While Math-U-See is a mastery-based math program, it does follow a predictable pattern; this allows it to easily fit into the rhythm of many of our customer’s weeks.
This blog post presents one family’s lesson plan for working through a Math-U-See lesson in a week; you can tweak to fit your individual family’s schedule and student’s pacing.
Amanda Capps is a homeschooling mom who has used Math-U-See for several years with her own children. Her ideas are outlined below and reflect the flexibility a family can have using Math-U-See. Read on to learn what a typical week looks like for her family.
An Average Math-U-See Lesson Plan
Monday is concept day! This is when we learn the new concepts presented in the lesson. First, my student and I watch the DVD lesson together; then, depending on the student’s age and level, either my student or I read through the written lesson in the Instruction Manual. We then work with the new concept using the example problems, making sure we’re following the Build, Write, Say process.
If you’re new to Math-U-See or need a math refresher, it is important that you watch the DVD and read the Instruction Manual before working with your student.
If the student hasn’t already completed Lesson Practice A, that’s the first assignment. Then the student can continue working on Lesson Practice B. You will want to provide as much support as needed but encourage as much independence as possible. The completion of the B page is generally the fork in the road. If the student is able to complete the B page independently and with confidence, it’s time to check for mastery.
This is very important! My student gets to be the teacher and teach me the concept. I always make sure they build, write, and say it for me. Only after the student can teach back the concepts with confidence and accuracy and can solve problems without using the manipulatives will I move on.
If the student did not demonstrate mastery, you should plan on continuing your week with Lesson Practice C and additional practice problems until they are able to work independently.
If I am noticing that they have struggled, are making significant errors when I check their work, or do not teach back with confidence, then I might go ahead and utilize the online worksheet generator, reviewing the DVD and sample problems again as needed.
However, if the student is able to teach back the concept, you can spend these two days on the Systematic Review pages for the lesson. The Systematic Review pages are essential. It’s important that your student work through at least one to apply new concepts in the context of previously learned material and to keep skills sharp.
If your student has mastered the lesson concepts, it’s time to bring the week to a close. You can administer the lesson test if you would like a record of your student’s achievement; you can also continue with the Application and Enrichment/Honors page to extend learning. Then it’s time to celebrate with your student on a job well done!
We’re presenting Amanda’s ideas as guidelines to get you started. Again, it cannot be stressed enough that Math-U-See is not a “cookie-cutter” program but one that is meant to be adapted to ensure that your child attains mastery. However you choose to modify these guidelines when you are planning your homeschool instruction for the week, keep your eye on your student, not on the calendar. Let your schedule work for you as you use Math-U-See and you will help your student achieve mastery and become a confident problem solver who enjoys math.
Julie Jordan says
I appreciate this example. I don’t think we will switch to a schedule because our weekly schedule varies greatly.
I have 5 kids all at different levels. It can be tricky to remember who is where at mastery of what, while still giving an individual math education. Some love to tackle lots of work on car rides or in waiting rooms. Others work late into the night with a flashlight. My 5 yr old in Alpha chooses to do one worksheet every morning before he eats his cereal.
We staple a chapter with its enrichment and test. Each kid keeps a personal clipboard. They receive their ‘clipboard packet’ after carefully learning the lesson. I get around to checking their packet at night or sitting right with them, and they fix every incorrect problem. (Also, never skipping mental math) Every day they all have to spend some time doing some math. We allow an hour of video games for every completed chapter. Some chapters get done in a single day! Younger kids and hard chapters require more parental involvement, while older kids and easier chapters tend to be self directed. We follow the mottos of “as long as you made some progress today” and “math when you feel like it”. We average a chapter a week. For us, skipping worksheets doesn’t work because it is tempting to skip too many, and we require accountability. We say, “We are a Math-U-See Family.” They know their math work makes us proud and they count how many books are left until Calculus.
Stapling a chapter helps remind me of their mastery progress for the chapter as we get deeper into it; without carrying around a whole workbook. I love ideas like that, can you list more?
Reading this blog helps me with my kiddos. It’s encouraging and helps troubleshoot issues.
Laurie Weitzel says
Julie – this is so very helpful! Thanks for sharing how Math U See works for your family. I’m contemplating switching to Math U See and was wondering how I’d handle all the different levels. Your plan looks do-able. Thank you!
Debbie Wheeler says
We did primer, and now Alpha Monday we watch DVD and do one review and one practice, off Tuesday. Wed, Thurs one review one practice each day. Friday: Application and enrichment sheet and test.