6 Compelling Reasons to Give Your Math Students Notes

6 reasons you should give math students a class notes template

When your math students have their own set of notes, they have something to look back on to help them remember how to solve problems. 

But that's not the only reason to use notes! Check out this video to discover 6 compelling reasons why your students should be taking notes:

p.s. You're probably thinking right now that this would take FOREVER to create. But good news - We provide notes templates for every lesson in our MathLight curriculum.

math notes for pre algebra

A Simple Habit to Prevent Ridiculous Answers

a simple way to prevent your math students from giving ridiculous answers

As math teachers, we're always looking for ways to help our students notice errors and solve more problems correctly (pretty obvious, right?)

Well, what's not always obvious to our students is that they sometimes give ridiculous answers.

Say, for example, the problem asked them to figure out how quickly Elliot ran the marathon. They run the numbers and come up with their solution: 825mph.  


If they'd just stop and think for a minute, there is no human possibility that Elliot ran at a rate of 825mph. I mean, unless he's secretly Superman or something.

So how do we get our students to stop & think about their answers? The simple acronym DMAMS can help you do just that.

We explain it here:

p.s. Speaking of math making sense, that's our whole goal at MathLight - to make math easier for students to understand (and, not so incidentally, easier for you to teach, too!)

Throughout our video lessons, we use tried & true teaching techniques like DMAMS to help students better understand math.

You can use the videos in a variety of ways - to flip your class, catch up absent students, provide support for struggling students, supplement (or replace) your own lectures, and more!

All of our pre-algebra videos are FREE for a limited time. You can grab them here:

Get MathLight Pre-Algebra videos FREE

Or, check out our Algebra 1 videos and units

mathlight pre algebra videos

Emphasize This Detail to Reduce Errors When Teaching Evaluating Expressions

the key detail to emphasize when evaluating expressions

Do your students keep making mistakes when evaluating expressions? 

Chances are, the negatives and exponents are throwing them off.

However, if you emphasize this certain detail, you'll help your students eliminate errors and evaluate more expressions correctly.

Check it out here:

p.s. Are you using our guided student notes? They not only ensure your students engage with (and actually watch) the videos, but they're also a valuable study tool.

Guided student notes are included in all our units as well as the individual student lessons

Find out more about the guided student notes

math notes for pre algebra

4 Compelling Reasons to Flip Your Math Class

4 compelling reasons to flip your math class

Have you thought about flipping your math class but aren't quite sure how it would work - or if it's worth the effort?

In this video, you'll discover four compelling reasons to flip your math class - and some tips for how to do it well.

Now that you're excited to try flipping your class, check out this post for specific advice from Rick about how exactly to do that:

How to Flip Your Class (Your Biggest Questions Answered)

how to flip your class

We've also got the perfect tools to help you flip your math class - whether you want to try just a few times or flip every day. 

Our video lessons with guided notes will let you flip your class right away - without having to record your own videos. Plus, the guided notes ensure students actually watch the videos - and come away having learned the concepts.

The Perfect Illustration to Explain Division with Zero

the perfect illustration to explain division with zero

Ever struggle to explain to your students why 0 divided by anything is 0 but anything divided by 0 is undefined or infinity?

In this video, you'll learn the perfect illustration to explain both of these concepts in a way your students will easily understand.

Check it out here:

And speaking of making math easy to understand, have you seen our video lessons with guided notes?

Each lesson contains a video that teaches the concept as well as notes for the students to fill out & practice problems along with the video. Of course, the answer key is also included.

These are perfect for so many situations

  • When you need quick sub plans
  • If you want to try flipping your class
  • If you're struggling to explain a concept
  • When you need to give your voice (or yourself) a rest - without wasting the class period
  • For students who need extra help
  • Math centers
  • And so much more

The sky really is the limit!

Check out the individual video lessons with notes.

And use the search box to search for specific topics.

Should You Let Students Count on Their Fingers?

should you let math students count on their fingers?

Your kids are taking a test and you’re relishing in a few moments of peace when suddenly you see it.

What the what!?

Victor is totally counting on his fingers. Full concentration mode – one fingers, two fingers, three….

Wait a minute, is this kindergarten or pre-algebra class?

I have failed as a math teacher!

Or have you?

