As students walk in the room, I have them create a name card using a large index card and fill out an information sheet. I use the name cards to learn students names quickly. Additionally, when I assign them seats, I place their name cards in their new seat.
On the information sheet, students answer questions about their responsibilities outside of school and experiences in previous math classes. This information helps me learn about the students and get some context about their home lives and expectations for the year.
Students fill out a small index card with their name, address, phone number, parent/guardian name, and language spoken at home. Although the school has some of this information on file, it is helpful for me to get the information directly from the students. Throughout the year, I use the cards to record any contact I've had with the students' parents/guardians.
We then review the syllabus. On the syllabus, I have a brief description of the course, a course outline, the grading policy, homework policy and some general information about the course.
On the back on the syllabus, I include some classroom procedures and expectations. I have procedures for entry into the classroom, using the bathroom, keeping a notebook, handing in papers, and what to do when students are finished with their work. There are four main expectations I have for the students: Come prepared and ready to learn, actively listen to others and participate in class discussions, behave in a respectful manner, and attempt every problem. All of my expectations are framed with positive language. Because of this the statements may not be as clear to the students. I ask them to write an explanation of what each statement means to them and then we discuss them.
The next part of the lesson entails creating a social contract for the class. There are four question in total: How do you want to be treated by the teacher, how do you think the teacher wants to be treated by you, how do you want to be treated by other students, and how do we treat each other when there is conflict. This helps students understand the course expectations and allows them to take ownership for the behavior expectations.
In part A, students answer two of the four questions independently. Then, in part B, students explain their answers to a partner and listen to their partner's answers. In part C, we go over the four questions as a class and decide on specific answers. Every student signs their name showing that they agree to the terms of the class social contract and then I sign their papers, as well.
Exit Ticket: I ask students to write a summary of 3 expectations for this class, write down 2 things they can do to succeed in the class, and to write down 1 thing I can do to help them succeed in this class.
Homework: Students find an article in a newspaper, magazine, or the Internet that has to do with math. They write a paragraph explaining how the article I related to math, where they found the article, and why they chose the article.