Mathematics Tip- Effective Progress Planning

Famous director Rob Reiner once said, “two steps and one step back, but I am heading in the right direction.” This saying is very applicable to the Eye Level philosophy. It may seem like a student is not making progress if he repeats booklets or he will make progress more slowly, but that is not true. When a student repeats some booklets, he will be able to complete the work more accurately and quickly. This will build confidence and will necessitate less overall repetition. For Basic Thinking math, it is important that repetition occurs frequently and immediately, especially in the Key Elements. Key Elements are the bolded section of the curriculum chart. The Key Elements provide the essential information of the level and it is extremely important that students master these concepts before moving onto other concepts.

Below is a great example of progress planning for a student in level 3. The student is completing two BTM booklets per week. She is mastering Understanding Numbers before she moves onto adding numbers.

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In a student’s first level, repetition should not be necessary, unless the student is very young. If a student is requiring reinforcement through repetition in the first level, he was probably placed in the wrong starting point. It is important that a student is at a comfortable starting point so he will gain confidence and a desire to come to class.

When this student moves to the next concept of level 3 (Adding 1), this is a noted as key element. Since it is important the student will see this concept three times. Since the student is becoming more accurate and can complete the work more quickly, the third time she sees the material she can complete 3 booklets in one week. Again, it is important to note that the repetition occurs within the same concept.

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In a student’s first level, repetition should not be necessary, unless the student is very young. If a student is requiring reinforcement through repetition in the first level, he was probably placed in the wrong starting point. It is important that a student is at a comfortable starting point, so he will gain confidence and a desire to come to class.

To effectively progress plan, your graders and instructors also need to make qualitative notes in the record book. This will help you determine things such as the amount of repetition that will be necessary, how to use supplementals (i.e. Key and Note), and if you should change the number of booklets the child is receiving.

Although progress planning is only done officially once a month, it is important to realize that plans can change. If a student is having a lot trouble, then you should allow for more immediate repetition. Your instructor needs to be your front-line person and let you know that the plan needs to be changed mid-way through the month. You should always have a backup supply of booklets of 5 of each level for situations just like this. When it is time to make the next monthly order, you can always order more booklets!

A Filipino Proverb states, “more haste, less speed.” If a student is rushing through the level, he will struggle through each booklet. Take the time to plan for repetition in your center this upcoming month and you will see the improvement in your students speed, accuracy, and confidence.