Tomorrow is the big day.  I’m pretty anxious after watching everyone else go back, have their great first days, great first weeks.  It’s given me the opportunity, however, to borrow and adapt liberally – so thank you all.  I’ve been crediting and thanking on Twitter all along, so I hope you all know who you are.  This is the game plan:

We have very brief periods because of program and MetroCard distribution, so I have two objectives.  The first is for each student to create a ‘feedback name tent’ the wonderful idea that I borrowed from Rachel Rosales last year.  They are such a great way to connect with the students individually and quickly.  (Here is a sample my daughter made.)   photo (7)The second goal is to collect student information.  Thanks to Kristen Fouss, I created my first Google Form survey.  Then, with a little help from Kathryn Freed and @algebrainiac1, I was able to print QR codes with which the students can access the surveys.  I will bring the iPads to class for those students without Smartphones.   We only have 25 minutes per class, so with first day attendance, supply distribution and brief introductions, I’ll be happy if both of these tasks are completed.

On Friday, I have more interesting plans.  In Geometry, the theme of the day is Communication.  We will start with a “Pick A Point” activity as a warm-up, work through a Talking Points exercise as an introduction to cooperative groupwork, and finish with some ‘Back-to-Back’ drawing.  I’m hoping the big takeaways will be the necessity for active listening and clarity in expression.  My Algebra 2 students will be piloting a lesson on the real number system which I wrote as a graduate student (but never had opportunity to use). In teams, the students will be given a set of twenty numbers to put in order from smallest to greatest.  The numbers will be in scientific notation, radical form, written in words, expressed as fractions – you name it.  We’ll try several rounds.   I would like to open the lesson with some constructive talk about groupwork, but I’m not clear on whether I will have time do a Talking Points activity here. [I’d love feedback from anyone reading this who participated in that workshop at TMC14.]    I’m looking forward to both of these lessons –  I feel very positively about how they set the tone for the work to come in both classes, and am predicting high levels of engagement.

I’m saving my course contract for next week; I can’t bear to do it in the first two days when the students are hearing the same thing in every other class.  I’ve transformed by Geometry contract into something I consider much more attractive than the usual laundry list.

Wish me luck!

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