What message do your students leave class with on the first day? How do you craft the first day learning episodes to promote that message?

Our students walked into the room with two Which One Doesn’t Belong scenarios.

Which led to a discussion about working on our math flexibility throughout the year.

We wondered what one word students would use to describe their feelings about math.

Algebra 1:

Geometry:

AP Calculus:

(I wasn’t surprised at the negative feelings towards math in Algebra 1 … but I was surprised at some of the responses from geometry and AP Calculus students.)

That led to the Quick Poll that we’ve sent now for a few years from Mindset.

We did a short number talk that I saw on Twitter:

We watched Jo Boaler’s Day 1 Week of Inspirational Math video on mindset and mathematics.

We ran out of time to do our normal opener where students find more than one way to complete a sequence of terms.

We thought about what it looks like when a team is working well together in math class.

TeamWork – Calculus (using Navigator for handhelds)

cohesive 1

everyone is building on each other’s idea 1

synchronization 1

organized discussion 1

clockwork 1

coordinated 1

everyone ends up with the correct answesr and understands 1

everyone ends up understanding the problem 1

communication and listening 1

people help each other, in an oreo 1

everyone gives input 1

everyone talking/ explaining at the same time. 1

clear discussion 1

All ideas and all teammates are listened to. 1

a well-oiled machine. 1

lots of words, pointing, and ideas 1

It looks synchronized 1

Like a well-oiled machine. 1

you are productive and no one gets left out 1

A solid conclusion shared by the entire group is reached based upon the well thought out ideas contributed each individual 1

dividing and conquering 1

efficent 1

We are very focused and productive. 1

lots of high fiving and excitement 1

lots of talking and no one hates each other 1

looks like an oreo 1

Organized discussion 1

explaining thought processes to each other 1

success 1

helping each other and an oreo 1

TeamWork – Geometry (using Navigator for Networked Computers)

People are building off of other ideas and are able to make an educated descision using everyone’s input. 1

When a team is working well together they may not always agree on the answer or how to get to it; they always work to find the right one no matter how difficult or stressful it may be. 1

When a team works well together they are listening to each other and trying to trying all methods (to solve). Everyone listens as much as they talk. 1

When a team is working well together, there will be a lot of communication and listening to others’ ideas and meathods. 1

The team looks uniform and united, and if you fail, then your team can figure out what to do better next time. 1

People bouncing ideas off of each other and creating new ideas or improving old ones. Even if some people are wrong, people correct them in a kind way and tell them how to correctly solve a problem. All team members are putting in effort and carrying their weight, not just leaving others to do all the work. The team finds multiple ways to solve the problem and chooses the best one. 1

All team members working together and solving problems at the same time individually then comparing answers and learning from different views. 1

When a team is working well together, each individual student listens to one another and actually thinks about each teammate’s idea and sees it as a viable solution. A team is working well together when they get along and are respectful to one another. 1

When a team works well together, they work easily and doesn’t argue when someone has a different answer than the other person. And they get the answer right. They should be able to recieve and give feedback from the other. 1

When a team, in math, is working well together, I think of a deep conversation of different ideas. I see different solutions and ways a proplem could be solved coming from all sides of the table… if you know what I mean. 1

When no one argues and everyone considers others solutions to a problem. 1

It looks very good and fluent when your team is working well together. When you have a team to help bounce ideas off of each other and to help each other reach the goal they need it is very useful. Everybody is going to make mistakes, and when your team knows that and will help you to find what you did wrong, you will have a larger success rate. 1

When your team is working well together, every member is sharing their thoughts and ideas, right or wrong. The team members aren’t embarrassed about getting the wrong answers because they know that their other teammates will help them to understand their mistakes and learn from them. Each member comes up with different ideas when the team works together, so that way every person benefits wih a new way of thinking. 1

The team is able to get more done, and do it quicker. 1

When a team is working well the group closer together and they’re all listening to other team members input and are also giving their own input. 1

