Lately, I have become obsessed with streamlining our Saxon Math experience. From the prep and planning to the actual doing of Saxon Math. I am looking for ways to make it easier on us as a class.
Currently our classroom (one-room schoolhouse style) includes 2 students – one in Saxon Math 1 and the other in Saxon Math 3. I am trying to teach both of them their different lessons at the same table at the same time.
We start together on the morning math meetings. Then they rotate in to be taught their lessons while the other is working on some sort of math practice. It works for us.
But I am always looking for that extra something that makes it even easier to teach my students.
Alright, now that you are all caught up on my tips for teaching Saxon Math, let’s move on to the dailies.
I have got a serious case of lazy (in certain areas).
Saxon Math Onset Laziness (SMOL) is the diagnosis.
Sometimes I just don’t feel like doing the simplest things to prep for the day’s lessons.
Counting coins into a coin cup. Filling in a morning meeting strip. Ugh.
I mean these are such mundane tasks – and maybe that is why I would rather overlook it.
BUT (!) I have come up with a solution to my laziness: I simply prepare the next day’s lessons’ dreaded tasks at the end of my teaching time.
This gives me no excuse for not being prepared the next day! I simply do not put away my Saxon math folders and teacher manuals until I have completed these simple tasks.
Typically, there is time to do this as my students work on their assignments. And honestly, it takes less than a couple of minutes to do these things. Even my lazy-head can pull it together for a couple of minutes to do a task.
Here’s the list of concepts I prepare ahead of time before I call it a day on Saxon Math:
At the beginning of each of the lower elementary levels of Saxon math, there is a list of the coins needed for the year. Did you know that? Yes, it is true!
I took the time to count out these coins and place them in labeled baggies at the beginning of the year. Now that I have particular set of coins that I know will provide what I need each day. No tedious digging through the family coin jar to borrow coins on a daily basis.
At the end of each math lesson, while my students are working on their math worksheets, I update the coins in the coin cup using the teacher guide. Easy peasy!
Morning Meeting Strip
In my post about planning to teach Saxon math twice a month, I wrote about my genius tip of laminating the morning meeting strips. It makes all the prep so much easier.
I simply ask my students to wash off their morning meeting strips at the end of the meeting and they are dry by the end of the math teaching session.
I look to the next lesson to fill out the morning meeting strip for the next day. This is typically the pattern of the day and a time for the clock. I mean…so easy! But now it is done before I even leave the math table each day.
Math Fact Practice
I am guilty of letting math fact practice slide a little bit. Saxon is such a thoroughly review-driven curriculum that sometimes it can seem unnecessary. But these are the math facts we don’t want our kids to have to think about. We want these facts to be automatic. These are the math facts that should be bomb-proof.
Sneaking in math fact practice is also a good way to fill in the time gaps that often happen in a one-room schoolhouse setting. I can send one of my students off for a few minutes to practice her math facts while I finish teaching the other student.
To figure out which math facts need to be practiced on which days, I look ahead to the “Class Practice” or the “Written Practice” for the next lesson. Then I tuck the corresponding flash cards into the coin cup for each student.
It is such a little thing, but adding those flash cards and coins to that coin cup and having the morning meeting strip ready to go makes me feel accomplished. It keeps me on track with Saxon Math. And it keeps the laziness at bay.
By the way, if you suffer from Saxon Math Onset Laziness (SMOL), I have another solution to your math prep woes. I put ALL the resources for Saxon Math 1, 2, and 3 into handy Teacher Companions for you. ALL the night before resources are in these companions and they make planning for and teaching Saxon Math so much easier! You can check them out in our shop with a special, limited-time offer.