First Days – Individual and Group Activities

Here’s my blog post on some activities that I have ready in my arsenal for our first days back to school.  We start Thursday, August 23rd.

None of these activities are original to me.  Disclaimer – one of the reasons I feel like an impostor in the #MTBoS is because I just take what everyone else provides and uses it for myself.  (I promise a blog on Music Cues is coming)

Here is my Google Slides presentation for all of the activities that I’m going to describe:

Welcome Back

  1.  Name Tents – this is Sara Vander Werf’s brain child and a description can be found here.  However, I do add my own question prompts which this year will be:
    • Day 1:  What do you notice about the first day – either here in this classroom or in general?
    • Day 2:  What do you wonder about this coming school year?
    • Day 3:  What are you most interested in?
    • Day 4:  What qualities do you look for in a teacher?
    • Day 5:  What are your strengths and how might we use them in this class?
  2. Frayer a Classmate – this activity was found in the EduProtocols book which I described in my #MathFam blog post.  I plan to have students do this in pairs and rotate to a different classmate to fill in each quadrant.  That way they learn 4 classmates on the first day.  On the Google Slides you can see the 4 quadrants that I decided to use:
    • Describe your classmate’s physical features (hair, eyes, height, etc).
    • Describe your classmate’s family (parents, guardians, grandparents, siblings, pets, etc)
    • What are 4 things that your classmate likes?
    • What are 4 things that your classmate does not like?
  3. 100 Numbers Class Activity – this is one of my favorites of all time.  Again Sara Vander Werf is amazing at providing these great group work activities.  You can read about it HERE. I run it pretty much as described.  I probably won’t do this with Algebra 2 since they most likely did it last year as there were a couple of us who did it.  I’ll do it with Geometry this year for sure.
  4. Build It – this came from Sarah Carter who got it from Stanford (scroll down in the blog post I linked to find her description).  This is more for developing group work and I plan to do this with Geometry.  Each group member gets a clue card that they can read to the group but the group can’t have access to it.  The goal is for everyone to share their clue to build the correct shape.
  5. Cup and String ChallengesCori Colby gave me the idea for this and I can’t wait to see how it goes.  I added a twist to each of the challenges.  Basically there are 3 or 4 strings (2 feet long) attached to a rubber band.  Group members must use the strings to adjust the rubber band to attach to a cup and then stack the 6 cups that each group has.  The first challenge is just to stack them on top of each other.  Then try doing it without talking at all.  The 3rd challenge is to stack them into a pyramid.  The 4th challenge is to stack them into a pyramid with 1 group member blindfolded.

Obviously, I’m not going to do all of these on day 1 – but I have them in my toolbox and we will see how the days go.  I’m ready at least – I have all of the activities ready to go (well except for attaching the string to the rubber bands – I’m doing that on my car ride tomorrow – 4 hour trip to the lake).

A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who shares their activities for these first days.  I am HUGELY GRATEFUL!!!!

Bring on Day 1!!

Peace, Love, Math~MSH



Author: Megan Heine

I am a HS math teacher - teaching Algebra 2, Geometry, Financial Literacy, and Prob & Stats. I am loud, passionate, intense, and fanatical about students, math, INB's, Apple, Google, and softball. I read a book a week, get up at 4am, and change my hair every year.

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