Welcome to the NEW site!

What is Magic of Math All About?

When Hope and I began creating the Magic of Math curriculum for our monthly units, we had a lot of discussions about what we wanted it to look like.  We knew that it had to be interactive, engaging, and FUN (for the students and teachers).  We also knew that it would NOT consist of worksheets and repetitive activities that would bore the students.  So, we decided that our math units would need to consist of mini-lessons, word problems, student activities, interactive notebook entries, and assessments that would engage little learners each week.  When I say that these units are a labor of love, I truly mean that.  We create each and every single one from scratch.  We don’t just change out clip art or numbers for each unit.  The activities and lessons have been created uniquely for each specific skill.  So, before I show you each component, let me answer a few commonly asked questions.
Q:  What grade levels are these units for?
A:  We have a 2nd grade series and a 3rd grade series.
Q:  Are these meant to be taught as supplemental lessons or as an entire math curriculum?
A:  Either one!  We have developed each day so that you can use it as your main resource (of course it’s always important to check your district and state requirements to make sure you are covering everything expected).  BUT, if you already have a resource that you are required to follow, you can also just pick and choose activities from each unit that you want to incorporate into your day.  You may just want to play some of the games or use the interactive notebook components.  We definitely don’t expect everyone to follow it exactly like we have it planned out.  Teachers are professionals and are capable of reaching their students’ needs!  So, use the whole thing OR use the pieces you like best!
Q:  How long do the materials take to prep?
A:  That really varies.  While we try to keep the teacher in mind, we also know that meaningful and active learning is not a no-prep process.  You may need to gather extra materials, make a chart, do a little cutting… but we believe that once you’ve done that for a unit you will be all set for next year!  We use colored paper while creating the units, but it is not necessary.  It just makes for pretty pictures 🙂
Q:  How long do you need each day to fit in all of the components?
A:  We know that different states, districts, and schools have different time requirements.  It’s hard to say there is a cookie-cutter way to plan your math block.  You may have 60 minutes or you may have 90-120 minutes.  We have tried to include as much as possible so that the teacher with a really long math block has everything they need to fill that time.  BUT, we also realize that it is too much for some of you.  That’s when you just sit down and pick out the activities that you think will be most appropriate and meaningful for the time you have allotted.  In my opinion, I think students need at least 75-90 minutes of math a day.
In a nutshell, the Magic of Math curriculum is jam-packed with materials that will get your learners VERY excited about math.  My daughter has gone from dreading math each day to really grasping and loving it.  Her teacher uses components of the units, but also incorporates other things that she has done over the years and it really works for their classroom!  Joelle absolutely LOVES the games and hands-on activities that we create!
In the pictures I’ve included below, you will see a mixture of 2nd and 3rd-grade math lessons/activities from all the units we have created.  We wanted you to see how much things vary from unit to unit!
The lesson plans are your one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about each day.  It includes the objectives, focus skill, materials needed, vocabulary words, word problems of the day AS WELL AS instructions for the mini-lessons, activities, and interactive notebooks.  This is where we explain it all!
In each Magic of Math unit, we create vocabulary cards that can be displayed and used throughout the unit.  We put the word and a model of that term on the card.  If you laminate these you can save them for years to come!  Some words repeat from unit to unit because we are trying to spiral throughout the year.
Thanks to @thirdgradeparade for sharing how she displays our vocab words in her classroom!
Each unit includes 20 word problems that can be used daily.  In some of the units, we also focus our daily lesson plans on teaching multi-step word problems.  We provide keywords, strategies, and student materials that will assist you in conquering word problems with different skills.  Word problems are heavily addressed in third-grade math curriculum to prepare students for their state assessments.  For 2nd grade, we begin slow and build throughout the year.
4a2ab unit2b22bpictures1
The nature of our mini-lessons varies from day to day and unit to unit.  Here is where a lot of modeling and whole-group games/activities happen.  You’ll notice that at the beginning of the week or unit you are doing a lot of the teaching during this time.  As the students master the skill, this section includes games for review or to enhance their knowledge.  You’ll find anchor charts, videos for teaching, websites to enhance instruction, and games for the entire class.
This is my favorite part of each day and it is the most diverse section of the Magic of Math units!  Your students will be playing games with a partner, practicing the skill, completing scoots, and so much more during the student activity section.  It’s very student-centered!
A lot of people ask “If you don’t include worksheets, how do you take grades?”  This is such a simple question to answer… We use interactive notebooks or recording sheets from the activity section to take grades.  I’ll also show you the quick assessments next that can be used as weekly or bi-monthly grades.  I think we have to get it out of our heads that we can only grade worksheets.  You can grade daily word problems, games they play, and so much more!  The interactive notebook section is where students take everything they have learned during the mini-lesson and/or activity and put that knowledge to use!  They will complete independent activities to show mastery of that skill!
Of course, we know that teachers need to see if their students have mastered a skill or where the reteaching needs to happen.  We include quick assessments that are formed based on the skills for the week.  The questions vary to include equations, vocabulary, and word problems.  We try to mix it up each week!
95bd1 slide09   66c7e unit2b42bcover
 You can check out the entire bundle of our 2nd Grade Magic of Math units here. You can check out the year overview HERE for a sneak peek at what to expect and what skills will be covered!
You can see the 3rd grade year overview HERE! And grab the entire bundle right here!
Still not sure what it’s all about?  Check out our sample days to get a better picture 🙂
Hope and I are just so thankful for each and every sweet comment, picture, and story people share about the Magic of Math curriculum.  Thank you for warming our hearts!

