first day fun.



I’ve been thinking A LOT about my first first day of school–and thanks to the trusty interwebs I’ve found tons of great ideas. Dan Meyer really came to the rescue and put the word out for me. (How cool is that?!).

So, after doing a significant about of internet exploring/stalking, these are some of the ideas I’m going to try to incorporate into my first day.


As they come in…

Math is like ____ from @MrOrr_geek. I love this idea. I want to encourage my students to get creative and also get a read on their mindsets about math. I’m thinking I’ll give them bright colored sticky notes and then display them on a poster or something.

This makes me laugh.

Next up…

Who I Am from @ddmeyerI may tweak this sheet a little bit, but I love the idea of letting my students tell me about themselves. Some teachers suggested keeping them and handing them back at the end of the year to see how much the students have changed. That sounds like fun!


Now let’s DO SOME MATH. 

Handshake-NetworkSupreme Court Handshake from @NCTMIllumI love this problem. There are so many different ways to attack it! I think it will be a great opportunity for the students to begin problem solving in groups and maybe talk about the Standards for Mathematical Practice.  I’m even thinking about having them act it out… depending on time.


Classroom Expectations. 

I copied @mathycathy (she has tons of great ideas here) and created a video with VideoScribe using their free 7-day trial. I’m not quite sure when I want to show it… but I do like that the video makes it kind of fun.


Exit Slip.

I want them to write me a note. I’m going to give them an index card and tell them they can use it to tell me anything they want. I’m hoping this will give students to open up, if they need/want to. Should I be more specific with the prompt??


Other Good Stuff.

I also really liked this. Talking Points & Math Mindset from @MathMinds. 

And this. First Day with Make it Stick, Plickers, & Jo Boaler from @jreulbach(I’m thinking I might have them read the Make it Stick for homework and then discuss it first thing on day 2. I can hear them already. “Reading? In Math??” I know. Lock me up.)


Things I’m not sure about. 

Timing. We’re on block schedule, so I’ll have about 90 minutes. I’m not sure what all I will have time for, but I’m going to have some backup ideas planned in case things go faster than I think.

Talking about group roles. This is super important, but I’m not sure if I’ll have time to address that day 1. Is that a bad thing? No idea. I’m thinking we could talk about it on day 2 after they spent some time working in groups on day 1. We shall see…

Exit slip prompt. Should I be more specific? I want to give the students freedom to say ANYTHING, but I’m afraid if I’m too vague they’ll say NOTHING. Thoughts?



My first day is August 8th. SO SOOON! When’s yours? What are you planning on doing?? I’d love to know. 

Hoping, dreaming, & planning for year 1.


People! I have a job. And a classroom. And students who will be my responsibility this year. (What??!!) My world is about to look completely different in just a few short weeks.

It almost doesn’t feel real. I’m pinching myself on the regular.

But I’m excited. And I’ve been thinking A LOT about this upcoming year, and wanted to share some things that are on my heart and on my mind.

  • More than anything, I want my students to know that I care about them.
  • I want to care less about making a name for myself, and more about making a future for my students.
  • I want to steer clear of the Negative Nancys. Negative attitudes are super contagious, and ain’t nobody got time for that.
  • I want to take time to reflect. I’m not sure if I’ll do this weekly or biweekly, but I know that I will need to take time to think about how things are going and how I could improve. I don’t want to get so busy that I forget to think.
  • I don’t want to take myself too seriously. Yes, I’ll probably make a fool of myself from time to time. But I’ll live.
  • I want to stay true to myself. I’ve heard it said that, “teachers are pleasers”, and I’m definitely a pleaser. BUT — I don’t want to be afraid to gently rock the boat and stick to what I believe in.
  • I want to work hard and stay organized. Pretty vague, I know. But I’m hoping these things will take more shape as I get started.
  • I don’t want to be afraid to ask for help. I want to model for my students that asking question is a sign of strength, not weakness.
  • I want to remember to give myself grace. I’ve got big dreams and plans, but I’m not naive enough to think that this year isn’t going to be really hard at times. I want to remember that I’m new and I’m learning, and I’m going to make mistakes.
  • And I want to have fun. Life is way too short to not smile, laugh, and get a little crazy sometimes.