After one week in school (well, actually 4 days), I thought I’d share how my school year is going so far.

The first day of school was spent mainly with my homeroom. I did the “who am I” getting to know you activity with the class that I described in this blog post. The kids had alot of fun with that activity and were very good at guessing who wrote what! (Most of them know each other pretty well from being in the same classes for years.) I used the rest of my homeroom time to go over organizational and procedural stuff with my class. I also had short 15 minute sessions with each of my math classes. I used that time to assign seats, introduce myself, and distribute & briefly review my syllabus (which you can read more about here).

The second day of school I jumped right into teaching! My favorite activity that I did this week was with my 7th grade math class. I briefly reviewed decimal operations with them – I had them tell me how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide decimals and went through examples of each operation with them. I then told them to get into groups of 3 or 4 and gave each group a set of decimal word problem task cards and had them work together to complete them.

The task cards were about Back to School shopping. The students had to use the information on the recording sheet about the cost of various school supplies to answer the questions on the task cards. I had them show their work on the recording sheet. (If interested in these task cards, you can get purchase them in my TpT store for $3).

The kids really got into the task cards! This particular set of task cards varies greatly in difficulty level so the students found some of them pretty easy and struggled with others. It was great for me to see how different students handled the difficult problems and the different techniques they tried to solve the problems. It took the students two class periods to complete all of the task cards.

The reason I thought this was such a great first week activity was because it gave me insight into several different things about my students:

- their problem solving skills
- their decimal operation skills
- who their friends are (since they chose their groups)
- how they work together in a group

This is the first year that I have ever done task cards with my students during the first week, but it is something I am definitely going to add to my yearly routine!

Thanks for reading,

*Christina*