It looks productive and focused. We are all concentrating on the problem that the team has to solved. 1

It looks like we all know what we are doing. It looks like we have more ideas and know more ways to solve our problem. It makes us look as if we understand the problem more and in most cases we probably do, when we work together well. 1

You are makeadvancements and improve one another and also agree upon an answer. 1

When the team is working well together it helps other people of the team to increase their knowledge because each person may see things in a different way. 1

Everyone is not arguing. People are using teamwork and getting the right answer while teaching others on the team how to do it differently. 1

Everyone is learning and helping each other when they may not know the answer to something or need help figuring out how to do something. No one makes fun of anyone if they get a wrong answer because we all need to learn and grow. 1

Somebody will suggest something and people will get excited or say “”yes!””. Then another person will suggest something and everybody will enjoy making progress. People that originally disagreed will change their minds because of something another person explained. They will keep working together until the project is finished. 1

The team is working well when they all have corresponding ideas that come together to get a problem correct. 1

When a team is working well together the team everything flows and everyone is participating. Everyone is helping, ideas are exchanged, and people are learning. Everyone is set on one goal and everyone is headed to achive that goal. 1

It is when everyone in that team is listening to and coming up with ideas. The whole group is cooperating and completing the task given. That is when a group is working well together. 1

Everyone understands the objective and is comprehending well. They understand why and how the team got the answer. No one is confused and everyone feels like they are making a contribution to the work 1

We talked about Popham’s four levels of formative assessment.

Our goal is for all students to reach the learning goals and not just for the “smartest” and “fastest” to do so. Which means that we will have to help each other. Which also gets into Wiliam’s Five Key Strategies for formative assessment, in particular, activating students as learning resources for one another.

The bell rang before I could have my students reflect on what they learned and what they will do in geometry this year, so I sent them a Google form to complete outside of class.

Algebra 1 students answered a Quick Poll before leaving about what they learned.

today, I learned that anyone can learn math

This year i am going to improve in math 1

About my teachers to be better at math. 1

I have learned If I practice I can become better.

In math this year, I am going to practice more. 1

be able to learn more about math and I will try harder. 1

I have learned that I have three very cool teacher that will make math fun this year and I also learned that math isnt everybodys fav but evryone a math person

In math this year i am going to get better at it 1

You can’t be a math person everyone is good at math it you pratice, so i am going to pratice. 1

I have learned that all three of my math teachers went to NWRHS and in math class this year i will not get bored in class 1

i have learned to think outside of the box. i am going to learn to thinkoutside the box 1

that we have three teachers.

try to work out everything better. 1

that math will be exciting this year and every one is good at math 1

That everyone is good in math in some way. In math this year, I am going to have an A. 1

I have learned that my teachers are cool

in math im going to inprove. 1

I have learned how to think outter box .

I am going to try to do better than the year before in math. 1

I have learned this year to be more excited to more about math.

In math this year, I am going to try my hardest. 1

That I have 3 math teachers. Also math wont be so bad. 1

pay attention 1

nothing and this year I’m going to start fresh 1

I have learned about my classmates and teachers.

In math this year, I am going to try harder. 1

I learned my other classmate’s names and how to do Four 4’s.

In this year of Math I plan on working harder and to advance in my knowledge of Math. 1

I have learned that you need to thing hard to get some of the questions right.

In math this year, I am going to make my math skills better and i want to work math fast. 1

I learned that everyone can do math. I math this year, I will work really hard and do the best I can. 1

I have learned how everybody can do math even if you are not a math person and your brain grow if you work it out. In math this year i am going to try to learn more and get a better grade in math. 1

I have learned in this class period to hold a more open mindset towards math and the many different answers to a mathmatical situation. Different methods can be accepted, and not every person will see math in the same light. I am going to learn to find an excitement in the subject of math this year, hopefully. 1

i have learned peoples names in my class in math this year, i am going to make good grades 1

I have learned that anybody can learn algebra and be good at it. This year I’m going to payattention and do my best at algebra. 1

I have learned that everyone is smart at math, people just need to embrace it.

