Today was the first day we actually got into any sort of math. I decided to start out with very low level and high ceiling activities since my students are all over the board with their skills and when they last had an actual math class. We started with 100 Board Wipe Out and Commit and Capture both from Box Cars and One Eyed Jacks. In both activities, students use standard 6 sided die as random number generators. Once they get numbers they try to build every number 1-100 using whatever operations they are comfortable in using, and in the second they work with the die in the same way but it is more of a strategy and basic operations review.
Before starting this I explained that the goal of these weren’t for some grade but rather to get them back thinking about math and for me to start to get an idea of where their math skills are. When I mentioned that it wouldn’t be graded there was some disbelief that I would even think about making them do something that I wouldn’t count toward their grade. I braced myself for the back and forth that I thought for sure was coming. I went over again why the reason we were doing it was to benefit them going forward. With that it seemed to be an answer he and everyone else was happy with and they started working! It was a struggle at first for some since they didn’t believe they were even capable of what I was asking of them. As they asked a few questions and got a few blanks filled in students started to see that the could actually do it and from what I saw from walking around they were getting pretty creative. I know its only the third day but I’m hopeful that we are going to have a great year in my math classes.
Here’s to hoping that things during the rest of the day and within the program start becoming less of a hot mess. I’m dealing less with angry students wondering why the still need so many credits even though they are only one or two away from the 18 they need to graduate. I would say this is a testament to our wonderful counselor who is making her way through meeting with every students and making sure they are aware of what they actually need to do. My next goal is to make sure the wifi in my room is fixed so my students can actually get something done.