Implementing Aha!Math Units

Each unit is designed to include several components as the means for improving student understanding of a topic. As you learn more about these components, you will also discover additional ways to use individual components of a unit to meet the specific needs of individual students. It is important to remember that the Grade K-2 units consist only of Games and Activities while the Grade 3-5 units consist of Instructional Modules, Lessons, Games, Activities, and Quizzes. Each link below provides you with specific ideas for implementing that component.


How should I implement Instructional Modules?

  • Instructional modules are designed as instruction for students to learn concepts and procedures. While each Instructional Module also has a quiz, many also have lessons to involve students in the learning. Some include parallel games or activities. Use the Instructional Modules to support your instruction. For example, project an instructional module from a computer for all students to view. Use the pause feature to make comments, clarify meaning, and pose questions. It is important to engage students in the module through discussion to support their learning.
  • View the Instructional Module in Grade 3 Unit 1 on multiplication titled, “Models of Multiplication.” This module introduces students to various ways of modeling multiplication. To support student learning, pause the video after one model and provide students with additional examples of multiplication problems using this same model. By the time you finish the video, students will have seen several multiplication problems using each of the models.
  • Another effective implementation is to have students take notes during the video and collectively review what notes were critical to take. Students have a hard time pulling out important facts to remember and recording them in an effective way. By modeling note taking, you will be providing a skill to students, pulling out and reviewing the important mathematical concepts, and reinforcing critical language arts skills.

How do I incorporate Lessons into my classroom?

  • The lessons parallel the Instructional modules in grades 3-5. Each lesson reinforces the learning presented in the instruction and asks students to participate in the learning. By having students work individually through the lessons, you will get reports to follow the learning for each individual student.
  • View the lesson on the Multiplication Chart in the third grade unit. In the Instructional Module for this unit, students were taught about the multiplication chart and how to read it. As this lesson begins, this information is quickly reviewed and students are then asked to find multiplication facts using a multiplication table. The vocabulary of factors and products are presented and reinforced through questions. o effectively use lessons, have students work in pairs or individually so they receive feedback specific to their thinking.

How do you use the Games with students?

  • Games are a great motivation for students, but educators sometimes think students are learning little for the instructional time it takes to play a game. Aha!Math designed games in which students build fluency using math facts and concepts, as well as higher-order thinking and strategy. While the lower-grade games include instruction, the upper-grade games ask students to apply what they learned in the instruction, lessons or activities. As with the lessons, the games provide students with feedback for the choices they make along the way. For this reason, the best use of games is to have students work with a partner or individually. Because most of the games embed levels of difficulty, be sure students play the games multiple times playing so they advance to the more difficult levels. Here are some specific examples to successfully use the games.
    • Use small groups to introduce students to a game. Having student begin the play in small groups encourages them to learn each other’s problem-solving strategies.
    • Play as the entire class to work on problem solving strategies. As students provide responses, ask them to explain their thinking. A good example of a game that uses lots of problem-solving strategies is “River Crossing.”
    • The Aha!Math games are an excellent at-home tool. Parents and students can play together or challenge one another. When parents don’t have an Internet connection at home, have them consider a public community center or library.

How do you use the Activities to promote learning?

  • Activities are designed to be implemented with a whole class. Because activities are delivered as a PDF, they are not completed using the computer. To implement, provide the instruction to the whole class, then have students work individually, in small groups, or through whole-class discussions.
  • Activities offer a brief opportunity for students to involve themselves in the math using a different modality. Often they are writing problems, using a different model, and ask for them to discuss their thinking. Pre-read the activity so you have all the materials students will need. Use the variations to extend students’ learning. Because of the open nature of the activities, be aware of your time. It will be easy for students to get engaged in the learning as they work through each activity.
  • View an Activity “Fair Sharing” that supports student learning of long division. You should picture students working on division problems using base-ten blocks.

How do you use the Quizzes to inform you about student learning?

  • Quizzes are available only in Grade 3-5 units. Each Instructional Module is coupled with at least one quiz. The quizzes work best when students are working independently. Students are encouraged in the quiz to learn from their mistakes. Strongly suggest that students retake quizzes when they feel they were not successful; the teacher management system tracks every attempt.
  • It is important to note that the scoring is for academic grading purposes because Aha!Math is an instructional program and not an assessment program. Quizzes merely track whether students are progressing through a concept. Use the reports available in Aha!Math to identify the concepts students are mastering and which concepts are causing them problems. The reports also provide how much time students take, providing insight into fluency growth.