Love it or hate it, your students almost always have strong feelings (one way or the other) about math. I have found that these activities really help me to get to know my students as well as understanding their previous math experiences. Building a strong relationship with your students is imperative to having a successful year.
Though it breaks my teacher heart when students adamantly proclaim that they ‘hate math,’ it helps me to know where they are coming from so that we can overcome hurdles. I have also found that learning what has worked for students and hasn’t worked for students in the past, helps me to know where to start. I truly hope these activities guide you in getting to know your students and help create a strong foundation for your math instruction this year.
There are two activities in this product. You may choose to use one or both. If you’re using both, I suggest having students complete the “Math Life” activity first so that they can reflect about their own math feelings first.
MATH TALK Activity--Go over “MATH TALK RULES” with students to create a safe place for them to talk and discuss. Have students stand up and move to where the signs are posted, depending on how they fell about each question. I encourage you to stop after each question to discuss it with your students. This will really help you to get to know your kiddos.
MATH LIFE Discussion Cards--Have students complete the self math reflection by walking around the room to fill in their “MATH LIFE” sheet. Students will respond to each question in the corresponding section of their sheet. I typically encourage students to do this independently so that I can gauge their personal feelings about math. You may want to take up these activities or have students discuss with a small group.
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