Hi, I'm Amy

Hey, y’all! My name is Amy Lemons and I am passionate about providing students with both engaging and effective standards-based Math and ELA lessons.


Sample a day of Rooted in Reading with these lesson plans and activities for Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, and Grammar!

15 Responses

  1. My students and I love your 3rd grade math units. I have a quick question. I’m trying to decide if I should follow how you have the units or do them in a different order. My question is, is there a reason you did a multiplication unit then a division unit and then left multiplication and division only to come back to it a few units later?

    1. We researched how several districts planned out their year when we decided to lay out our units. We saved the more difficult multiplication and division concepts for later on, but they can all be done in any order!

  2. What kind of paper do you print on? Is it regular color paper or is it cardstock? Do you laminate anything that you have out for the activities? I’m struggling with deciding if I should or not… but I love your products, they are a life saver. The kids have enjoyed their interactive notebook activities and all else I have put at their stations or do for our lessons. Your units truly are the best and there is so much stuff for our large block of math and even for my early finishers, thanks a million!

    1. I only use color paper for the images that I take for the units AND for minilesson materials. I very rarely use it in class, unless I just have extra. Most of the time I have students color if they finish early 🙂

      And I just use Astrobrights regular colored paper, not cardstock

  3. I am wondering what is the best way to store this? I want to have it all prepped this summer! Can you please give me some good ideas? Thank you!

  4. Hi there!
    I am teaching the financial literacy unit. I was wondering how much money you give students for their bank and what assortment of bills/coins- How many quarters, ones, etc.

  5. THAT IS MY BIG QUESTION ALSO! In 2016-2017 I taught the 2nd grade and stored the large 2″ binders with the printed out vocab. cards and laminated games in top handled tubs, but I was thinking this year when I do 1st grade – I may put them in those clear square totes that are stackable? We have already placed the units in binders and are placing the lesson plans in sheet protectors, but not the other pages – just punched holes in those so they could be easily removed – BUT we had to number all the pages so we wouldn’t get the units out of order!

  6. Wondering if anyone has a suggestion on how to organize and store these amazing units. I’m sitting in a heap of units , with binders that are ready to explode. Any recommendations would be really appreciated.

  7. I posted this on Teachers pay teachers, so whichever one you want to respond to is fine…I really love Magic of Math. We use it everyday in my 2nd grade classroom. I am tutoring 3rd grade students after school. I was wondering if you just had a file of the games for 3rd grade. I do not want to buy the whole kit because I do not teach 3rd grade, but I think the games would be helpful in tutoring these students. Thanks in advance for your response.

  8. Hey is there anyway to get a break down for materials needed? I am wanting to get this for my class but I want to make sure I have all materials covered this summer on my teacher budget list so I have ready for the upcoming school year