Tips to Successfully Present a Math-U-See Lesson

By Jasmine

Manipulatives, Math U See, Maths Curriculum, Teaching Tips

This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we may receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

Congratulations to you for making the decision to invest in Math-U-See. This program is designed to make both you and your student successful in maths education. If you’ve spent time researching or reviewing the program, you may notice that it is designed differently than others on the market. The differences are intentional and one of the reasons the program is so successful. To get the most out of the program, it’s important to present the lessons as they were intended.

Math-U-See is designed for parents and the children to work through problems by building with “blocks”, writing them down, and taking turns explaining them to each other.  This method is called “build, write, say”. The goal is to work through as many problems as it takes for your student to understand.

The method of teaching that is traditionally used in schools is “deductive learning.” This means that the teacher presents the information and examples, and construes the lesson in their own way.  For example: In college classes, the lecturer presents the lesson, you take notes, and study the information as well as do the homework independently.

Math-U-See approaches learning using a different method,” inductive learning.”  Unlike typical classroom settings, a homeschool instructor can focus solely on the student.  You have the time to learn and understand how the student works and thinks. Thus you are able to provide a dedicated plan custom to your student’s needs.  You are able to be more interactive and hands-on which is beneficial to your child.

Homeschooling allows you the opportunity to take your time with your student.  Observe how they use the blocks and solve problems. Ask your students to explain their thinking as opposed to only advising them if they are incorrect.

4 Components of Math U See

Video Lessons

Math-U-See videos demonstrate the instruction as it should be.  They illustrate how to present a concept using inductive learning.  While they are designed for the parents, your student may benefit from watching the videos as well.

Instruction Manual

In addition to the videos, written instructions are provided in the Instruction Manual.  These instructions include different examples and recommendations for practice. These examples also provide a refresher for parents on concepts that you may have not used in quite some time.

Math Manipulatives

Hands-on learning is a great way for students to really embrace a concept.  Using math manipulatives can help reinforce lessons, as they present the problem in a different way. Research has shown that when information is presented in different ways, the more likely it is to be retained.  The manipulatives are available for all levels through Algebra 1, so encourage your student to take advantage of them. Even if they get it the first try with the blocks, allow them to teach the concept back to you.

Student Workbook

Practice makes perfect.  Once the concept has been presented and the student demonstrates an understanding of it, it’s time for them to practice. The student workbook is divided by levels, with five to six pages per lesson.

The first few pages are usually Lesson Practice, to reinforce the new concept learned in that lesson. The following pages will be Systematic Review, which reinforces previously learned concepts as well. These pages are equally important as they can demonstrate your student’s retention of all material up to that point. Each level also includes a test, which allows the student to demonstrate whether the concept has been mastered. So essentially the student will learn a new concept, review previously learned concepts, and confirm mastery.

Although this is the way the program was written, there are different ways that you can present Math-U-See.  Work with your student and pay attention to their learning style to determine what works best for them. Be aware of the resources that are available to you and customize your approach to your student.

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