• Janise

Structuring the Week for Math

Teaching math needs to be strategic and planned in advance once you do your preliminary assessments (formative) on the students. The first week is usually getting to know the child, the second week or third week, the children become more comfortable and display other behaviors not there when you you met them. Then over time, they also either stay the same or they change and you have to do different things to get them back on track if needed.

The week then and learning needs to be planned ahead of time so that even if someone is absent, you know which part of the concept they are missing. I had teachers who would write the same things on the board every morning (Class name, her name, date, schedule for the day, activities for the day, pages in the textbook we were going over that day, the homework, and any other announcements) which now I see is helpful.

Structuring the week means having Mondays always about a topic definition, Tuesdays about strategy and practice, Wednesdays is formative assessments and beginning of next weeks topic, Thursday is review and reteaching of the topic and Friday is final assessing and wrap up and repeating this. Of course I would not give attention to any assessments but my way to see where I should take next's week lesson in case I need to not move on yet.

Including time for the students to have a journal, to go over other topics, to cross topics into each other so that in teaching one topic I am teaching about the other is relevant.

Mondays are always the days where you use a different manipulatives and Tuesdays are always the word problems version of that equation that they are learning so that can be a way to structure the math lessons. Or every last period of the class is a math reflection activity or a good morning/good bye math small group problem.

If possible, I would do a schedule for every subject. So if I could make a math schedule, I can break down the objective and/or goal of the activity, what the activity is (maybe I can have a folder in this section, a student can fill it up every day for the next day -any worksheets) and more. I can do the same for reading and science. I can have the manipulatives in the math schedule section, workbooks, etc. That way students know what we are doing, what we are suppose to learn, how it works together for the week and more.

I like the idea of students having a journal or a creative writing journal for math where if the student wants the teacher to look at any one page for advice-they can label the page with a sticker and get an answer.

Similar to college where you get a syllabus (the schedule), the teacher gives out a powerpoint ( a more elaborated schedule) and you get condensed worksheets to help you along with homework. The difference is what we do in class and how exciting and interesting I present the information to them. For example is that I did not like teachers who just read from the board, I learned the most from a teacher who lectured a little, gave an activity, put us in groups, had great real life examples for the work, used art as a way to do the activities such as drawing, constructing things, or creatively writing other things. I loved hands on activities with manipulatives.

Some teachers designed worksheets specifically for people with famous characters that they liked on it using photoshop. After we learned multiplication, you get a worksheet with pikachu to do during the week and it was for each topic.

I sat in a class where the teacher did a lesson called Math stories with the kindergartners and the problem was about deers that the teacher herself handwritten. This class was a dual lingual class of English and Spanish. The teacher had the students do the problem on a white board in a think-pair-share method. To conclude, the teacher later played a 'Baby shark' song and the children went wild over it more than the deer problem. The deer problem took longer than what the teacher wanted and put her off of her schedule because the children were not participating. I question that if the teacher used the baby shark song or character for her 'Math stories' lesson, would she have engaged the children so much with something they like that they would have went faster. Would the students have been able to practice addition better just by using something they liked in a word problem. Some of the students only spoke Spanish and did not understand deer because he never saw it in his own country.

This is what I want to be mindful about.

I included below a link to things parents can do with kids at home related to math:

Math at the Grocery Store

Some Lemonade With Your Math?