First Day/Week of School - Math Ideas?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by toff, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. toff

    toff Rookie

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    Jun 10, 2007

    I'm sure this topic is repeated a lot.:sorry: This will be my 4th year teaching and again I fear the first day of school. It is the hardest day of the year and hardest week of the year for me. I really want "wow" :wow: activities to use. I don't want to do the same old "go around the room and introduce yourself, or interview your partner, or who am I bingo." These kids do this in all 7 classes in some form or another. I want one that is math based and fun. I will save the rules and syllabus for a few days into class because my school does schedule changes like crazy and by the second week my class rosters will have 10 new kids and 10 others gone in every class.

    I do a lot of math bingo, math jeopardy, etc as review games durning the year. I'm thinking I can do these activities with the prior year math skills to review what they know the first week.

    Just wondering if anyone has any other suggestions that are not the same activities that most teachers use the first week.

    :thanks:
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 10, 2007

    I never make any friend with my answer to this question.

    I'm a big believer in setting the tone. I don't play games; I teach math. I'm incredbily doubtful that any game I play with my 35 or so kids per period will lead directly to a lasting relationship.

    I spend 15 minutes or so going over rules and expectations. I give them the test dates for the entire year (every 2 weeks, always on a full period day.)

    Then I ask them to take out something to write on and with (and always have extras for those who need them) and I teach. I start a topic and teach for the period and I assign homework. I check it the next day and go from there.

    The kids know I mean business. And a lot of my classroom management is done at that point.
     
  4. mrduck12

    mrduck12 Companion

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    Jun 10, 2007


    Thank you. Syllabus, expectations of success, and rules of the classroom. Then teach the first lesson of the first unit. Instantly into reading assignments, first writing assignment, and the whole day goes nice and smooth.
     
  5. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Jun 10, 2007

    I'm not a high school teacher, but how about picking a few things from the ideas below and making a "Goody Bag" for each student.

    Student's Survival Kit

    Contained in this kit are a few items to help you through the school year.
    A lollipop - to help you lick your problems
    Tissues - to wipe your eyes after sleeping during class
    A sponge - to soak up knowledge
    Tootsie Roll - to help you roll with the punches
    An eraser - so each day you can start with a clean slate
    paper clip - to hold everything together
    pencil - to "write your wrongs"
    candle - when you're up late studying
    piece of string - to help you tie up loose ends
    a stick of gum - so your class can stick together
    Mounds bar - for the information you'll learn
    Cotton ball - for when you can't hear yourself think
    band-aid - to heal your wounds
    button - to remind you that sometimes you have to "button your lip" penny - so you have enough "cents" to realize what a valuable person you are
    Homework rock - to remind you to do your homework
    ~~~~~

    Bandaid heal your wounds
    Candle when you are up late studying (2 wicks/ both ends)
    Cottonball when you can't hear yourself think
    Eraser start each day with a clean slate
    Mounds Bar mounds of info you'll learn
    Pack of Gum friends stick together
    Paperclip hold everything together
    Sponge soak up knowledge
    String tie up loose ends
    Tissue wipe the sleep out of your eyes
    Tootsie Roll roll with the punches

    Back to School Kits
    Give each child the following in a ziplock bag with the listed items:
    Tissue -to remind you to dry someone's tears (or perhaps your own, so you can see the tears of others)
    Button -to remind you to "button your lips" to keep from saying mean things about others or talking when it's not appropriate
    Band Aid -to remind you of healing hurt feelings, either yours or someone else's
    Candy Kiss- to remind you that everyone needs a nice treat occasionally
    Gold Thread- to remind you that friendship is the golden thread that ties together the hearts of everyone
    Eraser- to remind you that everyone makes mistakes sometimes, and that's all right
    Lifesaver Candy- to remind you to think of me as YOUR "lifesaver". Whenever you need to talk, feel free to come see me!
    Mint- To remind you that you are worth a MINT to me!
    Peanut - To remind you that sometimes it's ok to act like a "nut!"
     
