Anyway, without further ado, here is my big goal for the first week of school, which is in about two and a half weeks:
Create a positive classroom culture where students feel comfortable, confident, and cared for by me and each other.
Yup, that's a raccoon group hug.
Many of my students have struggled with math in the past or have learned that it is a weird, arbitrary set of rules that they have to memorize and regurgitate as best as they can and that their creativity, passion, and intellect don't have much of a place. Yes, it's a bit of a tall order for the first week, but I want students to have a sense of our classroom as a place where things make sense, where they are smart and capable, and where people care about each other. Since the first unit for all of my sections will focus on review, it gives me lots of opportunities for activities that emphasize collaboration, creativity, and engaging thinking. I also want to be sure to create a sense of order and safety in how the class is run, both in terms of procedures that simplify our day-to-day structures and in terms of how mistakes are received and feedback is given. Obviously, as the year goes on, I'm going to be looking at students' learning and ability to communicate mathematically, and all of the big goals that I outlined for myself earlier, but for the start of the year, I would love to just see students feeling positive.