What’s your point?

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Welcome back! Here in the Chicago area, school starts today, but many of you already have a week or two of reading, writing, arithmetic and more under your belt. No matter how many days or weeks you have been teaching, I know that a majority of you are still working on building classroom community as you immerse students in standards-based content. Therefore, in the month of September I am going to focus on activities, materials, and strategies that will help you get to know students, encourage student-to-student supports, and build collaborative skills across age groups.

Our first featured idea of the new school year comes from Mr. Meyer at dy/Dan and it will be an instant favorite with math teachers. The Personality Coordinates Icebreaker gets students talking to each other and learning about classmates. At the same time, it launches them into a discussion about math as they being to use language related to the exercise (e.g., coordinates, axis). Students work in groups of four for this one, so be sure to be a bit purposeful about the arrangements if you have students who need extra support or have anxiety about novel situations. Students that need help with the task itself might be provided with a list of possible labels are provided in the comments below his lesson description are are as follows:

  • # of hours spent swimming
  • # of summer vacations
  • love of ______ (ice cream, pizza, reality TV)
  • # of pets
  • distance from school
  • desire to __________ (read, run, listen to music)

Be sure to read all of the comments that follow the post as many educators chimed in with cautions (e.g. have them avoid physical characteristics), tips, and related icebreaker ideas.

About Paula Kluth