Teaching Practices for Big Ideas Math

How do I teach Big Ideas Math in a multi-grade classroom?

The Big Ideas Math textbook is user-friendly for multi-grade teachers. Each lesson is designed to take two days. This is good for the teacher because the instructional time is only needed every other day, and the students can work independently on the day in between. This also works out to be beneficial for the students because it gives them time to fully develop their understanding of the math concept.

Here are two suggestions of how to use Big Ideas Math in your classroom.* 1. The text recommends having the students begin each lesson with the exploration activity in the Record and Practice Journal with minimal teacher help. By allowing the students to explore and construct their own meaning, they are better prepared to understand the lesson when it is presented by the teacher. The next day, the teacher presents the lesson and assigns practice. If you have questions on how to assign homework, refer to the Big Ideas Math Teacher Edition Walk Through. At the end of the Record and Practice Journal, there is an additional practice activity that can be assigned as homework.

2. Some teachers find it difficult to have the exploration activity on the first day because students may have a hard time being self-directed. Instead, the teacher teaches the lesson the first day and assigns homework. The next day, the students complete the Record and Practice Journal along with the additional practice activity. Learning centers can be used to reinforce concepts as well.

*Please note: Every class is different and will need its own formula to make it work. Lessons can be taught in several ways. You are not limited to these suggestions. Be creative!

What if I have more than one lesson to teach on the same day?

It’s up to you how you set this up; however, there are lesson tutorials per chapter under the electronic copy of the student edition, and there are thorough examples in the text, our older students should be able to try to figure out the lesson on their own while you are teaching another class.