Making Instructional Choices to Pace Units in Math

How are teachers making instructional choices to manage the pacing of the units?


  • Some tasks allow students to grapple with new material or contexts while others allow for assessment of proficiency. When the task is designed to check the status of student learning, all students do not need to complete it for them to learn the focus content or for the teacher to formatively assess learning.
  • If, as part of a task, students successfully complete work that shows proficiency on a standard, teachers can adjust the next Lesson Series, leaving out particular lessons that are not necessary.
  • Some tasks take less than a day. Teachers can use the rest of the class time to move ahead. 
  • The Entry and Apprentice Tasks are designed to inform instruction. There is no need to prepare students to do them or for students to complete them proficiently.

Lesson Series

  • Think about the objectives of the Lesson Series and of the lesson in the context of the unit and the progression of standards. Some lessons may be shortened or left out. There may be parts of the lesson that not all students need to complete. 
  • For example, you may stop an activity before everyone is done with it and use a whole-class debrief to draw out the key mathematical content for all students.
  • When using College Preparatory Math (CPM) lessons, focus on the Core Problems. These are clearly noted in the first of the Teacher pages.
  • If a lesson or Lesson Series has many additional pages for practice, a lot of worksheets, choose a few to use strategically
  • In elementary schools, use other parts of the day to incorporate some of your routines.  For example, do the calendar routine or a Math Talk during your Morning Meeting.

This page was last updated on October 21, 2022