Check out this 3-minute video to discover just how concerned you should be when you see students counting on their fingers:

So what do you think? Share your thoughts with a comment below.

An Easy Way to Assess Your Class in a Flash

An easy way to assess your class in a flash

Please, please, please say -9.

You’re holding your breath in nervous anticipation. Algebra is not Eric’s forte, but he’s been making steady progress, and you’re hoping against hope that he’s finally figuring out how to multiply integers.

This was a fairly easy problem, one you think Eric probably hopefully has right. So you called on him to see.

But now he’s staring at you with those deer-in-a-headlight eyes. And it’s not looking good.

12? he murmurs.

Face palm.

Not only is Eric STILL having trouble multiplying integers but now you’ve embarrassed him in front of the whole class, further killing his confidence.

There’s gotta’ be a better way.

Enter the 1-2-3 technique – a simple way to quickly assess not only a single student’s understanding but also to quickly gauge how well the whole class is doing – all without embarrassing or singling out any particular student.

Check out this quick 3-minute video to see how you can assess your class in a flash starting tomorrow:

Guaranteed Success when Teaching Students to Add Positive & Negative Integers

So many students struggle to add integers correctly. But when I teach adding integers using this method, my students understand and master it quickly.

Check out this simple, effective method for teaching students how to add one positive and one negative integer:

Treating each quantity as that amount of positives and negatives will help your kids to understand how to find the sum.

p.s. We teach this easy-to-understand way of adding integers throughout our integers videos, lessons, and unit.

Even better, we're giving away our complete integers unit (including all the videos, notes, practice exercises, review, assessments, and more) absolutely FREE as our gift to you.

Click here to download your Integers unit absolutely free.

The Easiest Way to Review Math Concepts

why you'll love mathlight's quick review videos

Jaida is sitting down to her math homework. No problem, she thinks, adding like terms was so easy! 

She opens her notebook and starts on the first problem.   3x + 2 – 5x.

Um…..what am I supposed to do again?

Students often get stuck and need a quick refresher – whether it’s during homework, while studying for a test, or even just at the start of the next day of class. (It’s amazing how students seem to completely forget something they learned just 24 hours ago, isn’t it!?)

So where do they go for that refresher? Well, if you the teacher are around then lucky you!

But if you’re not they’re scrambling. The book is confusing. Mom always makes it more complicated than it should be.  I left my notes at school! Kahn Academy’s videos are so long. Um, um…

This is just one place that MathLight’s quick review videos come in handy. Students can quickly pull up a quick 2-3 minute video that will re-explain the key concepts in no time flat.

And this is just one of the awesome ways you can use these free videos in your classroom. Check out this quick 2-minute video to discover how you can use these free videos to help your students refresh, review, and reinforce key concepts.

Students use quick review videos to prepare ahead for a coming lesson, to brush up on a previous lesson and of course, to prepare for assessments.

At MathLight, we provide quick review videos for every lesson of every unit. And the best part? Right now, you can use them for free in your classroom!

Click here to find out more about MathLight & to try the videos for free.

An Easy Trick to Explain the Inequality Symbols

an easy trick to explain the inequality symbols

8 is less than 2.

-5 is greater than 3

0 is less than -1


As you grade Brandon’s quiz you quickly realize the problem is NOT that Brandon doesn’t know which number is larger but that he mixed up every single inequality symbol.


For such a simple concept, it’s surprising how many students mix up the inequality symbols. Maybe you’ve tried drawing an alligator or a bird or whatever other trick you can come up with to try to help them remember.

But this technique is so simple that you can teach it in a snap & your students will actually remember it.

Check out this easy trick to teach the inequality symbols in this short 3 minute video:

What’s your “Golden Nugget?” – the one key concept you took away from this video? Share it with a comment below.

p.s. Did you know that each MathLight unit comes with a guided unit review that actually teachers good study skills?

Each review sheet contains a checklist of all the terms, concepts, and problems the students need to know for the test. As you review in class & they study at home, they can check off each concept as they master it or star items they need to come back and review more.

The review also provides the opportunity to practice each type of problems so students can test their skills before the real test.

And if they're stumped, they can easily access quick review videos that will review & re-teach the concept in just 2-3 minutes.

Find out more about MathLight's guided unit reviews

unit review for mathlight - study skills for algebra