Here is a list of questions I ask students to respond to as a getting to know you activity:
- If MATH were a food, what would it be? Explain.
- Would you eat it?
- If MATH were weather, how would you describe it?
- Finish the sentence – One time in MATH class…
- The BEST teacher I ever had was …. because … (this does not have to be a math teacher, even a school teacher – just anyone that has taught you something).
- 3 things I expect fof my teacher.
- 3 goals: one for this class; one for high school; one for life.
- In 20 years, what’s one thing Mrs. Wilson will remember about you…
You can learn a lot about student attitudes toward math based on the first 3 questions. Often times they will share something funny for Q4 – or a time they made a really good grade. Question 5 allows you to see something they may value outside of math class – if they happen to share a teachers name in my district, I will try to send that teacher a message, letting them know…we all need to hear the things we’ve done that stick with our students.
Students really do just want a teacher who enjoys teaching, who tries to make learning purposeful and engaging for their students and is willing to help them – allowing them to ask questions when needed. It amazes me they say not to sit behind my desk – seriously, that breaks my heart – because they’ve had that experience in a classroom. One student told me last year – she had not asked a question since 2nd grade because her teacher had yelled at her when she asked for help. So.Very.Sad. 7 years of not being engaged in math class.
I believe goal setting is important. I want to know those goals #1 so I can help students work toward them, but also so I can use them to find connections in my lessons.
Since I have had about 80% of my students in class before, I have been looking for other activities to use this year. A colleague shared a venn-diagram activity and I saw someone else blog about it as well – I like the idea, but I hate to use the same idea if another teacher in my building is/will be using it also.
My number 1 priority the first few days is to connect with each student – to start a foundational relationship – so they can trust I am there for one reason –