Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Blogger Initiative - Post #1 on First Week Goals

Super excited for the New Blogger Initiative that @samjshah has started up! I'm fairly new to blogging (started about 3 months ago), and it's wonderful to be initiated into the mathtwitterblogosphere and to be harangued & threatened with whacking if I don't keep up with my blog! Umm, I think it's with love?

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.


  1. Anna, I absolutely love the raccoon group hug photo! Wow. Your post brought to mind two thoughts:
    1. a post I wrote about a year ago:
    2. a game that I used to use with my students to encourage collaboration and just an overall positive classroom environment:

    1. Lots of good stuff there! Thanks for the links. And I LOVE the Quiet Game!! I've seen a few versions of it, but lost the originals for the last one I had so this is actually quite perfect timing. I think that would be an excellent activity for the first week of class - thanks!!