Launch is a small but mighty portion of a Eureka Math2® lesson. Even though it’s often the shortest lesson component, it’s so important to start students’ journey off right. Let’s discuss a bit more about what the Launch section is and how you can maximize its impact.
Don’t skip the Launch.
Launch is about giving your students access to the day’s lesson by getting them ready for new learning. You’ll even find a transition statement at the end of each Launch activity in your Teach book to help you and your students move to the rest of the lesson. Launch further guides students into the lesson by building context and presenting students with a challenge they’ll want to learn more about. This challenge piques their interest and gives them a goal for the lesson’s learning. In this way, Launch activities prepare your students for success, so they are worth the time they take.
Know the purpose of the Launch activity.
As you plan, think about how the Launch activity is used in the lesson. That will affect how you will guide your students to engage with it. Each Launch activity is different, but they always build context by activating prior knowledge that will be helpful in the lesson and by ensuring that all students understand the underlying concepts for the Learn activities. Look for these purposes as you plan for each lesson.
Because a Launch activity activates prior knowledge, think about what students really need to know and experience in order to make sense of the lesson and engage with the content. Let students know that they are applying concepts that will also be helpful later in the lesson. For instance, in a lesson objective about rate, the Launch activity has students time how long it takes them to sort different quantities of coins. Gathering authentic data helps to build context for this lesson by reminding students of rates and how to calculate them. It also allows students to access the activity in a collaborative environment where they can fill in missing conceptual knowledge.
Connect Launch to the rest of the lesson.
Launch is not a stand-alone activity. It’s part of the full sequence of Launch, Learn, Land. After Launch has activated prior learning, call out when students use this activated knowledge during Learn. Do this even when it looks a little different (e.g., the same concept applied with a different number). Recognizing something that is similar builds connections that help students remember and transfer knowledge.
The Land part of the lesson is a great opportunity to make connections. Because Launch has piqued students’ interest by setting up a challenge, check in with students about that challenge during Land. Ask them if they might approach Launch differently now that they have learned something new. Asking your students how they could use what they did in the Learn activities to help in Launch (or vice versa) will help solidify their knowledge. It also builds a habit of thinking about how different parts of a lesson or different lessons connect to each other.
Eureka Math2 is written to tell a story, but it’s also like a trip aboard a rocket. For a successful journey, make sure you take the time to understand the Launch, its purpose, and how to connect it to the rest of your lesson. When you start with a successful Launch, your students’ learning will really take off.
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Lauren is a former grade 4 teacher and instructional coach based in Denver, Colorado. After 8 years of teaching, Lauren joined Great Minds as an Implementation Leader.