Since this is planned to be the first lesson of the new semester, I make sure to give students feedback on their performance on the midterm exam. I take time to briefly discuss some of the most commonly missed problems. In doing so, I keep in mind that I am trying to foster a growth mindset. What's done, is not really done. It is important to be able to apply what we have learned so far. We will begin this process today.
The ability to applying existing knowledge of both angle relationships and triangle properties is a pre-requisite for the first lesson of this unit on polygon properties. In this small review task, students recall the triangle sum theorem and properties of isosceles triangles. I want them to be able to apply this knowledge to discover something new about regular hexagons.
When I debrief these problems with my students I emphasize the important properties and vocabulary they will need in the regular hexagon exploration. I pay more attention to this today than I would otherwise, because my students have had two weeks off for winter break. It is time to restart their mathematical search engines.
At the end of today's lesson, since this is the first day of the new semester, I want my students to leave knowing that as of today they all have a fresh start in the class. For tonight's homework assignment, I ask them to write a letter to me about their goals for the second half of the year. In the assignment, I ask my students include at least two specific things they plan to continue doing and/or changing, knowing that I will hold them accountable to these actions as I help them to acquire a growth mindset.