Topics: Student Engagement Implementation Support Eureka Math Squared Instructional Routines

Instructional Routines Bring the Math Classroom to Life

Crystal May

by Crystal May

May 2, 2023
Instructional Routines Bring the Math Classroom to Life

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Posted in: Aha! Blog > Eureka Math Blog > Student Engagement Implementation Support Eureka Math Squared Instructional Routines > Instructional Routines Bring the Math Classroom to Life

In Eureka Math2, students engage with one another through structured instructional routines that get them talking about the math. We incorporated these routines because students learn best when they can actively process new learning and because classrooms are social spaces. These routines increase student engagement in your math classroom. This use of varied facilitation strategies creates greater access to the content and helps students develop a mathematics identity. The routines will have a clear, positive impact on students and their learning. Let’s look at some key ideas that will also positively affect you as you prepare your lessons.

Instructional routines make teaching easier. 

Instructional routines help students get into an activity quickly by providing a familiar way to approach new or different content. When students know what to expect during any given routine, you may even find that they’ll eventually be able to use that routine with little or no prompting from you. Using routines pushes engagement to a higher level. When students are engaged, there is little time for misbehavior. Just a few instructional routines provide a variety of ways for students to interact with the mathematics and with one another.

Also, instructional routines allow you to informally assess students as they work, which lightens the load of more formal grading. Be sure to watch for and listen to what students say and do while engaging in the different routines. The rich thinking and reasoning you overhear is something that may not always be apparent on a paper-and-pencil worksheet. Students may surprise you and share insights you didn’t anticipate. It’s a great opportunity for you to gather some formative data. Rather than finding another time in the school day for formative assessment opportunities, they are now built directly into the lesson. This is a bonus because you won’t have to spend time figuring out how you want your students to engage with the content each day. This could save hours and hours of planning time.

For smooth facilitation, make the routines feel routine. 

You probably already have a handful of daily procedures your students are accustomed to using. From entering the classroom in the morning to packing bookbags in the afternoon and every moment in between, procedures help your day run smoothly. Let’s think about how to make instructional routines feel routine for your students. Eureka Math2 introduces instructional routines early in a student’s career and uses the same nine routines throughout the grade levels, saving instructional minutes. Introduce a new routine with already-known content, maybe even from a different discipline, so students can learn it without also having to learn new content at the same time. Practice the routine multiple times soon after it’s introduced. The more practice students have, the better they become at using it. Once they get the hang of the routine, you can add a new one to their repertoire. Don’t feel like you need to limit using the routine to math. You can incorporate the same instructional routines into other content areas. Imagine the power of using the Which One Doesn’t Belong? routine in science or Take a Stand in ELA. When you’re looking at the instructional routine resource in the Implement tab, you’ll find some suggestions for how to use that routine in other content areas.

Choose the routines you feel best support the day’s lesson.

Instructional routines are sprinkled throughout the lessons in each grade level to keep daily lessons fresh for students and teachers. Your Teach book suggests opportunities for using the routines in lessons. Don’t feel limited by what’s in Teach. Adjust when you use routines to meet your students’ needs. For example, a lesson might include a specific routine such as Math Chat. If another routine, like Numbered Heads, would work better with your students, you can make that change in your lesson plan. Even if Teach doesn’t include an instructional routine with a lesson, you can use one. You understand your students’ needs, so trust your expertise as a teacher and choose the routines that best support the day’s lesson for your students. 

Instructional routines lighten the workload for teachers by effortlessly creating social spaces that engage students, providing natural opportunities for formative assessment and giving teachers back the gift of time. Instructional routines bring math to life for students. The effort put in at the beginning of the year to explicitly teach instructional routines to students will pay off in lesson after lesson. As with any other classroom procedure, repetition and reinforcement create a well-oiled machine. If your students need more practice doing a specific routine, or if you feel that a different routine suits the lesson better, make that call as the professional in the room who has a solid understanding of the students under your care. 

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Topics: Student Engagement Implementation Support Eureka Math Squared Instructional Routines