT. Our district is presently at the forefront of a major school reform initiative. Is it possible for you to provide professional development for my school or for me?? Where are your workshops?? I tried to initiate guided math groups in grades 2 and 3 last year, but I need more training. Point me in the right direction.

It is great to hear from you. I think guided math is one of keys to effective school reform. I would definitely love to have a conversation with you about how I can support you and your school in guided math instruction. Please email me at newtoneducationalconsulting@gmail.com.
Dr. Nicki

Dr. Nicki-
I was just at 2 of your workshops in Paterson, NJ

I just want to say thank you for all of the great ideas.

Anne Marie

I tried posting a comment yesterday 9/2, but I don’t see it. I am very interested in finding out about Math and Muffin Mornings, Family Math Night, and Homework Club for Parents. When I first read this posting, I must have skimmed over those details. Can’t wait to get more of your wonderful ideas. thanks

Hi Lisa,
I am having Akismet (spam blocker) difficulties. I am trying to work with wordpress on this but they don’t have a resolution so far. So just like now, if you post something and don’t see it, resend it. I will be writing a blog post about the topics you mentioned this month. They all try to make the bridge between home and school, which we all know is so important. These are just some ways that I have found to be successful and fun and yummy and exciting:)

Hi Dr. Nicki, I have seaching your blog for some ideas for teaching equivalent forms of whole numbers to 10. I really liked the rekenreks, and plan of making them this weekend to use, but I was hoping that you had more ideas to share, and anything would be appreciated!
BTW: I attended your conference in Dec. and LOVED IT!!!

Do a search within the blog for ten frames, number bonds and fact family stuff. Also look up subitizing.

Happy Mathing,
Dr. Nicki

I have read your suggestions for teaching odd and even numbers. I am doing an assignment about the introduction of odds and evens. My problem is I have to quote literature about ‘the concept’ and the discuss prior knowledge that the child would require. Everything I look up refers to ‘the concept’ but nothing goes into detail about this. Do you have any suggested readings or sites that I may be able to take a look at to give me some more indepth background about the actual concept itself?

Look at the new math common core starting with 2nd grade and then see how the concept is built up through the grade levels.

Hi Dr. Nicki, I recently attended one of your workshops. I had a great experience. You mentioned a study by the NCTM and spiral curriculum. I was wondering if you could point me to the original source. Thank you for your help!

Your love of eduction is showing.

Own a small tutoring service down here in Bradenton/Sarasota. My son needed help many years ago, now I’m just trying to “play it forward” for other students.

Everyday, I’m blessed to run into awesome teachers that teach because it’s their passion. I love my job!

THanks – appreciate your blog. EB

Hi Dr. Nicki,
I just attended two of your workshops at the Literacy Conference in Tucson, AZ. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed them! I am a veteran teacher and I learned a lot today & yesterday about new websites that I can utilize in my classroom this fall! Today, I especially enjoyed your reading of The Lion’s Share! I love it when you can find a picture book to help with math concepts! Keep doing what you’re doing!
Thanks a bunch!
Sandy Beaver
First Grade Teacher

Thank you so much!

Hi Dr. Nicki,

Ever since I attended your Guided Math conference, I’ve been scouring your blog for resources and I (and my team) are so excited to begin implementing Guided Math into our already successful Debbie Diller style Math Station approach. We’re really excited! Unfortunately, Math is not my strongest suit- especially Guided Math- and I was hoping you could help us track down a resource we saw during your presentation.
One of the videos you shared with us was a 1st grade teacher leading a guided Math group (number talk) in addition in which the students solved the basic addition problem a variety of ways using a pair of ten-frames. I took diligent notes on the language the teacher used and even drew a picture of what the finished anchor chart looked like, but never recorded the name of the site the video was from. Could you point me in the right direction; I wanted to share this with the members of my grade-level team who couldn’t attend. I couldn’t find it anywhere in your blog. Thanks!

That video is from a book/cd set by Math Solutions (Marilyn Burns) called Number Talks. I am glad you enjoyed the seminar. Also, remember that if you google NYC Professional Development Day and you look under Student Work at the top and then scroll down on the right you’ll find Carol’s numbers (the second grade math unit). At the back of that unit, there are several sample number talks as well.

