Inspired by Algebra’s Friend I’m sharing some first days of school activities. They are not in any particular order. I’m always looking for new ideas so please share what the first days of school look like in your classroom.
Five Day Seat Challenge. This is a perfect opportunity to learn and observe how students interact with each other–who are the leaders, followers. Who overly dominates, who is overly non-compliant? Last summer I shared this article with the Edmodo community and a teacher, whose name I’ve forgotten, took the time to create the 5 PowerPoint slides. The challenge increases in complexity each day as the directions become slightly more complicated.
How it works. Students enter the classroom with instructions displayed on the screen; the teacher simply observes the dynamics. When the last person is seated and raises his/her hand, we talk about what worked well and what were some of the obstacles.
The next one is courtesy of Sam Shah.
This task focuses on constructing a viable argument and critiquing the reasoning of others. Half the class is given either a triangle or rectangle. In total silence they follow about a dozen oral and written directions which are given, alternately, and only once.
4 Square is great puzzle that helps students explore how they think and how one is conditioned to think a certain way. I don’t know I where I saw the puzzle initially, but below is a slideshare.
Formative Assessment Lesson. Within that first week of school I’ll want to get some “data” on where students are at in terms of problem solving, misconceptions, and the mathematical practices so the Boomerang lesson
and others from the MARS website–are a great resource not only for first week, but for every day of the year. I mentioned it in a previous post, but Algebra Tales does a better job of providing an overview of the task.
Again, please share your activities.