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Q&A #6734


First day of school

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From: Suzanne A. (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Aug 21, 2001 at 07:32:10
Subject: Re: First day of school - Middle School

Dear Joshua,

It was fun to think back on what I used to do on the first day of school now
that I have been out of the classroom and working for the Math Forum for a
year. I looked here:

http://mathforum.org/alejandre/frisbie/math/week1.2.3.4.html

and remembered what I think is most important to do. I think it is important
to set the tone for the year and so in my case since I taught mathematics in
a computer lab setting, that meant:
 - establishing computer lab routines (better to do something than to talk
about rules the whole time - often I would have the rules in a HyperCard
stack or a Web page so that students could interact with them visually rather
than listening to me talk at them.)
 - establishing groups - you can see some of the activities that I used on
that Web page
 - administering standardized tests - my school had pre/post assessments that
we were required to give and we had a window of time to do that (first two
weeks of the school year)
 - establishing the idea that we would be thinking mathematically!

As I remember it the very first day of school is often run by the office. They
have a variety of requirements that as a teacher you have no control over. The
best solution I can think of is to sneak in your own things as much as you can
in the format of sponge activities or quick mathematical engagement. If you
can do this along with setting your rules - weaving them in and out of
activities I think that the students will be most receptive to joining you
for the rest of the year.

 -Suzanne A., for the T2T service

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