Tuesday, August 28, 2007


The first day came and went in a blur. We started the day with a special assembly, in which all the departments came up with a little skit to present themselves to the students. There was a lot of energy, and the kids had a good time. The math department came out as if we were doing an encore to a show - we brought costumes and real instruments, and rocked out to "Cult of Personality" (i.e. Cult of Math Ability). Then we introduced ourselves, including our new stage names. This year, I am "Bass 10". Hah!

I saw 2 Numeracy classes today (80 minute blocks), plus SSR and homeroom classes. Lots and lots of freshmen everywhere. They are always so different in the first week or so of classes: silent and afraid to stand out as their brains are processing all of the new social cues and are trying to make sense out of their new world. Or something. I promised I'd know all of their names by the end of the week, but that may be pushing it.

In Numeracy today, I asked them to start by brainstorming around MATH - what images does this loaded word bring to mind? As this was the first day, discussion was hard to draw out of them. Someone would finally mention fractions, and I'd say, "Is there anyone in here who doesn't really like fractions", and every single hand would suddenly shoot up. See, you guys do have things to say! Then, I handed out a math survey to try to measure their self-perception and self-confidence, among other things. We'll repeat this at the end of the year so I can see what changes have been made.

Then, I handed out the Math Autobiography assignment. It had some questions to get them thinking about their math experiences thus far, and they need to write a full 3/4 sheet autobiography for homework! I'm sure there will be some really interesting ones, and I'll post them once they come in.

We burned through class rules and expectations as fast as possible, and then I began the whole-class unit on integers. (Differentiation will start later on, once I figure out when our laptops will be coming in.) I introduced what integers are (and we talked about applications like money, position, time zones, temperature), and then I showed them how to use unit cubes and an integer mat to model integers. We also learned about zero pairs, and how to simplify integer mats by removing zero pairs. I feel like not rushing things is a good plan. Spending a few lessons really scaffolding integer addition, I think, will pay off in the long run. The kids did a good job with the manipulatives, but reading directions is going to be (as usual) a constant challenge.

I'll try to keep posting about what is happening in Numeracy - though maybe not full lesson plans. If anyone has questions about details, always feel free to leave a comment.


TMAO said...

Keep an eye out for my boy E.G. Great kid.

Dan Greene said...

I have 2 E.G.s. One, I wrote a referral for today for a large ESSJ tag - hope that's not him! The other is in my SSR - I'll try to make him rhao.

TMAO said...

The one with the sister (junior?) who is also enrolled.