This post originally appeared on the blog Math Dyal.
The first day of school is so exhausting! And in high school, we follow an A-B schedule, so I get to do it twice! It’s important to me that the students do math even from the first day, and I love teaching rituals and routines in the context of the lesson.
The best compliment came from one of my students in the last period of the day who told me, “I think I am going to like this class – it’s the first time all day I’ve done something besides listen to my teacher talk about a syllabus!”
We started off with this puzzle. I LOVE using these types of puzzles in my classroom — they are self checking and encourage problem solving and teamwork. I told students they were not allowed to write anything or use a calculator. They had to talk about their answers. I love all the different hearts — so much less intimidating than a variable for day 1. I enjoyed listening to students talk through these, make mistakes, and problem solve to fix them. Plus, my students thought it was fun — win for everyone.
Since we had the team work mojo flowing, we went right into this Broken Circles Activity from Math=Love (She has free downloads for all group sizes, copies of the rules, and reflection questions).
This will be Mandy Dyal’s ninth year teaching math in Jacksonville, FL — six years in middle school, and now her third in high school. During the 2014 school year, she was chosen as her school’s Teacher of the Year and was then selected as one of the five finalists for Duval County Teacher of the Year — in a district of more than 8,000 teachers! Mandy believes in making her classroom fun and engaging— and loves using interactive notebooks and hands-on activities. Stop by her blog or TpT store anytime for some fun ideas!