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.