[Disclaimer: I make no promises that I will be able to keep up a #180blog this year. The time commitments with my children make that quite unreasonable. I will, however, make the effort to post a #180teach on my class Instagram account if you are following there.]
Even after 18 years of teaching, I still get nervous about the first day of school. All of the new faces and personalities...worrying that I may not be up to the challenge of harnessing all of their energy and channeling it into productive conversations and growth. There is always a sigh of relief at the end of the day that I've survived. By next week, we will be into a routine and those nerves will take a back seat.
My groups today were a bit rowdier than might be typical for a first day, but in the end...it was a good day.
Sixth Grade Math
There are inevitably some procedural things to review on the first day, but I try to break those up over the course of a week. Today, we discussed our weekly homework, how we get supplies, what materials we need, etc. We also set up the SMP foldable that serves as the first page of our Interactive Notebook. We did not take any notes in it yet; we will be completing those throughout the week.
We then worked on Sara VanDerWerf's 1-100 Activity. The kids loved it and were incredibly engaged. We used it as a great opportunity to drive home the idea that "Math is not about numbers...it is about patterns and relationships." Unfortunately, my afternoon classes were not able to work on this task because the delays in returning from lunch and fine arts cut those classes short. One of the first big challenges I am going to face this year is finding a way to make sure that time is used effectively so that these students do not miss out on opportunities that the morning classes have.
|Students hard at work on the 1-100 Activity.|
Afternoon Homeroom Time
In the next week, my team and I will begin to work with our Support for Personalized Learning classes were we can provide targeted instruction. For this first week, however, we are using this time as extra time with our homerooms. I wanted to use this time to get to know my students a bit better. We started with Kristen Fouss' version of Name Tents and I have enjoyed reading and responding to their prompt regarding what they believe makes a quality teacher. We also used Sarah Carter's Getting to Know You Quiz. I spent the evening at the soccer field taking the quizzes that they wrote for me. They were excited to learn that they will get to "grade me" for a change. :)
It was a fun day. I have seen a few red flags of areas where I am going to have to trouble shoot, but I am pressing forward because there is a lot of exciting things coming up in the weeks ahead.
Off to Global Math Department!