Let's take a lesson and separate it into the 4 Ms!

## Manageable

One of the most important things that this strategy teaches teachers is to begin with the objective. For this example, imagine the overall goal is to teach students how to factor polynomials. This is not manageable in one, two, or probably even three lessons because there are an infinite number of polynomials to factor, include polynomials that do not have real (as in, not imaginary) factors. More manageable objectives would be to factor second-degree polynomials with simple roots, third-degree polynomials with real roots, second-degree polynomials with rational roots, second-degree polynomials with imaginary roots, and finally larger degree polynomials.

## Measurable

Let’s take the first objective -- factoring second-degree polynomials with simple roots. The teacher knows that this objective is measurable because at the end of the lesson, he or she can ask for numerical answers that demonstrate understanding of the task. If the teacher provided an exit ticket and discovered that students only understood how to factor polynomials that are a difference of squares, the teacher measured an unacceptable amount of growth and knows to re-visit the material. If all students understood the material, the teacher measured that the students may be able to manage more material than he or she taught that day.

## Made First

After teaching how to factor second-degree polynomials with simple roots, the teacher may choose to play Jeopardy to gauge class understanding. However, the teacher should not decide to teach second-degree polynomials with simple roots because he or she found an awesome version of Jeopardy online that would make a great activity.

## Most Important

With math, it is easy to decide what is most important because most curricula are written as a series of building blocks. However, for those students that are not planning to pursue a career in mathematics, it will be a constant struggle to explain to them why each lesson is most important to their future.