Elementary Math Lesson Plans with Step-by-Step Instructions

Even if you write lesson plans often or reuse ones you have written before, you may be looking for ways to plan elementary math lessons more efficiently. Keep reading for some ideas to use for your math classes.

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Step-by-Step Lesson Planning for Elementary Math

Start with Outlines

There are many outlines available to use in writing elementary math lesson plans. Some schools or school districts may have preferred outlines. However, all outlines have some commonalities and may overlap in the basics, differing primarily in wording, arrangement and detail.

Outlines typically include objectives. Sometimes, objectives refer to goals, which are the larger concepts or ideas - not facts - that you want your students to grasp. At other times, objectives refer to knowledge that can be demonstrated by your students and assessed.

Develop Lesson Plans

Once you have decided on your objective, you can follow a series of steps to develop the lesson from beginning to end. These steps can help keep students engaged and eager to learn. The following explains how you might teach a lesson about fractions to 3rd graders.

Introduce the Lesson

Take advantage of your students' interests to introduce the lesson. For example, if they enjoy stories, read a book that introduces the math concept you want to teach. To start a lesson on fractions, you might read Full House: An Invitation to Fractions by Dayle Ann Dodds.

Present the Information

You might combine the information you're presenting with themes from the book. For example, you can draw a rectangle and divide it into sections that represent the rental rooms of the inn. As each room is filled, ask a student to color in one of the sections. You can also draw a circle to represent the strawberry cake in the story. As the characters in the story divide the cake, you can divide the circle into the fractional parts and write the fraction beside each part.

Guide Students in Practice

After you read the book, discuss what fraction of the rooms was rented at each step in the story. Give each student a 'circle cake' and ask him to talk about the parts or fractions of it while dividing and labeling the cake. Pairing up the students so they can talk to one another would save time and give each student a chance to express herself. Check each group and have each student explain parts of this lesson on fractions to you so you know that he understands it.

Encourage Independent Work

Worksheets are a good way for your students to practice independently. They can do as much in class as time allows, and then take the worksheets home to complete as homework. You could make worksheets with a few simple story problems that students can illustrate to demonstrate their understanding of the lesson. You might also write out a few fractions in words for the students to translate into fraction form. Consider alternating these two kinds of problems so you can check your students' understanding in case they need to finish the work at home.

Summarize the Lesson

Review the points of the lesson by asking your students some questions.

  1. What does a fraction tell us?
  2. How would we evenly divide a cake for six people? For eight people?
  3. What would the fraction for one of those pieces look like? For two pieces?

Ask questions that require your students to make a personal connection to the lesson. For example, you could ask:

  1. What do you like best about fractions so far?
  2. How will you tell your parents about fractions when they want to know what you learned in math today?
  3. What do you think you need to practice more?
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