There are a lot of educators offering pre-made lesson presentations for Engage NY math. Most are priced very competitively and include cute fonts and clip art. So, how do you decide which product is best for you?
Before you make that decision, you should understand what these products are and how they can be used. These products are tools, NOT replacements for your experience as a teacher. They will not magically teach your class for you.
What the presentations are meant to do is to help you save hours of prep time and provide a colorful, informative background as you instruct your students. That being said, be sure to review the slides BEFORE you teach to ensure that you understand the main take-away of the lesson. This way you can integrate your personal experiences and keep your kiddos engaged (no pun intended!).
Tip #1 Make sure the presentation is compatible with your classroom technology.
There are multiple types of software available and each school seems to have purchased something different. If you have a Smart board, you will want to use compatible software and there are excellent presentations that are designed for this technology that allow you to move items on the board and create an interactive experience. For the rest of us, purchasing this format doesn’t make sense as we don’t Smart board software that run .notebook files.
The most universal type of software is a PDF (portable document file) and should work on almost every type of computer. Most products will list what type of format they were developed for in the description. Be sure to check your classroom technology before you purchase a product.
Tip#2 Look for a guide that closely follows the original product
There are five key parts to each lesson plan developed by Engage NY: Fluency; Application; Concept Development; Problem Sets; and the Exit Ticket. Each section focuses on a different aspect of the learning process and play an integral part in the Engage NY teaching philosophy. It is recommended that you verify that all the sections are included in the product you purchase (make sure they’re actually in the original lesson plans first!).
Tip #3 Divide the lesson up based on what works best with your schedule.
Though most Engage NY supplements will be constructed in the exact same order they are listed in the module, they do not need to be taught that way. You can follow from slide 1 until the end, but you can also divide up the sections listed above into mini lessons throughout the day. You could easily use the application section for morning work.
Tip #5 Keep a journal and make notes detailing what worked and what didn’t when you taught the lesson.
It is highly recommended that you keep notes about what worked and what didn’t during the lesson (and really ANY lesson). These lessons are written for every classroom, but only you know what will work best in your classroom. By writing down examples and ideas that you think of after teaching a lesson, you will be able to put that personal stamp on any pre-made lessons that you purchase. These notes can also help you remember next year where students may struggle the most and which topics they pick up easily.
Classroom Teacher Doctor of Education
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