# Where to Begin

The teacher plays a critical role in the assessment and placement of students. Observation of the student taking the Placement Tests is essential to establish a data-driven starting point for each student. We find that the determination of proper placement most often starts with the Alpha Placement Test. This starting point may seem unnecessary for every student, especially those in upper elementary, but sometimes a lack of critical computational skills is what is actually hindering a student's overall progress in mathematics. Careful observation of the test-taking can often reveal difficulties a student is having with a particular concept much better than simply basing understanding on a right or wrong answer. If you know your student can count to ten verbally, recognize the numbers 0 to 10, and is ready for formalized instruction, then we recommend starting with the Alpha Placement Test. If the student demonstrates mastery of the Alpha level, proceed to the Beta level and work higher from there. This will help to establish the data demonstrating the student's skill level and ensure proper placement. If your student is struggling with basic number recognition, we suggest starting with Primer.*

### Elementary

Math-U-See's General Math curriculum is designed for students in the approximate grade levels of K-6. The curriculum is conveniently divided into general content areas: addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, fractions, and decimals. Other topics are introduced throughout the curriculum as appropriate.

### Middle and High School

Math-U-See can be used successfully in upper level classrooms as a core curriculum or as a supplementary means to closing skill gaps. Since the lower level books are named by Greek letters instead of by grade level, and because there are no child-oriented graphics in the regular lesson pages, students who place in these lower level books will not feel they are doing first-grade worksheets. It is common for older students to make great leaps of progress once they have revisited topics such as place value and math facts. Please contact us to discuss how to best use Math-U-See at these grade levels.

*Note: Due to the pacing of the Primer level, it is not recommended for students with significant cognitive issues. Primer also is not designed to include the assessment materials necessary for progress monitoring. Please contact us to discuss your specific situation so that we can help you to determine if the Primer level would be appropriate in your educational level.

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