Why are Non-Examples Important in Education?

Why are Non-Examples Important?

Every year when I begin using Frayer Models for vocabulary I have to teach what non-examples are to my students. Students are used to working in a world of creating examples and rationales behind their learning but not defining what their learning isn’t.

What is a Non-Example?

A Non-Example is simply helps define a new term in it’s entirety using the characteristics that are given and determine what the term is not.

Let’s take the word proportional…

Proportion Frayer Model

Based on the definition and characteristics given by my students it is very easy to see that to create something that is proportional both sides must be equivalent. As you can see in creating a non-example the students created a proportion that did not become equal when cross-multiplied.

Starting lessons with examples and non-examples helps to build a foundation and clear up concepts before you get too deep into the learning. When students don’t start with a foundation of what a term or concept is they can continue to focus on that term and miss out on other key material. For my teaching this was a critical comprehension step for many of my students.

While speaking with some other teachers about using Non-Examples in their classrooms I received some great opinions.


As you can see from these teachers, as well as my experiences, using non-examples is something that we need to do in our classrooms. Non-examples don’t always have to be done in the form of a vocabulary definition. Another way to use them is through a concept sort or Venn diagram. What is one thing? What is another thing? Why is it that way? Get students talking about why they think something can be classified in one area and why not in another.

Function Sort
Non-Function Sort

How do you use non-examples in your classroom? Do you struggle with student’s understanding of what something isn’t? Let’s discuss in the comments.

And, if you are looking for further ways to use Examples and Non-Examples in your classroom, check out the Examples and Non-Examples post over at It’s Academic Tutoring Center’s blog as they give some great insight on how using these techniques can help the foundations of learning.

Math Teachers Making Life Easier!


This summer, ten teachers from Teachers Pay Teachers joined together to compile an EXCLUSIVE bundle of math resources for 3rd through 9th Grade Math. The value of all these resources is over $125, and you can grab it for only $25 – 80% off! There is a very limited quantity – once we’re sold out, they’re gone forever! Grab your copy here at 4mulaFun.com

I have a total of FOUR things in this bundle that will definitely help you in your classroom.

The first of these is my Mean, Median, Mode and Range Flippable. This is great for many different levels and also allows you to have a data set created by your class in the center.

Mean Median Mode Range Flippable

My Building Blocks of Geometry Flippable is great for reviewing vocabulary to identify and describe geometric figures. I used this in my 7th grade class to review prior vocabulary but also provide a resource for my students to review.

Building Blocks of Geometry Flippable

Problem Solving with the Halflings has been one of my favorite creations to date! These task cards review skills for all operations involving decimals and fractions! Perfect for a review and assessment in your classroom!


And my last creation on the CD is one that I created for a teacher friend who told me what her daughter was struggling with. This Metric Conversions Flippable allows students to create a number using the number cards and then convert the number to another version by simply moving the number cards. Being very tactile allows for students to manipulate and learn at the same time.


The sheer value of my materials is $12.50 which is already half the price of the CD and you still have 9 other teachers to grab some great materials from!

Find out more about the participating teachers and their products at MathTeachersofTpT.com and hop along this link party.


What I’m Working On: September 22-26

As I sit here in a cute cafe in Arizona I’m al ready thinking of the many things that I need to get done this week. I’m going to focus on attainable goals and with that there are only 3!

What I'm Working On

These are totally attainable this week even though I don’t get back to town until midday tomorrow. I hope you are having a fabulous weekend and will have a grand week as we slide into fall!

P.S. Don’t forget to to enter the giveaway for the FIVE $5 Starbucks gift cards. Giveaway ends on Thursday.

P.P.S. You might want to make sure you are following me on Facebook, Instagram, etc. because some friends of mine and I have something super special coming this Thursday that you WON’T want to miss!

What I’m Working On: Week of September 15-19th

Last week I started my Sunday blog posts about What I’m Working On and it really did help keep me accountable this week to what I was doing. Out of the four things on my list, I was able to get two of the LARGE items done and I’ve pulled the other two to work on this week as well.


Spanish Solve And Snips You Say?

Spanish Math Resources

Why yes, yes I do! Many teachers have reached out to me wishing that my resources also came in Spanish. I have acquired an amazing translator to work with me to get all of my resources translated just for you!

First up is the Solve and Snips! These interactive word problems, that are also self-checking, are perfect to use in an ESL or Bilingual classroom.

All teacher pages will remain in English while student pages will be in Spanish. Check out my Spanish Resources Category on Teachers Pay Teachers for all of the great resources as they come out!


What I’m Working On: Week of September 8-12th

Every week I receive numerous emails, blog comments and questions about what I’m working on and when things are coming out. I have decided that as a new weekly installment here on my blog I am going to do a post called “What I’m Working On” (WIWO for short). Check in each week on Sunday to see what I’m up to this week so you can see what to expect. Posts won’t be too much detail but rather a simple to-do list, without all the components of each, for the week.
So are you ready for week one?
Check back throughout the week for progress here as well as on Facebook! :)

How Interactive Notebooks Benefit ALL Learning Types {Blog Hop}

Last week I talked about what REALLY were Interactive Notebooks. I wanted to follow up today with how Interactive Notebooks can benefit multiple learning types. Join me today but also check out the other blogs who are linked up below joining me as well.


Every year we as teachers are given the task of making sure that our lessons align with the learning types of each of our students in our given classrooms. We walk in at the beginning of the year hoping for the best and knowing that we will do our best as teachers. What we don’t know is the various learning styles of our students and how they will affect our classroom make-up.

For the longest time (and for sure when I grew up), the traditional method of teaching was what we saw. There was direct instruction followed by practice and then assessment. Most of the practice for students was in the form of a worksheet to make for easy right or wrong answers with little room for creativity.

Using worksheets in the classroom if not implemented effectively and monitored can be counterproductive to student learning. Worksheets do have their place to help build on retaining of skills that students already have prior knowledge. When students are left to work on a worksheet independently, or even in a group, if done incorrectly then it requires extra time to be taken to unteach, reteach and then reassess.

When we as teachers allow students to be a part of their learning and interact with the skills that we are teaching they truly take initiative to go deeper. I know that time and time again I am asked about how Interactive Notebooks can help each student in a given classroom.

7 Reasons to Use Interactive Notebooks

This past Spring I wrote a guest post over at Minds In Bloom about the benefits of using Interactive Notebooks and how they reach each learner in our classrooms. The way that we set up lessons, make them interactive and develop their learning through output activities that they answer on their own most of the time with no definitive answer.

Take time to read the blog post on reasons to use Interactive Notebooks but also take some time to check out the bloggers below and their posts on Understanding Interactive Notebooks. I would love to hear what you have learned from the posts so please feel free to leave a comment (or two) on the blog posts you read.

Understanding Interactive Notebooks Blog Hop