How to Create Emergency Lesson Plans for the Math Teacher

Are there any assignments that make substitute teachers sweat like math classes? After all, few subjects require such careful daily planning to properly teach. However, a well prepared sub should have a series of emergency lesson plans that can avoid serious math class disasters.

Research Appropriate Math Level

The day before your assignment, check your class’s age with your substitute contracting service. There is a huge difference in appropriate math lessons between each grade.

For example, kindergarten classes will be learning the most basic concepts of arithmetic, while second grade classes may already be moving on to multiplication. Obviously middle school and high school math can be even more intimidating, so you’ll want to fully grasp what concepts they should be mastering at the level you’ll be teaching.

Identify a Lesson Focus

Even if you don’t know exactly what the class is learning that day, you can create an effective lesson plan by identifying a simple focus.

Identifying a math lesson focus is a relatively simple process that requires:

  • Picking a math concept you want to teach
  • Creating a simple introduction to the topic
  • Designing the lesson activity
  • Testing for comprehension

For example, an algebra lesson plan could focus on the basic concept of real numbers. Point out examples of real numbers, such as 1, -384 and 2/8 and contrast them with unknown numbers, such as “X.”

Now, use a simple visual exercise to reinforce the concept. For example, pass out blocks and write the equation “2+X=5” on the board. Have the students identify the real numbers and sort two groups of blocks by those numbers.

Back Up Plans

What happens if your lesson plan covers topics the students have already learned and mastered? Simple: you can either use your lesson plan as a reinforcement tool or you can bust out a completely different lesson plan.

That’s right; it might be worth your time to create more than one lesson plan for each class. It might seem like a lot of work, but when your class is respectfully learning instead of rebelling in boredom, you’ll be glad you did all that hard work.

For more lesson plan ideas and information on substitute teaching, contact us today.

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