I am a first year high school math teacher and over the summer I am working with a program to help students get ahead. I really like being creative and keeping the classroom alive but I can not figure out how I want to begin class every day. I know about the normal, warm-ups, but I just wanted something different! Any ideas?!! Help!!

As I have explained elsewhere, I use Arts Corners (I was introduced to them in an elementary education arts class, but have used them with eighth grade geometry and tenth grade Shakespeare). What you do, is create a bulletin board, tri-fold board, wall-space, or other display (be creative!) with a theme. Then, each day, focus on a different art (visual arts, literature, dance/movement, acting/drama, music). I usually display all five arts, and place the focus for the day in the middle or in a designated spot of the display to represent its place as the focus. Then, each day, spend 5 to 10 minutes on that art and how it relates to the content. To re-post from another thread, here is my Geometry Arts Corner ("Geometry Gallery"), with some examples for each art: I created a bulletin board that I titled "Geometry Gallery." I wrote each of the five arts on their own shape ("Acute Acting," "Sqaure Sound," etc.), and hung them as if they were picture frames. Each day, I placed a different shape in the center of the board--this would be our focus. I used this to be silly, as well as to show different applications of geometry. Here are some activities I did: Literature: I read a children's story of an African myth, noting the geometric shapes used in the illustrations; I introduced a short biography of Picasso, who used shapes in some of his art Visual Arts: I showed a handful of pictures (one each time I focused on visual arts), and asked students questions on color, shape, line, texture, etc. I also asked if they liked it, and why. Music: I draw parallel and perpendicular lines on the board, creating a music staff and notes, then I sang because I find it entertaining; I played "A Step Too Far" from the Disney Broadway show Aida, since the three characters form a love "triangle." Dance/Movement: I had the students stand and we made angles with our arms (acute, obtuse, right); I later had them make these angles in beat with the "Can-Can" by Offenbach (as opposed to a kick-line!); I also taught them a jazz-sqaure/box-step to music, as a sqaure is a geometric shape Drama/Acting: We played a transformation game, taking certain shapes, and "turning" it into something else (a rectangle becomes a baseball bat, a pen, a cane, a telescope, a back-scratcher, etc.) So, whatever your theme, find relevant arts activities--famous pictures or songs to introduce or discuss, fun theatre games, or anything else related to the arts. This allows students to see practical, fun, and wacky applications of "academic" subjects.

I think that games and quizzes are a great way to start the day - you could revise work done during the previous day and then use this as a platform to introduce the next topic. Add a few little prizes and pupils respond very well in my experience. I made a game based loosely on the TV deal show 'Deal or No Deal' which is proving really popular with my students at the minute. You can play a demo version on my website and I will send the quiz for free to anybody who thinks it could be useful in their lessons. See my profile for details of my website. It only takes a few minutes to play and you can easily edit the questions and prizes to suit your subject and class. Let me know if you think it would be useful, David

I start each day with questions that will be on an upcoming test (but change the numbers). Give them 5 minutes to work through them then get into the lesson. db

Sorry, I go for the tried and true. Because I'm in a Catholic school, each class begins with a prayer. As soon as the bell rings, I go stand right in front of the kids, wait 2 seconds for silence, then we begin. After that, they do the "do now" problem(s) that are on the board. They might be a lead-in to today's material, a problem like last night's homework or (frequently) a topic I've pulled from the past. My 7th graders spent a LOT of time in the fall doing their times tables, the perfect squares and the perfect cubes. Boring? Maybe. But they'll go into 8th grade knowing their basics. While they're doing that, I take attendance and check the homework. Then class really gets started.

How about starting with a logic problem of some kind each day and having the class develop ways of sorting it out. Sometimes the older kids forget the old skills of making charts and/or drawing pictures. I am talking about the kind of logic problems that say: Jake, Jeff, and John are brothers. Each day they wear either a red, blue or yellow shirt. They never wear the same color two days in a row and they never wear the same color as another brother on the same day. On Monday Jake wore a red shirt and Jeff wore a yellow shirt. On Tuesday John wore a yellow shirt. Figure out what color shirt Jeff and Jake wore on Tuesday. The questions can be longer or shorter depending on the class.

