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Plan for Math with These 5 Tips

It's important to have a plan when you're teaching math; here are some tips that can help you as you plan your year in math.

It’s important to have a plan when you’re teaching math; here are some tips that can help you as you plan your year in math.

When I was first hired to teach high school math, I was replacing a teacher who had only covered two chapters of a 12-chapter book. He knew math but was unable to control his classroom, or so I was told. I determined to complete the book and mapped out a plan which would cover all 12 chapters in nine months. We began in September and by May had finished the entire geometry book.

But I never mapped out the whole year when I was teaching my own children math because I was no longer a classroom teacher but a tutor. Classroom teachers move at the book’s pace; tutors move at the student’s pace. Despite the change of pacing, though, it’s still important to have a plan.

Math Planning Tips

Plan to Assess Your Student’s Math Abilities

Before I can teach them something new, I need to know what they know well now. Math builds on itself. Addition is used in multiplication, and subtraction is used in division. If there are areas of weakness in the basic concepts, algebra will be really difficult.

Plan to Move at Your Child’s Pace

Most math curricula were designed to be used in classrooms. I wrote Math-U-See to be used by parents. If your child masters a concept quickly, move to the next topic. If they need a few more days, take whatever time you need to keep them successful and confident.

Plan to Trust Your Instinct

No one knows your student better than you, the parent. You are uniquely designed to teach your child. Others may help, but you were created for this role.

Plan To Do Math Regularly

A few minutes every day is better than chunks scattered throughout the week. Think of learning math as if you were learning a new language. Regular study helps develop long-term retention of information.

Plan Not To Measure Yourself By Your Peers

Your student is never behind; they are unique. Resist the temptation to push your student beyond their inherent capabilities. Let them move at their own pace.

If you follow these principles, you can also plan on having a happy, confident student.

Free Addition Facts Music & Activities

Songs, music, and rhyme are all helpful tools to aid students with math facts. Download some math songs to sing while you’re outside! There are also activities for when the weather doesn’t lend itself to outside math.

Download free addition facts songs, coloring pages, and activities.

Mastering addition facts is a critical part of becoming a confident math student.

About Steve Demme

Steve and his wife Sandra have been married since 1979. They have been blessed with four sons, three lovely daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren. Steve addresses a variety of topics at conferences to encourage parents as they seek to build families of faith. His messages are rooted in scripture, illustrated from personal experience, and filled with practical application. He has served in full or part time pastoral ministry for many years after graduating from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. A former math teacher who has taught at all levels of math in public, private, and Christian schools, Steve is also the founder of Math-U-See.

  • Suzu M

    I love this. I’ve often felt pressured to go too fast and my children (and I) have experienced the effects of that. I have a great Portfolio Assessment teacher, and STILL I’m stressed about that.
    Or sometimes, my children SEEM to ‘get it’ and I move on, and discover that they’re STILL not comfortable with it.
    This year I INSIST I do a better job with this area. I want to see MORE smiles, HEAR more laughter and less frowns and grumbles. Worthy goal, eh?