What can I do to be ready for the year?


  • Spending some time with your math textbooks will help in the planning process. Especially the first few pages which explain how to use the teachers edition most efficiently.


  • Exploring www.thinkcentral.com will help you be prepared for the year. It is especially helpful to get to know your ePlanner. There are also tutorial videos.
  • You should take the time to set up your students in the system so they can begin using the tools right away. This includes setting up your class and assigning student passwords.
  • You might also want to print tests or other items before the year begins. This will prevent you from running into technology issues when you are getting ready for class.

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What should I do with the Student Edition (SE) and Standards Practice Book (SPB)?

  • Some teachers find it helpful to pull out and staple the pages of each lesson. These can be placed in a file and used as needed.
  • Other teachers pull out only the practice pages, or have the students pull them out after they are completed.
  • Alternatively, teachers leave the text book intact and have students keep it in their desks.

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What should I do with all the manipulatives?

How you choose to organize the manipulatives is up to you, however, it is important that your students have access to them quickly and easily.

  • Some teachers like to leave items in the boxes or bags that they come in and allow students to keep the boxes or bags at their desks.
  • Another option is to take all the manipulatives of one kind and place them in the box, or bag, together. Then you can just pull out what is needed for each lesson.

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How can I get my students to take care of the manipulatives?

It is important at the beginning of the year to establish routines and expectations with students. This helps save time later in the year.

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How can I get my students using the computer?

It is important to train students to use the ThinkCentral website. They should be given their log‑in information and taught how to use the tools that are available to them. This takes quite a bit of time, but will pay off by providing independent learning activities.

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What other routines will help my math time go more smoothly?

Math lessons should not be interrupted so that students can focus and understand the concept being taught. Many teachers establish a rule at the beginning of the year so that students understand this. They provide and practice a procedure for asking questions. There are many ways that this can be accomplished:

No Interruptions:

  • Teachers might wear a specific item (hat, scarf, lei, etc.) to indicate that they are currently teaching and not to be interrupted.
  • Another option would be to establish that when a teacher is seated in a specific chair or at a specific table, they are not to be interrupted.


  • Of course there are always exceptions – I broke my arm, I cut my finger, etc., so it is wise to spend some time discussing what an emergency is and how to approach the teacher if an emergency occurs during this time.

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What are the other kids doing while I teach Math?

In order for other students to be productive during this time, there are lots of options.

Math Tasks:

Ideally, this time would be spent on independent math workshop tasks so that it is truly a math time for everyone. Some of these tasks might be:

  • working on a math journal
  • solving one of the daily problems
  • working on a ThinkCentral task
  • working on one of the unit projects
  • practicing math flash cards
  • doing spiral review
  • using an educational math app.

Other Work:

  • Some teachers have students work on DOL, handwriting, independent reading, spelling, writing tasks, etc.


  • Regardless of what you have them doing, they need to be able to handle it with as much autonomy as possible.
  • Train and practice math routines repeatedly during the first few weeks of school and again as needed throughout the year.
  • Make sure students can get to all materials needed without assistance.

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What if one of the students comes to an impasse and needs help?

Students will also need a procedure for asking questions when it is really necessary. Some student will get “stuck” and not accomplish anything because they are not good at self directing.

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How can I reduce my Planning Time?

NAD Standards:

When you begin planning your math the number one thing that you need to look at is the NAD Mathematics Standards. Pay close attention to the last column of the chart which directs you to math lessons in Go Math! and Big Ideas Math that address the standard.


In Go Math! ePlanner is an excellent tool to help you quickly access and utilize all the materials related to a specific lesson. It will make planning much easier.


Make sure that you understand the math concepts involved. This may take a little review on the part of the teacher since some of the concepts go much deeper and operations are explained in new ways.

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How can I teach all the lessons in a limited time?

Single Grade Classroom:

  • Go Math! is designed for a single grade classroom and has lots of helps in the Teacher’s Edition for that particular situation.
  • It is not recommended that you complete every single Item with every student. In a single grade classroom you can teach one general whole group lesson, and then work with small groups to reinforce as needed.
  • A scripted lesson is provided as support for teachers who do not feel comfortable teaching the concepts, however, it is not necessary to teach the exact script. It is more important to have students delve deeply into the concept and gain understanding.

In a multiple grade setting:

  • It is important to teach mini-­lessons and use the resource materials to back up the teaching.


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