Lesson: Welcome

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Lesson Objective

Set class expectations, make students comfortable, establish safe environment for active participation.

Lesson Plan

This is just a summary of how I introduce my course. My main objective here is to establish that, yes, this is another Math course and yes, you students hate Math and have chronically failed in it, but this class is different and you should give it a chance. I come in with the assumption that there are big walls I need to break through here.

I put kids at ease by saying, early on, that there will not be any Math work for the first week. We are just TALKING ABOUT Math. We are learning what this course will be like. We are learning how to behave. This room is probably different than your other rooms (students soon find that there is a drastic difference between how competent, safe and comfortable they feel in my class and in their other classes).

I introduce myself and stress that I used to hate Math, too. I ask them to raise their hand if they hate Math, and I usually get 90-100% hands. I tell them that we are not learning anything extra, not wasting their time here, but that we NEED some Math to live our lives and get out of high school. I tell them the class will be focused there.

Every lesson in my class has a checklist (and I am honest when I check off). It is on the board next to the agenda, below the objective, and it reads...

"You Need to Know This...

__ to pass this class __ to pass CAHSEE (I talk extensively about the stakes and content of CAHSEE) ___ to do more advanced Math ___ to live a successful life"

The first week of class consists of the following elements:
* discussing, reviewing and "acting out" rules
*practicing models of each key procedure (i.e. entering class, noting vocabulary, making Genius Cards, accepting consequences, using Encouraging Language, etc.)
* receiving and setting up binders & materials
* discussing why we hate Math, what preconceptions we have about who is good at Math...
* a project where we read posters featuring prominent African-American Mathematicians and Inventors-- students complete worksheet and make a presentation explaining their person
*a lesson using Mayan Math to write numbers, solve simple problems and understand zero (and introduce place value for students who can understand on that level)

Lesson Resources

Encouraging Language transp   Notes
Classroom Rules Test   Assessment
Syllabus5   Syllabus
Syllabus Spanish   Syllabus
Mathematicians   Classwork
skills checklist new   Scope and Sequence


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