The Easiest Way to Make Weekly Guided Math Lesson Plans

Getting your guided math lesson plans together each week doesn’t have to be complicated. Here’s how I plan an entire week of math instruction. For my classroom, there are three big things I spend my time thinking through and planning:

  1. Small group lessons
  2. Independent practice activities
  3. Math centers

Guided Math Lesson Plans… on Thursday!

When you’re ready to plan for the next week, I highly suggest making next week’s plans on a Thursday, if possible of course. Now, I know you’re thinking… why does it matter what day I pick, Katie?

I’m so glad you asked! You see, when you plan on a Thursday, there’s only one more day of teaching for the current week. You know exactly how much content you got through, and you can pretty safely guess how much you’ll get to on Friday. By planning for next week on a Thursday, you can easily see where you will need to start instruction next week!

Guided Math Lesson Plans: Daily Focus

First things first: Use 5 sticky notes to write your small group lesson plans. I use one sticky note for each day, and I label them Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.

At the top of each sticky note, I write down what I’ll focus my lesson on each day. This is just an outline so I know what I’ll be focusing on each day. If I know we’re working on place value next week, it might look like this:

  • Monday: Understand the value of hundreds, tens, and ones
  • Tuesday: Building numbers with hundreds, tens, and ones
  • Wednesday: Continue building numbers with hundreds, tens, and ones
  • Thursday: Show and read numbers using word form and expanded form
  • Friday: Continue show and read numbers using word form and expanded form

Here’s a place value center I might have students play with me in small groups, and then I can pull it back out in the future to add to our math centers!

Image shows a place value math center to use in guided math.
You can find this place value center here!

Independent Practice Activities

Once I know what I’ll be focusing my lessons on each day, I start collecting independent practice work for my students to complete each day. Pop the activities under the sticky note with the matching lesson focus so you know exactly what you need. Find your favorite practice activities from your math curriculum or TpT! If possible, share this job with a colleague and collaborate on finding resources that align to what you’re teaching.

Want to make this part even faster? You might want to check out my monthly no prep math printables – they are ready to go, differentiated math worksheets! Each printables comes in three levels for easy differentiation.

You can read more about differentiating independent work on this blog post!

Image shows two independent practice worksheets teachers can use for their guided math lesson plans.

Math Centers

I typically like to plan my math centers a month ahead of time because these are the activities that require the most prep work. Then, when I’m sitting down to plan for next week, I can easily pull out what we need and I’m ready to go!

You can read more about how I plan math centers on this blog post! In it, I share all about how to choose the right math centers and make a plan for the month ahead!

FREE Resources for your Guided Math Lesson Plans

I’ve put together a completely FREE Differentiated Math Toolkit filled with independent math practice activities and differentiated math centers to try! This toolkit is filled with activities you can use in your classroom!

Free Guided Math Starter Kit

Last, if you’d like some help getting your guided math centers and lessons organized, be sure to grab this free guided math starter kit. You can use it to outline the centers you plan to use each month, lesson plans, student data, and more!

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