Even though it’s only January, it’s easy to look at the school calendar and ask, “Will I be able to get through everything by June?” I saw a video on social media recently that was showing how teachers in different content areas approached the new year, and the math teachers were panicked saying, “We’re already two months behind schedule!” on the first day of the year! While this is an exaggeration, there is a hint of truth to it. Math teachers often feel like they’re running behind. Between reteaching skills from earlier courses and being interrupted by snow days or standardized tests, it’s tough to teach all of the standards required in a year.

So as a new semester is starting, we wanted to take some time to break down how many days you’ll actually need in order to teach each course and unit in the Math Medic curriculum. Linked below are our new, Course-At-A-Glance documents which break down each unit with how many lessons, review days, and assessment days you’ll need. The total number of days needed may be less than you anticipated!

Now that you know how many class periods are desired, we suggest mapping out each unit with your school calendar. Keep in mind, these lessons were designed with a 50 minute class period in mind. If you teach on a block schedule, you can read about our recommendations below.

## What if I don’t have enough days?

If you have enough days to get through the units using our suggested pacing, that’s great! If not, you’ll want to look at the lessons and standards taught to see which lessons can be cut. We’ve created our lessons based on the Common Core standards. Here is the **Math Medic Standards Alignment**. If your state uses something different, you may be able to skip over some of the lessons.

However, there still may be some tough decisions that need to be made about what to cut and what to keep. More is not always better. We believe that teaching fewer topics more thoroughly is the best route to take. In order to do this, you’ll want to make sure to communicate with the teachers in your department who teach the courses that come before and after yours. Check with them to see if there are standards that they have already taught or that they would be able to focus on the next year.

## What do I do with the extra days?

A typical school calendar has 180 days and you will notice that our courses include far fewer days. This is on purpose! Here’s why:

As teachers, we know there are all kinds of weird scheduling things in schools (assemblies, snow days, semester exams and study days, standardized testing, etc.) that take up instructional days, so you don't actually have 180 days for teaching content. In our school the 1.5 weeks before Christmas break is devoted to studying for exams and taking first semester exams. We also have a week of standardized testing in March.

We don't start teaching on the first day of school! We take about 3-5 days to establish norms, work on non-curricular tasks, and yes, take those pesky pretests at the beginning of the school year.

Good instruction is adaptive to the needs of your students. If your students are struggling with a particular topic, go ahead and add an extra practice day after that lesson. There are plenty of flex days available for you to tailor the curriculum to your students’ needs.

## What if I teach on a block schedule?

If you teach on a block schedule you likely see your students for fewer days but longer class periods. Here are some suggestions for modifying the Math Medic proposed pacing to adapt to a block schedule:

Combine any review days and assessment days into 1. Play the review game for the first half (or first third in the case of a test), and then take the assessment in the remaining time.

Any activity designated as a “Part 2” lesson (noted as a “Reinforcement day” in the course-at-a-glance documents) like

**Precalculus Lesson 1.5 Part 2**can be done on the same day as the previous day’s EFFL lesson. So you would do the**“What’s My Transformation?”**lesson and then the transformation mix-up activity on the same day. This happens several times in the curriculum.For smaller topics, you can do two EFFL lessons in one day. We recommend doing the first activity, then debriefing the first activity with margin notes and filling out the QuickNotes, then repeating this process with the second lesson. Then have students work on both sets of Check Your Understanding questions at the end of class, or assign them for homework. We suggest only doing this when the topics of the two lessons are closely related (for example, doing the translation and rotation lessons on the same day in Geometry).

If you join our **Facebook group**, there are some teachers that have already shared their pacing calendar for teaching the Math Medic courses on a block schedule.

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