  6. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jun 10, 2007

    I'm just the opposite of Mr. Duck and Alice. I've been teaching high school for 14 years, and I've never taught a "real" English lesson in the first few days of school. One reason is that in my school, schedules are still an absolute mess. It's not unusual to get new kids in on the third, fourth or fifth days of class. Secondly, in English at least, it's hard to get a kid to really write for me when I haven't established a connection with him.

    We spend our first few days doing a lot of team building/problem solving activities. How about origami? That's very math oriented.
    I did a google search and found this site http://www.mathprojects.com/lessons.asp. Are any of those ideas useful? I like the "How Big is Barbie" lesson!
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 10, 2007


    Hey, that's what makes the world go 'round.

    After the first decade or so in the classroom, each of us knows what works for us.
     
  8. mrduck12

    mrduck12 Companion

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    Jun 10, 2007


    Absolutely. :angel:
     
  9. toff

    toff Rookie

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    Jun 10, 2007

    This is my main concern for teaching something new. I will get at least 10 new kids in each class around the end of the second week of school. The schedule changes are a MESS to put it lightly.

    Oragami is a great idea. I'll read the others on the link also, I too like the Barbie one. Thank You - this is just want I was looking for.
     
  10. toff

    toff Rookie

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    Jun 10, 2007

    VERY CUTE!!! However - I will have about 150 students which is too many for me to make bags for, but I like this idea for my bulletin board. Bulletin boards are another area that I lack in creativity!
     
  11. toff

    toff Rookie

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    Jun 10, 2007

    Ditto- I don't have the decade yet, but I have learned a lot from my trial and errors the last three years.

    Aliceacc, thanks for your reply - I very much see the value in your approach to how you start the year. It's just not me - it very far from my style. I very much appricate any and all suggestions. :love:
     
  12. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Jun 10, 2007

    In my history classes I start off by first assigning seats/groups/partners and then going over my syllabus, policies, grading, classroom mangament, and expectations. After doing this I assign my student helpers who are essential to my classroom. I also give them a tour of my room, where to turn things in, where supplies are, what they are allowed to touch, what they are not (my desk), etc. This usually takes about an hour and the rest of the block my kids work. In my Western Civ. class it is a review of American Society and Gov. from last year and in my AP Euro class it starts off with a review worksheet of the reformation.
     
  13. AmyOwen

    AmyOwen New Member

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    Jun 15, 2007

    When the students enter the classroom, I greet them and hand them a laminated card with either a definition or a word/picture. For instance, in my geometry class I might hand one student a card that says "lines which intersect at a right angle." Another student will have a matching card with a picture of two perpendicular lines and the word Perpendicular. (You can also just place the cards on the desks so that there is one at each seat when the students enter the room.) After the students are all seated, I explain that we will begin with a small review of terms. The students must walk around the room and find their parter by searching for their "match." When they have found their match, they are to go to the board and write the term and a brief description. Then they are to sit next to their partner when finished. I go over the terms briefly, and then I tell the students that they will be taking a small "quiz" on the terms, but they may work with their partner. Depending on the class, I may also leave the terms on the board for reference. (They can never remember how to spell isosceles!) I then hand out a crossword puzzle which uses all of the terms (you can go to Puzzlemaker.com and click on CrissCross Puzzle to create it) and tell the class that the first pair to complete the puzzle will win a small prize. This is a math based activity that offers some review, and the students have a lot of fun with the competitive aspect of it.
     
  14. toff

    toff Rookie

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    Jun 16, 2007

    AMY - I love it!
     
  15. laurieham

    laurieham New Member

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    Jun 17, 2007

    This may not sound like a "Wow" but when I taught Geometry I created crazy pictures from shapes and different lines on the computer. I had the kids pair up in groups of 2 or 3 and one person had to hold the picture and explain in words how to the others students how to draw the picture. They can not see so the student with the drawing has to use math terms (Square, right angle, 45 degree angle, kite, etc). I was able to listen as they were doing this to see what kind of terminology they know. THey really liked it and got a kick out of how close or how far they were from getting the picture right. They were able to meet people and also do a sort of math activity. I would show them towards the end of class and they would always laugh. Just an idea of you teach geometry. You can create all sorts of pictures.
     

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