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Engaging Your Math-U-See Student

The key to student engagement is not always the colorful materials you give them. Younger students especially enjoy the one-on-one attention of an instructor and thrive in a learning environment where you are modeling concepts alongside them. The best way to assess their understanding of the concept is by being next to them as they learn. Modeling using the Build, Write, Say method that Math-U-See encourages is the most effective with an engaged instructor. 

Using the Integer blocks brings color into the learning environment, and colorful stickers for pages done well can add color and reward or a way of encouragement as well!  The Integer blocks are an essential learning tool in Math-U-See. Even if they are used only during the introduction of a concept, please don’t skip using the manipulatives. We do have digital manipulatives located in the Digital Toolbox, but research backs that students of all learning preferences will do better with the physical manipulatives. 

Math games are a great way to provide variety and fun to math concepts you are teaching/learning in the curriculum. Look for games that complement the concepts you are learning.

A fun way to engage students is allowing the student to “play teacher” and teach the concepts back to you. This not only adds to their engagement in the material but allows you to determine if they have truly mastered the material in that lesson.  We encourage students to demonstrate their mastery to their instructor by teaching back the concept before moving into the review pages.

While working on worksheets, students may have instrumental music playing in the background if that helps them to stay focused and engaged. It may be fun to act out some word problems, but be aware that it may be more distracting for some students who would get caught up in the acting and lose their focus on their math work.  For more information on word problems, see this article: Solving Word Problems

What works for one of your students may not work for another. Stay flexible and open to their fun ideas as well! For some students, doodling helps them think, and for others, sitting on an exercise ball is far better than a stiff chair. You are on a journey of discovery with each student. The more engaged you are, the more engaged they are likely to be.

Related Blog Posts & Articles

Factors That Influence Student Engagement
How To Present a Math-U-See Lesson
Addressing Hesitations About Manipulatives
Tips for New Math-U-See Users

Math Doodling Can Improve Your Student’s Mathematical Success

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