Happy Mathing and Please Stay in Touch!

Dr. Nicki

Hi Dr Nicki!

I just heard about your wonderful math work and presentations from the Wayland Math Curriculum Director. They loved you!

Leslie Laud (from your TC days)

I enjoyed your presentation today, and I’m excited to get started implementing guided math, but I’m having trouble finding things on your blog. I need help with navigation. For instances you showed a site that had lots of pictures of rekenreks, but when I type that into the search nothing comes up. I looked up many rekenrek sites but none have all the ideas of how to make them, etc.

I just googled rekenrek with a google image search to pull up the images. I also just uploaded the resource list.

Happy Mathing,
Dr. Nicki

Hi Dr. Nicki,
I attended your workshop in Atlanta at the end of March and spoke with you about research that supports guided math instruction. You said to email you, but I can’t seem to find an email address, so hopefully you’ll see this. You said you’d help me find research in support of guided math to share with colleagues. Thanks in advance! I had a great time at your workshop!

Please HELP! We attended one of your workshops and we want to find the vocab cards that showed the meaning witin a picture clue…for example the word perimeter is written around the square. We cannot find it.

Hi Dr. Nicki;

I colleague and I recently attended your BER session and really enjoyed it. We are wondering when your two books are coming out and where we can order them from…we would like to have them for planning for next year. Thanks!

In December or January!

Dr. Nicki

When will your guided math book be available for purchase?

In December or January! Thanks for asking.

Happy Mathing,
Dr. Nicki

When will your books be released? When they are, where can I purchase them?

They should be coming out in December or January.

Dr. Nicki

Dr. Nicky,
First off, let me say that I am SO HAPPY that I found your blog. There are some amazing resources here. I have a question that I would love your feedback on. I really do love guided math but I need a little guidance. With common core, it seems that we have to move so fast to get things taught within a certain time frame. But I am finding that I have kids in my 5th grade class that have not mastered the basic skills that they need to be successful with the intermediate skills they encounter in 5th grade. In doing guided math, what would you suggest I do with those kids who are really struggling with whats being presented because they don’t have a good foundational base? I look forward to your response because I really want to make guided math beneficial for all of my students. Thanks!

This is an issue in many places. I would do fluency routines and energizers everyday to build basic fact power. See posts on this blog for these topics for lots of different ideas.

Happy Mathing,
Dr. Nicki

Dr. Nicki,

Thanks so much for spending the day with our faculty today. Your presentation was one of the best I’ve heard, and has inspired my thinking about teaching CCSS.


Thank you for having me come!

Happy Mathing,
Dr. Nicki

Dr. Nicki,
I am beginning to work on problem solving with my second graders using the CGI type problems. As I have the children work on the different types of CGI problems, should I also be teaching them the names and characteristics of the various problems directly, i.e. Join – Result Unknown, etc? All of the articles I have read do not address this directly, but all focus on the actual written problem and the methods children devise to solve them. Thank you for your thoughts on this.

Hi Amy,
You should absolutely teach them the problem types, specifically by names. The idea is that the children understand the problems conceptually and are able to distinguish between add to and compare problems, for example. I have lots of great references and articles on the blog…just search cgi and you will find lots of things.

Happy Mathing,
Dr. Nicki

I love your book! I have found it to be a practical way of explaining Guided Math. I am challenged by what I still need to incorporate and encouraged by what I’m already doing.

I was able to participate in your workshop in St. Louis. I must say I truly enjoyed it and I learned so much information. I will truly use the things learned in my classroom.Thanks Dr. Newton!

Thank you for coming!

Good Morning Dr. Nicki,
I just stumbled across your youtube videos and blog and wanted to hug you!!!!! I am a math coach in NYC at a charter school and we use the math workshop model for our curriculum delivery. Many of my teachers have struggled with their classroom management of the workstations and I think your videos and resources are going to be a life-saver.
I thank you for this phenomenal resource!!!!!!

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