Hi, I'm new to 6th grade, but have been teaching for 17 years now. I thought I read about an activity to do with 6th graders on the first day of math class here, but I can't seem to find it. It involved having students create a number "quilt" by representing one number 6 different ways on a sheet of paper. Does that sound familiar? If not, I'm looking for as many ideas as possible. Thank you! Lisa

I think you could do this but I would use a fraction or decimal as the starting number with sixth graders. Or have the students write expressions for a whole number. A teacher in my school has the students make a math glyph. I usually just jump into problem solving with students.

I found a great one in a book called So You Have to Teach Middle School Math. I am using it on the second day but it would work on any day. Assign a dollar value to each number of the alphabet and display the letter key for students. So...A=$1, B=$2 all the way to z=$26. You need to use either your white boards or use butcher paper to create a sort of dollar number line. I can't post anything yet because I am new so I hope I am making sense. I should look something like below all the way to $150. $1-5 $6-10 $11-15 etc. As students enter the room, hand them 2 sticky notes and have them write their name on each one. For the "lesson," ask them to calculate the value of their name and write it on one of the stickies. They should be able to do it in their heads, but I would let them work it out if they have to. Tell them they are going to chart their names and analyze the data. Have them come up and put their name under the right number range. Have a discussion about what they see. Where are most of the names? Are they spread out or in one spot etc. Ask who thinks they have the cheapest/most expensive names. Then put up a second number key with the letter values reversed. A=$26, B=$25 etc. Have them predict what their data will look like the second time. Make predictions. Have them recalculate and stick their names above the line. Now you can compare both graphs and discuss all sorts of things like range, and mode. This is an icebreaker, but also teaches kids how to discuss as a group etc. It sounds complicated but it is really easy and they love it. I tried this when I was long-term subbing in a pretty rough and tumble school, in a classroom with some REALLY challenging students and it went over very well. Hope that helps!

Thank you so much for your ideas. I ordered the book that was mentioned and am waiting for it to arrive.