Letter to Students and Parents: Opening Day Launch Summary
Venn Diagram: As a way for me to get to know the students better, as well as them getting to know each other, I have students create a Venn Diagram. Not only a fun activity, but it actually introduces the students to an important mathematical tool, the compass. (mathematical practice 5). I give students a brief demonstration on how to use a compass, and some helpful tips - like spinning the paper, not the compass - making sure to use a pencil to begin. Students persevere until they are able to successfully draw one circle to represent each person at their table, circles overlapping to form a Venn Diagram. The rest is fun! Students talk to one another to discover commonalities and differences between them, filling in the Venn Diagram as they go.
Presentations: As a way to summarize this lesson, and to share out, I have each table go to the front of the room and share some highlights from their Venn Diagram. I don't ask that they share every detail, as that would take forever, but I ask that they share at least one item from each section of the diagram.