Building Enduring Mathematical Understanding, one lesson at a time.

180 Days: Day 1-3

Day 1
I wrote my First Day plan about a month before school actually started, and surprisingly, it didn’t change much. (I was right on target when I said we would probably run out to time and not be able to even start the “My Math Stuff.”)

My Algebra students tried to count “Squares on a Chessboard” and became slightly overwhelmed by the enormity of the task after initially being sure it was just 64!


My Math 8 students investigated “Rice on a Chessboard” that will lead nicely into our first unit on Exponents and Scientific Notation.


Day 2
We spent a good chunk of this day making magnets, math portfolios to store their assessments and tracking forms, and Stars for Standards, but also did a “Get to Know You” activity (modified from an idea by MathMamaWrites) requiring students to think about positive and negative in the coordinate plane. Topics were randomly chosen from their “Know Me Notecards” and groups placed their magnets accordingly.


Day 3

In Algebra, we went back to the chessboard squares and made some more progress. Some groups studied the relationship between the size of the squares and the number of squares. Other groups looked at the size of the board and the number of squares. Patterns were emerging!


For the daily Math Greeting, students placed their magnets on the Venn Diagram regarding their thoughts on their relationship to math. This is an Algebra class. Some for the other periods were more interesting, but I neglected to take pictures 😦

The glare (and an old pen) made it hard to read. Top circle says “enjoy,” left one says “understand,” and right one is “work hard.”


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4 thoughts on “180 Days: Day 1-3

  1. Thanks for this window into the first few days of school. I like that you had engaging, thought-provoking activities to kick off the year. I also appreciate that you have examples from your classroom to accompany the description of each day. Good luck to you in the days and weeks ahead!

  2. I know what you mean about taking pictures… I keep forgetting to take them too! Or when I do take them, they just pile up on my phone since I haven’t really blogged about them!

    I love your first 3 days! seems awesome! It is super impressive how many of your kids put their magnets in the “enjoy” math part of the venn diagram. Nice! looks like you’l have a really interesting and great year!

    • I took pictures again last week, but this week seemed like a blur. Not every day is a “good” as I’d like it to be, but I am satisfied with the way it has begun 🙂

      Thanks for keeping in touch!

      Sent from my iPad

  3. Good stuff! This kind of work looks like the world’s best argument for a “flipped classroom.” Students can earn all the First in Math ribbons (although since I blog for, I’d prefer they come to us) they want, or visit Khan Academy to their hearts’ content, but they can’t construct meaning through language and reasoning together at home. I wish you the enlightened school management you deserve.

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