1st Week of Math Class Ideas

You may wonder what should take place in a math classroom the first week of school. I’m sure you have visions of making everything perfect and you know how important it is to establish procedures and start the year on a good note. Since I’ve been doing this for a long time, I thought I would tell you what I usually do, so here goes!

Secondary Math – 1st Week of School

I recommend that new teachers follow a PowerPoint the first day and make sure you give your students all the important rules and procedures. Many teachers have read Harry Wong’s First Days of School. This book has many great thoughts and tips to prepare teachers for the first weeks of school. If you are more established, then you may not want to go over the PowerPoint all in one day and instead do bits and pieces of it throughout the week.

I like to give students an “About Me” page as bell work on the first day. This gives them something to do and it give me time to make sure all is well before I start.

With the “About Me” page, I will also give the students an index card. The index card gets folded in half long ways and students write their name on it. They set the name plate on their desk so that I can start learning names. I use these name plates throughout the year for various reasons.

I keep all name plates for each class on a clip as shown above.

The other thing I like to do during the first days in my math class are activities from YouCubed. The items I focus on are in the Week of Inspirational Math(s). I’ll give more specifics in my weekly plan.

I am on a block schedule and I see my students three times a week. I have Mon/Wed/ Friday classes and Tue/Thur/Friday classes. Classes are 90 minutes except on Friday they are about 45 minutes. Here is what a sample first week would look like in my math class.

  • Mon/Tue Classes – Bell Work (About Me Activity), Name Plate, First Day PowerPoint and Scavenger Hunt. The scavenger hunt helps students become familiar with the syllabus and our online platform. I use Canvas. I put the material needed on this platform and teach them how to find the syllabus, scavenger hunt and the online parent contact form. All are digital, so it’s nice not to take up any paper copies of things.
  • Wed/Thu Classes – Name Plates are handed out. Wrap up anything that was not finished from the previous class. Do the 4 4’s Activity from YouCubed. If time allows, I’ll start the Collatz conjecture (Oh Hail the Elephant.)
  • Friday – I like to finish the Collatz conjecture and then do one more activity or watch other videos from YouCubed. (Be sure to look through the Week of Inspirational Math(s). Another good one that I like to do is building shapes. You can see a demo in the first picture on this post where students are making shapes using string.) I remind students about the materials they need to bring to class on Monday so they can ask their parents to get them over the weekend. I also remind students to complete any paperwork over the weekend.

Take a look at my 1st Week of School for the Secondary Educator in my TpT Store.

I hope you got some good ideas from the lesson plan above. It’s nice to see what other people are doing. Ask your fellow teachers at your school what they do. Collaborate with your peers on other ideas. Most teachers do not start their curriculum until the 2nd or 3rd week of school these days.

Have a great year!

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Back to School Activities

My husband and I use certain activities at the beginning of the school year. He teaches biology and I teach math, but we often collaborate and come up with ideas that we both will use. We decided to put these together into a bundle and list them in his store. Here’s a brief overview and a timeframe for when to use them:

First Day – Get to Know You Activity

This activity is a way to get the students up and moving and meeting each other. The activity comes with 30 pairs of puzzle pieces that are used to get the students to find their match. Once they have a partner, then they start the discussion questions that are written on the board. This activity is fun and the puzzle pieces can be used in the future when you need a way to randomly pair up students.

2nd Day – Individual Goal Setting Activity

Having students set goals is important. This activity gets the students to reflect on the previous year and think about what they’d like to accomplish for the upcoming year. This activity comes in a PDF format as well as a Google Slides format.

2nd or 3rd Week of School – Class Goal Setting Activity

We started using this activity a long time ago. Get students to write class goals and then sign them. We’ve got this activity broken down, so you can work on it a little bit each day until it is done. When finished, you have a poster for students to sign. Great classroom decoration that is a good reminder of what the purpose of being in your class is and your administrators will love it.

Before Starting Group Work – Team Building Activity

Teamwork is important and students need to feel comfortable working together. That’s what this activity is all about. Get your groups together and teach them how to communicate. This activity won’t allow anyone to hold back.

Whether you are a veteran teacher or you are starting your first year, you probably are thinking that you need to start either doing some or all of these activities. Like I said, we’ve put them in a bundle, but if you would like to only purchase a specific resource, then you can do that as well. The main thing, is to start thinking about your first few weeks. These weeks are important because they set the tone for your class. A great start to the year will help you have a successful teaching experience as well as help your students. Dive in and start thinking about what you want to do!