Getting to know the ins and outs of a math program takes time. How great would it be if someone with a little extra know-how shared inside tips? We spoke with Into Math writers, coaches, and experts to get their suggestions on how to make the most of our core K–8 math program. We ordered the tips so the first four may be helpful to math teachers everywhere, no matter what curriculum they use!
Tip 1: Trim your homework.
Instead of assigning a full group of problems, target just a few. Important practice comes when students are talking about math and struggling through a tough problem. Evidence suggests it’s not as critical to worry about students doing the same type of problem over and over. Pick just a few problems to have students complete as homework, and don’t shy away from assigning different subsets of problems to different students.
Tip 2: Remember, any resource can be a math center.
As you explore the different components of Into Math, keep an eye out for anything that you think students could do while other students are occupied. Consider whether those students should be working independently or in small groups—a problem that can be technically challenging if you’re teaching using a remote or hybrid model. Many math centers are indicated for a specific lesson but could in fact work across an entire module or unit. Look also to the Professional Learning cards, Game and Activity cards, and Unit Project cards for ideas. Think about what kinds of activities your students like and what concepts your students need additional practice with.
Tip 3: Show different ways to represent fractions.
Are your students struggling with fractions in particular? Use a range of tools and models to strengthen their understanding of fractions. In particular, navigate to Resources within the Discover tab. Many versions of Into Math include interactive Fractions and Number Lines tools that enable you to show equivalences for fraction and decimal intervals.
Tip 4: Supplement with free resources on Shaped.
We understand it’s impossible for one lesson to work with all combinations of teachers and students. Into teacher or not, HMH provides a growing body of free resources for the entire education community. Explore lessons, games, videos, and more on our Shaped blog.
Tip 5: Plan around Spark Your Learning.
This is one of the more nontraditional tools in the program and oh so tempting to skip. After all, if your goal is to get right to tasks that focus on the lesson content, Spark Your Learning can seem unnecessary. But this is where students can recall past ideas, engage and have fun with mathematics, and showcase its subjectivity. Spark Your Learning is a place where your investment now will reap dividends later. Be sure to read Spark Your Learning as you plan, and critically decide how much time to devote to it.
Tip 6: Don’t feel like you have to use all of your Interactive Lessons.
Into Math features a wealth of digital resources, but no two class setups are unique. Do not feel like you are required to use all of your Interactive Lessons, especially when figuring out how best to personalize instruction for you and your students. Use whatever instruction allows you to relate the concepts to your students. The Interactive Lessons available in the Discover Tab still make great homework and are distinct from the Interactive Lessons that make up instruction.
Tip 7: Leverage Math on the Spot videos.
The Math on the Spot videos are a versatile tool that can benefit you, your students, and your students’ families. Preview them before teaching a lesson and decide if they’re a good fit for you and your class. You can use the videos during instruction to spark discussion or to deepen your students’ understanding of math concepts. You can also assign them to students to view independently for critical thinking or review. You can find the Math on the Spot videos in the Discover Tab under Family Resources.
Tip 8: Don’t forget about Practice and Homework Journals.
If you’re a K–5 teacher, you may not be using all the tools you have for students to write and think about math. The Practice and Homework Journals are separate from the Student Edition and offer you a flexible resource for students to use for practice. Within any lesson, select "Practice and Homework Journals" under Component in the Filters section on the left. You'll find this resource, which offers a deep trove of related practice problems, easy to print and share.
Tip 9: Keep a graphing calculator on hand.
And if you’re a Grades 6–8 teacher, your students’ Graphing Calculator tool does not need to be restricted to your Into Math lessons! Most students are able to access the calculator anytime within Resources in the Discover tab, even when it isn’t part of the lesson or part of the program you’re using at the time!
Tip 10: Save graphs with screenshots.
Our engineers are aware that students are not yet able to save graphs using our native digital tools. But students can still record them! Instruct students to save a graph by taking a picture or screenshot. In fact, this can even open up discussions around what is and isn’t important information to save on a graph. How important is it to include the title? The x- and y-axis labels?
Lastly, Into Math has a Feedback button! We’re not counting this as a tip, but maybe we should. You'll find the Feedback button on your main Dashboard, in the lower right corner of the screen. As education content creators, we are always trying to learn. We want to know when there’s a need, and we are working every year to improve upon our solutions.
Interested in learning more about what Into Math has to offer? Grow student confidence in mathematics using our core K–8 curriculum.
Zoe Del Mar