Yes, Eureka math lessons are jam-packed with information and probably more than you can squeeze into the 60 minute time-frame it lays out for you. Even if you have more than 60 minutes for your math block, you may still be wondering how to fit it all in. This is totally normal, and many teachers feel this way about the curriculum.
What many teachers don’t realize is that you don’t have to do it all!
Eureka Math is designed to be customized for your students. It intentionally includes more than you can reasonably get done in the time you have, allowing you to really tailor the lesson to meet the needs of your class. Sticking to the time-frame given for each component is actually more important than completing every activity in the lesson.
For example - maybe today’s lesson includes 3 different fluency activities. Which one do you do?
If 12 minutes is the time given for today’s fluency practice, start with the concept your students struggle with the most. Work on that piece until they have mastered it, OR until 12 minutes has passed. If they master it before 12 minutes, great! Have a backup plan and work on one of the other activities for the remainder of the time. If they do not master it in 12 minutes, make a note to do this activity again in the future.
We’ll talk a lot more about customizing your lesson as we dive deep into the specific components of each lesson. For today, let’s talk about the steps to take as you are preparing to teach each lesson.
The Dos and Don’ts For Lesson Preparation
Preparing to teach a Eureka lesson is a little different than preparing to teach other math curricula. Because of how detailed it is, it may require a little extra time when you first start using the curriculum. Don’t worry - once you get a good handle on the curriculum, preparation will go much faster!
When preparing your Eureka lesson, do:
When preparing your Eureka lesson, don’t:
Questions to Ask Yourself as You Prepare
How does this lesson fit into the larger picture of the module? Understanding the lesson’s part in the big picture of what students are learning will help you be able to teach it better. Refer back to the module overview as needed. Once you have a clear idea of the lesson’s purpose, go back and read each component one at a time, planning for customization and delivery as you go.
Which of these activities best fits into the overall purpose of this lesson? Which of these activities do my students need the most practice with? How much practice do my students need with each of these activities? Considering these things, decide which fluency activities are most important and which can be placed on the backburner. Also note additional problems you wish to add in if time allows.
What are my students being asked to solve? What strategies should they use to solve it? How will I model this problem for them? For the application problem, think through the different strategies your students might use to solve, and decide which one (or ones) you will use to model the problem for them after completion.
How will I deliver this instruction? Will I add in any additional activities? What materials are needed? How will my students participate? What guided practice will we do? The concept development is the meat of your lesson and requires the most prep. Think carefully through your delivery - how will you model problems? How will you engage your students? If you need any supplies, gather it ahead of time. The lesson includes sample problems for you to work, but you may choose to change them or add more. Make notes of these changes in your manual.
Problem Set and Exit Ticket
How do I expect my students to solve these problems? Which problems do I want to omit? Your problem set and exit ticket will be the independent work your students complete to practice the lesson.
Students do not have to complete every problem.
Also decide if you want your students to solve using a particular strategy, and communicate that to them as well.
The debrief takes place in between the problem set and exit ticket to allow students a chance to reflect and ask questions. Several questions are provided in the lesson - decide which ones you want to focus on and ask those first. If you have a question you’d like to add, make a note of that as well!
Incorporating Hands-On Practice
One other thing to consider when you are preparing your lesson is how you can incorporate more hands-on activities. Eureka includes some hands-on, interactive lessons; however, many of the lessons can be a little lackluster. The worksheets aren’t anything spectacular to look at, either.
If you are sticking to the time-frame of the lesson, then you should be finished with your lesson in one hour. If your scheduled math block is longer than an hour, then you have an amazing opportunity to incorporate some more practice with a fun activity! It doesn’t have to happen everyday, but if time allows and it makes sense, consider throwing in a game or hands-on activity that allows for further practice of the math skill being taught. I really love incorporating centers in the classroom. This will help make teaching Eureka a lot more fun for both you and the students!
I hope that this post has given you a good idea of how to properly prepare your Eureka lessons. This may seem like a lot of work at first, but trust me - it gets so much easier! Stick with it and before you know it, planning your lessons will be a breeze.
The next step after planning your lesson is to prepare your supplies, which we’ll really dive into in the next post!
- Classroom Teacher
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