I’m so excited that you are considering using Lotsa Math with your students! I hope that you too will discover what it is that I love so much about it. This program has been methodically organized in a spiraled fashion.
How do I use the worksheets?
Each quarter contains 45 spiraled worksheets: 4 practice pages and 1 quiz per week.
There is no right way or wrong way to use this product. It can be homework, classwork, small group work, or any combination thereof. The most important part of using it is to just be consistent. The skills are presented using scaffolding to build on previous knowledge and are revisited often to keep the knowledge fresh in their minds.
How can I differentiate?
Although Lotsa Math covers the 4th grade standards, it can also be useful for differentiating for different grade levels. 3rd grade students that need an accelerated program can work through the pages, using the videos for teacher support. 5th grade students who need remediation can benefit in the same way.
Differentiating within the grade level is possible too when students work at their own pace. Advanced students can work quickly and move on to more project-based learning activities, while struggling students can work through the pages more slowly, using the video tutorials as much as needed.
How do I use the videos?
You can use the videos however would best benefit your class. You can choose to make them a learning station throughout the day, assign them in Google Classroom for blended learning, or simply let them be an added resource to use at home or in class. The videos can be watched on my website www.lotsamath.com or can be purchased separately to house in your Google drive.
How does this "ROTE LEARNING" help my students?
Lotsa Math includes more than just rote practice because many of the activities require using previous knowledge and creativity. However, it does include much rote practice. Recent studies are even suggesting that this type of practice is very beneficial for some students, especially the struggling students.
What I have found is that when kids are learning and practicing skills in a very time efficient way, such as a worksheet, they are left with a lot of extra time to do more hands-on and fun activities. Spiraling math alleviates the need for a lot of re-teaching and connecting new skills. This alone creates valuable time for more real-world activities and small group targeted instruction.
How do I grade?
I recommend not using a completion-based grading system for Lotsa Math. I believe that accountability and consistency with learning expectations are essential, and a completion-based system makes that difficult. However, it may not be realistic to think you can grade every paper every day. Therefore, each page on the answer key includes a chosen 10 questions to represent a sampling of the skills completed. These ten questions are marked with a yellow highlight and red lettering. I always grade based on the ten questions and give students opportunity to redo any missed questions. This gives me a quick way to formatively assess my students and provide the feedback and additional support they need.
What will my students come away with?
Lotsa Math includes nearly every Common Core and TEKS standards.