Plan Your Math Week in 15 Minutes

I shared today on our Instagram story a framework to get your planning for math done in 15 minutes. At first this process will take you more time, but as your experience and collection of resources and ideas develop you will get more efficient. Think big broad ideas, general teaching strategies and balance. As you find your activities to match your content, a more detailed understanding of your lessons will begin to emerge.

This framework is effective because it allows you to commence planning with the 'activities' and work backward. I like starting with activities, as it is the absolute essential part of a learning sequence and it's the part that will allow your students to actively build their own understanding. The focus should always be on the 'doing'.

The Steps

  1. Identify content focus
  2. Break down content focus into sequenced steps (no more than 5, approximately one each day). Each will be a lesson focus for the day.
  3. Find or develop 5 sequenced activities that match these steps. These will be used in small groups next week, but for this week, weave them into your teaching content.
  4. Allocate a warm-up strategy for each day of the week that has an endless supply of activities (e.g. if Monday = counting - you can count by 1s, count backwards, skip count, partner count, count objects...... just slot in a new activity each Monday with the broad activity of 'counting'). 
  5. Allocate a balanced range of teaching strategies across your week. This will take into consideration your teaching context, available resources, personal style and learner needs. 
  6. Develop some guided/independent activities for each day that logically flow from your strategy and content.
  7. Similar to the warm up, allocate a type of concluding activity to each day of the week. 

Content Sequence

Knowing the sequence of steps that leads to the understanding of a concept comes with teaching experience. This will be the time consuming part for a new teacher, but it will develop over time. Use your curriculum planning documents from your state/district/country as a guide. Talk to your colleagues. Use published curriculum resources for guidance. Our Math Packs are sequenced and will guide you with this progression.


The section labeled 'strategy' refers to the main teaching and learning strategy you will use in your main lesson. Not the mathematical strategy. Teaching strategies include such things as direct instruction, role play, discussion, problem solving and case study. The idea in this planning format is that you use a range across the week to provide a balance.

Building up and drawing on a bank of these general strategies provides you with a way to make your planning more manageable and reduce your workload.  Identify your focus, plan your content sequence, slide in a strategy and you are all set. Well, it's a plan at least. 


Using the steps outlined above, here is an example week to give you an idea. We used the activities from our newly released Math Pack 19 and 20 to explain this process.

However, this framework is easily applied to any resource activities you source or develop for yourself.

Download the planning page from Google Drive HERE

A Fortnightly Pattern

Using this planning structure, your program/curriculum would follow a Week A/ Week B pattern. Your independent small group activities from A would be done by the students in B. After a week of lessons and teacher guidance on the content they will be more ready to engage independently with them - freeing you up to work with specific students or small fluid groups on identified learning needs.

We hope that this planning process can help break down the sometimes daunting task of planning your week. It might also help you to see how FUN activities can be incorporated into your curriculum in a meaningful way. If we can help, please reach out and we will do our best.