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Tips for New Math-U-See Users

1) Watch the introduction video for the level. It may not be all new information to you, but it is helpful to understand what the focus of that level is.

2) Look over the materials in the Instruction Manual. Reference these written instructions for each lesson—there is information in the Instruction Manual that may not be in the lesson video.

3) Become familiar with the lesson worksheets in the Student Workbook.

4) Watch the lesson video, either with or without your student. Let them watch how to do the problems with the manipulatives. Model and let them practice the Build, Say, Write method. 

5)  Follow the instructions for each lesson. Sometimes a few different methods for finding the answer are presented. Expose your child to each method, and then let them use the one that works best for them, even if it is not the way that you learned it.

6)  Make sure to use the Math-U-See Manipulatives as they are an integral part of the program. Using the manipulatives helps the student to “See” the problems. If you or your student are hesitant about using the manipulatives, here are some suggestions. The Math-U-See Integer Blocks, Fraction Overlay Kit, and Algebra/Decimal Insert Kit are specifically designed to correlate with the Math-U-See Curriculum. Other manipulative sets will not work for Math-U-See and may confuse or frustrate the student.

7)  If your student has not previously used the manipulatives, let the student become familiar with them before you begin lessons that use them. Give your student time to learn the number-to-color correspondence, so that when it is lesson time, they are familiar and comfortable with using them. We have a separate article with suggestions if your student has color vision deficiency.

8)  Have your student complete the word problems—don’t skip them. Math-U-See uses word problems to allow students to apply concepts to everyday situations. For tips on solving word problems, click here

9) Re-watch a lesson video if needed. Sometimes students will do a few problems and then realize that they don’t fully understand the concept. Having your student watch the lesson video for the first, second, or third time can help to clarify the concept. Let your student know that it is okay to slow down and review.

10)  Focus on mastery. Do not move on to the next lesson until the concept is mastered. For some lessons, there will not be a need to do every worksheet if your student has demonstrated mastery. However, if your student is struggling to show mastery and you have used all worksheets in the Student Workbook, extra resources are included with your Digital Pack. 

Mastery is being able to teach the concept effectively. For more on what mastery looks like, click here.

11)  The Primer level is an introduction to math. This is the only level in the Math-U-See Curriculum without a Tests book. Mastery is not expected at this level. This is a gentle exploration of math and every concept explored with be taught to mastery in Alpha, Beta, or Gamma materials.

12)  Use the online resources in the Digital Toolbox. Each level’s Digital Pack includes online versions of the lesson videos and instructor materials. You will also find additional resources like the Worksheet Generator, Digital Manipulatives, and online drills. We encourage you to use these resources when needed. You can also find additional resources in the Demme Learning Guild.

Click here if you need help activating your Digital Pack.

14)  It’s okay to take a break when needed. If your student becomes frustrated, it is fine to step away from math for a day—sometimes even a week! When you come back, review or re-introduce the concept again. Read more in our blog: How and When to take a “Math Break.”

15)  You do not need to start the Math-U-See Curriculum with Primer. Our placement tool is designed to determine the appropriate level for your child. Click here for more on placement: Placement link 

Remember, you do not need to be a math expert to teach your student. If you need additional support, we are here to assist you so your student will be successful using this program.  

Related Articles & Blog Posts

Tips for the Struggling Math Student
Math-U-See Curriculum Student Workbooks
How to Present a Math-U-See Lesson
How to Use the Math-U-See Manipulatives

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