In math this year, I am going to become smarter in math. 1

I have learned… that you can get differnet answers just by using 4 4s, also I learned how everyone is well in Math, it’s just kids with more experience are more better in it.

In math this year, I am going to.. learn more about math and hopefully actually start to like it. 1

i have learned everybody is good at math and i am going to try my best to make good grades 1

Everyone can learn about math very well, and no one is a math person. I am goin to learn about everything that i can and try my best at it.I am also gonna try and figure out problems the best of my ability. 1

I have learned that the more you practice and work your brain the more it grows.

In math this year, I am going to practice and work my brain so I can learn and get better. 1

Today I have learned that practicing something, even if you don’t fully understand it, still helps. This year I am going to try my hardest to achieve high grades in math. 1

I have learned today in class, everytime you have to find something out there can always be more than one way to it.

In math this year, I am going to try and learn new things that I didnt understand last year. 1

Today I learned that no matter how much i get frustrated that i will always have someone to leaN ON THIS CLASS TO HELP ME WITH MY SITUATION … In math thjis year imgoing to succeed in all things all I do my grades will also be also better. 1

i have learned that anyone can be good at math with good practice.

in math this year im going to learn different things and hopefully get better at math. 1

practice math everyday and that it’s okay to make mistakes because we learn from them. 1

that we can learn things easier by practice so in math this year, i am going to practice if i have troubles until i fully understand it. 1

I have learned that the brain can grow with what you learn.

In math this year, I am going to study more. 1

I have learned that your brain is always changing and to get better at something you have to keep practicing.

In math this year, I am going to practice what I’ve learned in order to get better at it. 1

I have learned that your brain can grow just by learning new things.

I’m going to practice more on math because, if you practice more on something you can get better at it. 1

That math doesnt always have t0 be boring, it cab be reall 1

i am going to try my best to past 1

I have learned that everyone is capable of being in the highest math class there is. There is no such thing as a “”math person””. In math this year, I am going to try my hardest to maintain the highest grade I can, and pay attention in class in order to make good grades. 1

practice and do my best to make a good grade even thooe me and math REALLY dont like eachother. but im going to try to do my best 1

IF you practice you can get better at it 1

I learned that anyone can do math well and in math this year, I am going to try. 1

that your brian can grow the more you practice something , this year i am going to pay more attention. 1

I have learned that anybody can be good at math, you just have to work for it.

In this year of math, I am going to pay more attention than I did last year so I can get better and so I can get good grades. 1

I have learned if I keep practicing and going to different levels I will become better.

This year, I am going to study and practice math on different levels so, I will become better at math. 1

We didn’t really have a lesson, but I have learned about how the brain works with how good you are at something. In math this year, I am going to have no tardys, have straight A’s, and not disrespect the teacher in any manner. 1

that i dont have to dread coming to math. i can grow and learn from it. im going to try to make all a’s 1

You can get better at something if you practice at it.

I am going to try harder. And give up if I don’t understand it. 1

I have learned that as long as I continue to practice math or algebra I will slowly get better at it.

In math this year, I am going to attept to be more optemistic about the work and try harder to get better grades. 1

be able to be good in math by the end of the year. and that i will be able to succeced in anything that i do by just practicing. 1

I learned that when you have a difficult time with a question that your brain is growing at the same time. 1

We went from math is “complicated, hard, frustrating, …” to “I can do this” in 95 minutes. I believe our students left hearing our first day message:

Everyone can learn math.

Our brains are growing when we struggle to solve a problem.

There isn’t just one way to solve a problem.

Learning more than one way to solve a problem grows our mathematical flexibility.

Working with a team is an important part of how we learn mathematics.

And so the journey continues as a new school year begins …