Hello, Thanks for the interest in the game I have made - I don't want to risk breaking forum rules by posting links to my website on the forum but if you click on my 'dr77' profile you can access my homepage from there. You'll find the game (called 'Take It or Leave It' and a 'Capital Cities' demo) on the site and also a contact email address so that I can tell you how you can save the game and the question files for free. I would love some feedback so feel free to contact me and let me know if you are able to make use of the game in your class. Thank you, David

A MATHEMAGIC PROBLEM Ask each pupil to take his slate or tablet and write these numbers on it. 12345679. All those in first grade are to multiply that number by 9. Those in second grade by 2x9 or 18. those in third grade by 3x9 or 27... In other words, each grade multiplies that number by 9 times its grade number. If the pupils work the problem correctly, the answer for the first graders will be all 1's, for the second graders all 2's. for the third graders all 3's and etc. This is a just for fun question. There is no prize awarded... Take the number of days in February of 1968 (29), add the number of days in Lent (40), subtract the day on which Memorial Day falls, (30) add Jack Benny's perennial age 39. What is the answer? 29+40=69-30=39+39=78 Write in a row all the numbers which appear in the top row of the standard typewriter keyboard (234567890), add to it the number or numbers which do not appear in the top (1, 1/2, 1/4. Write the answer. 234567890 plus 1 3/4 =234567891 3/4.... Take the number of feet in a mile 5,280, divide by the number in a quintet 5, add the number of fifths in a case of bottled liquids 12, What is the answer. 5280 divide by 5 = 1056 plus 12 = 1068 answer.... Write the number of girls in the family in Little Women 4, add the number in a baker's dozen 13 and subtract the number _________Little Pepper and How They Grew 5. What is the answer 4+13=17-5=12 answer

MIND READING MATH Impress students with your mind reading abilities...Instruct them to follow these steps.. Write down a three digit number. The firs and last digits must differ by more than one. Reverse the digits. Find the difference between the two numbers Reverse the digits in the answer and add. The answer is 1089! And always will be. Regardless of the number you begin with........

UNBELIEVABLE MATH PROBLEM 1. Grab a calculator. (you won't be able to do this one in your head) 2. Key in the first three digits of your phone number (NOT the area code) 3. Multiply by 80 4. Add 1 5. Multiply by 250 6. Add the last 4 digits of your phone number 7. Add the last 4 digits of your phone number again. 8. Subtract 250 9. Divide number by 2 Do you recognize the answer?

Take the number of days in February of 1968 (29) add the number of days in Lent (40) subtract the day on which Memorial Day falls (30) add 39. What is the answer???? 29+40 = 69 – 30 = 39 + 39 answer is 78… ******Write the number of girls in the family in Little Women (4) add the number in a baker’s dozen (13) and subtract the number in ___________Little Peppers and How They Grew (5) What is the answer? 4 plus 13 equals 17 – 5 and the answer is 12…. ********Take the number of feet in a mile (5,280) divide by the number in a quintet (5) add the number of fifths in a case of bottled liquids (12) What is the answer? 5280 divide by 2 = 1056 plus 12 and the answer is 1068

I do this too...over many years of teaching, I've tried EVERYTHING under the sun, but frankly as they give me more concepts to teach, and less time (and less effective time!) to teach it in, I find myself using the "tried and true" too. It's practical, it's time effective, and it works - and even though the terminology of "covering the material" isn't politically correct anymore, we still have to do it - and this method does work the best so far out of everything I've ever tried. The excitement is in the math...I find that I don't have to make it entertaining, it IS entertaining in and of itself! Most of my kids pick up on my enthusiasm and ongoing astonishment about the amazing procedures developed by mathematicians that produce answers to very complex questions so much more easily when you use a mathematic format. Throw in some history and some practical applications - and always the beauty of the math takes care of itself!

We always did a short (2-5 minute) logic problem to start our math classes when I was in middle and high school. I loved doing those things, and so did most of the rest of the class. We would race to see who could come up with the answer the fastest. I remember my teachers incorporating a variety of types of problems--word problems, number patterns, shapes, whatever. I liked it. As a Latin teacher, I start every day by displaying a fun fact about the ancient Romans. It might be a silly quotation, a neat picture, some weird statistic, or a summary of "On This Day in Rome..." The kids really enjoy it, and it gives me a few minutes at the start of class to get things in order.

I usually have something on the board for them to get to immediately. Then, when I start class, I usually go over briefly what we did in previous days, and preview (in a sentence or two) what we have coming up that day and the rest of the week. If a test is coming up, I note that as well.

This is what I do too. I have a book at school, I'm home for the summer, but I think it is called something like "critical thinking activities black-line masters". I copy a page a day onto a sheet of overhead projector paper and project it on the screen as the kids enter. They know to sit, take out their spiral, and begin while I do attendance. Then we review the questions and answer together.