First Day Activities

Today was our first day of school with students, and overall, I’d say it was pretty awesome. I over-planned a little because our periods ranged from 35-48 minutes, with 48 being the norm, and I did not want there to be any extra time. However, this led to some rushing through the activities because I wanted to do all of them!

On their way into class, students collected three worksheets: Ms. Kohn’s Life in Numbers, Class Syllabus, and Parent/Guardian Contact Letter. I projected a seating chart on the board and students found their seats. Then, we did these four activities:

1. Life in Numbers: Unfortunately I cannot remember where I found this last summer, so if it’s yours, please let me know so I can attribute it to you!

This activity is so much fun. At this point, students don’t know anything about me so everything is a guess. I let them work in pairs and then as we go over it, I share little stories about each question. If there is enough time, I have the students share one number statement about themselves. Today we didn’t have enough time so I read them by myself after school.

2. Syllabus: We reviewed it rather quickly.

3. Consensogram Activity: A consensogram is a chart that shows the frequency and distribution of responses to a question or statement. I thought it would be an interesting activity to get students chatting, noticing, and wondering. I gave each student 3 mini post-it notes, then we discussed the statements and answer choices. I did not have students write their names on them so they would be anonymous. I gave students time to think about their answer, and I demonstrated how I wanted the post-its to line up (this didn’t go very well, I had to realign most of them so they were even).

Algebra 1 (three sections):

photo-17 photo-16 photo-15Favorite student statement regarding groups: “When you’re listening, you’re quiet. But when you’re quiet, it doesn’t mean you’re listening.”

Algebra 2 (two sections):

photo-14 photo-13


I asked my students to make observations about what they saw and noticed while looking at the graphs. We had some great conversations about what they’re afraid of in high school and how to overcome it and succeed. The conversations were rushed a bit, but I think we’ll talk about them some more as students come in tomorrow and see all the other responses.

Extra benefit, my back wall now looks like this:


Special shout-out to @algebrainiac1 for some great sample questions to ask!

4. #MathIs Tweets: Sarah blogged about this last summer and I did exactly what she said. I will post some responses in another post because they were really creative and thoughtful.


5 thoughts on “First Day Activities

  1. I love the consensogram idea! Thanks so much for sharing the idea…I am definitely doing this on my first day of school next week! It’s nice starting later than most people because I can steal their ideas 🙂

  2. Pingback: First Day / First Week 2013-2014 | I Speak Math

  3. Pingback: #MathIs Tweets | Growing Exponentially

  4. Pingback: T-48 hours | Her Mathness

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