Students will be given a “test”. The test will consist of questions about me, including: Where was I born?, What did my mother do for a living?. . . Obviously students won't know the answers to these questions, but I will instruct them to take an educated guess. I will read each question aloud and give students a few minutes to think and write their answers on a piece of loose leaf. As a group, we will go over the test. For each question, I will ask 3 students to share their answers with the class and then I will tell them the real answer.
The purpose of this exercise is to discuss what misconceptions they may have about me. We will discuss how I may be more similar/different to them than what they initially thought. This is a reinforcement of an earlier discussion on respect. I will explain that sometimes we prejudge people without knowing who they really are and this can lead to problems. We will recap how accepting one another’s similarities and differences is part of being a community.
Another purpose of this exercise is to give students an opportunity to learn more about me. Since math can be an intimidating subject for many students, I feel that it's important for me to be an approachable person for students to come to when their struggling with a topic. Sharing a little of my personal life with students breaks down a little of the teacher student barrier.
First Day Test about Me
Where was I born?
What did my mother do for a living?
How many brothers/sisters do I have, if any?
Where did I go to college?
What is my favorite color?
What kind of pet do I have?
What was my first job?
What is my favorite season?
What 2 sports did I play as a kid?
What was my first job?
What did I do over the summer?
What is my favorite food?
I will pass out index cards or stickie notes. I will instruct students to write one additional piece of information about themselves that they feel would help me as a teacher. Up to this point students have shared a little about themselves to the class, but I know there are some things that would be helpful to know that they didn't share aloud. I give students examples of what would be helpful to know: I am very shy. I can't see the board from far away. I have trouble remembering my multiplication tables.
Because it may take some time to know my students, these additional pieces of information provide me with an opportunity to learn more about them and in turn address their individual needs. For example, for a student who says that they're struggling with multiplication tables, I may assign additional worksheets to help him.