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How to Plan a Math Unit – ALL GRADES

September 16, 2013

STEP 1: 

Use the blank template on the m:// drive to lay out the weeks. You see in the sample here, this is a 5 week unit. 

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Feeling uneasy with Excel? You may also choose to write it out on a calendar like this… 

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STEP 2:

First, read the suggested pages in Teaching Student-Centered Mathematics (Vandewalle) as stated in your pacing guide. Look at the activities provided on those pages (and also listed on your pacing guide) and choose the relevant ones you would like to do (you do not need to choose all). Next, sprinkle those activities throughout your unit. Some are quick hit whole group, some are whole lessons, some are games for folders – most take some amount of advanced material preparation.

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STEP 3:

Choose the lessons from the resources listed on your pacing guide. You will not be able to do all of them. You may at times simply follow the Marilyn Burns (Math Solutions) lessons and sprinkle in OnCore for skills instruction. There may be an appropriate lesson from HM skills instruction. In K-3 you will follow the Mastering the Basic Facts lessons in some units.

You will not do all the lessons listed, but will choose based on interest or need. The unit is divided into weeks because some lessons will extend over the course of a few days. 

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STEP 4:

Read the Big Ideas and Essential Questions (on the Powerpoint slides on M:// drive and you received the posters from print shop). Decide how you will spread them out over instruction of lessons. They can be used to focus the lessons for the week and referred back to often. The posters should be posted and discussed throughout the unit. The EQ can be used as exit slips as well. 

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STEP 5:

Use the Unit Vocabulary List (on m:// drive) to distribute relevant words across the weeks of the unit. As you use a word, highlight it on your word list (second photo below) so that you know you taught it. Not all words might be used in the unit that are listed – however, if it is a word that appears in multiple units it is okay to omit – eventually you will use it.  Pull the vocabulary cards for this unit and display. Choose a vocabulary strategy from the NPS Vocab Handbook to focus on all unit. 

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STEP 6:

Choose the Mathematical Practices you will focus on over the course of the unit (as listed on your pacing guide). Spread these out as you did with the Big Ideas. Pull out only these posters and display for easy reference. Discuss the practices and what they look like in a math classroom regularly. Math Data Teams will function as a mini PLC on this topic throughout the year. 

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STEP 7:

Connect the activities and lessons to the standards by inserting the number of the standard at the top and then reviewing each week, checking off where a standard is covered. You will see that you are hitting all of the standards repeatedly.  This is as opposed to traditional, previous instruction of isolated skills, page by page in a text.

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…Now that you have a month planned out, you can prep your materials week by week.

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