Where to start the math year is always a big question for me. I want to start out on a positive note, with lots of accessible, confidence building activities. I want to do a little bit of assessment – not necessarily of my new students’ math abilities but rather of their attitude toward math. I want to set up a few routines that are going to carry us through at least the first few months of school.
This coming week will be spent mostly building Number Talk/Number Sting expectations. I want everyone to have a chance to show they have figured out the answer. I want everyone to know that it’s all about the process, not just shouting out the answer first. And they definitely need to know that they are not going to the washroom every day during the first 10 minutes of math class! (Nice try, you guys, but I’m on to you!)
I plan to spend the first week of school watching my new friends count. There is so much to be learned about their math skills by watching them figure out how many they have of something. I have sorted most of my classroom library, but left the levelled readers in a few big piles so the class will have an accessible, authentic task to help me with. I do plan to tell them that I need to know if we have enough – the recommendation is for a Primary classroom to have 300-600 books in the classroom library that the majority of students can read independently by the end of the year. I think I have that, but we’re going to find out for sure this week!
Finally, my overall goal for this week is for everyone to feel like they contributed to our math conversations, and will continue to be able to do that. Confidence in one’s math ability is an over-all goal for me, mainly because I didn’t have any until I was out of University and low these many years later I still find myself questioning myself all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. (But a lot less than I used to.)
My dot number talks are ready to go in Smart Notebook. My math
have all been disinfected. My group learning area is all set up. My daughter is sorting through her shoes trying to decide which will be the indoor shoes (did I mention she is going to be in my class this year?)
I think I’m ready! Just one more (sleepless) sleep to go.