It’s time to join some fabulous fellow math bloggers for another * Fly on the Math Teacher’s Wall* blog hop! Our focus for the hop is starting the new school year off mathematically. Please take the time to hop around for some wonderful ideas, freebies, and giveaways!

Courtney and I have just started back to school, so we are working with our kids to establish our classroom environments, routines, and procedures. Since we have just started back, we have much to do, but still have a few things to share.

**Math About Me**

One of the first math things my students did this year was create * Math About Me* banners. This served as a great way to get to know one another a bit and highlight how math is everywhere. Their banners hang outside our classroom for all to see!

**Please feel free to download the banner template that can be used any way you like.**This is a great activity for older students as well–my fifth graders used to come up with some great ways to represent math about themselves.

**We are Mathematicians!**

Each year, one of the best ways to get our students thinking about math is by asking them what doing math looks like, sounds like, and how it feels. This leads to the generation of a wonderful list of things we know about mathematicians–from experience! I am always amazed by the ideas students share. Here is this year’s lists–*Mathematicians… do math, have fun doing math, are good at math, combine things, work hard, give everything they’ve got, get frustrated, use tools, don’t give up, try more than one way, know they can do it, do the best work they can, do their best the first time, share what they think, work together, might make mistakes, help each other out, talk, solve problems, get stuck, check their work, and use old problems to help with new ones* (I helped the young lady who share this idea phrase it–so surprised to hear this one). What really amazes me is how many of the behaviors outlined in the mathematical practices lie within their list. Courtney and I both do this activity and then have students create their best mathematician faces–absolutely love how these turn out. This year, for the very first time, I had a student create a face of frustration–honesty at its best! When finished, students came up with some titles for our door where all of the mathematicians will remain all year–*Mathematicians never quit!* received the most votes! ** If you would like a mathematician template and directions, download them here!**** **You can also download my Graphics by Sarah Beth** freebie callout clipart!**

**Positive Game Play**

One of the first things we do with our students is establish routines for positive game play. Positive game play is essential for successful independent practice within a guided math framework, and it is an easy and fun place to begin. A wonderful list of students’ ideas, as well as my observations of their positive behaviors, was created. The list is projected on the SmartBoard each time we play a game (of any kind–not just math), and the number of minutes spent engaged in positive game play is graphed. I stop all students when I see any behaviors opposite of those on our list. We have done pretty well so far! When doing this, it is important that the games students play have been modeled prior to setting student off to work independently. Materials and directions are printed on all games as well.

In the coming weeks, Courtney and I will be spending valuable time helping students establish more routines and procedures for guided math. We hope you will stop back to read more…

Before you go–a couple of things!

HOT OFF THE PRESS! Enter to win this fabulous giveaway—Dr. Nicki Newton’s, the author of * Guided Math in Action*, brand-new book,

*! Woohoo–Good luck!!*

**Math Workshop in Action**

AND, don’t forget to hop on over to the next blogger —**Love2Learn2Day**

All the best for a wonderful year!

The Math Maniac says

Love your numbers about me banner! I was thinking about creating something like this for a fun activity and bulletin board decoration for open house night but I think I will just be using yours! Thanks so much for sharing! Love the idea of creating a positive game play list! Also something I will be trying out this year!

Tara

The Math Maniac

The Math Spot says

Your “Math About Me” activity is so perfect for the beginning of the school year! I think I will use this with my kinder intervention kiddos as a preassessment of sorts to see what type of background they have with numbers as being meaningful and to assign some personal meaning to numbers if there is little background to start. Thank you!

Deirdre, aka Evil Math Wizard says

Awesome ways to get math off to a great start!

Brandi says

Great ideas for starting off the year. Love the banner!

Brandi

The Research Based Classroom

Carrie says

I am going to make Math posters with my students so we can display them at Open House! Thanks so much!!!

Melinda Breske says

Thank you so much for sharing!!

Ann says

Love the Mathematicians Never Quit idea. Just what I was looking for outside my RtI classroom. Thanks!

Amy Smith says

Thank you for your thoughts. As a not new, but new teacher, I am taking all the suggestions I can get.

Katy says

I loved Dr. Nicki’s book on guided math, and can’t wait to check out the newest one. Thanks for the opportunity to win it!

Laura Hutchins says

This would be a great book to compliment and help me start my math workshop this year!

Julie says

Thank you for the opportunity to win this book.

Marie Madden says

I totally agree with stopping if any misbehavior is happening. Today, I had some groups working with dice, and two boys kept tossing them around the room.. So after the 3rd time of reminding them to keep the dice contained, I had to stop their dice usage for the day! Thanks for the very informative post.

Jane Bambrook says

Would love to add this book to my resources to share with teachers.

Debbie Krueger says

I love the banners! I’ll be using them next week with my new class. I’m a big fan of Dr. Nikki and would be thrilled to get her latest book. It’s already on my wish list.

BTW I hit return by accident when I was entering my Facebook name in the rafflecopter entry and didn’t get to finish it.

Always PrimaryAnne Patrick says

Love the banner! I did something similar called “Me by the Numbers,” but the banner has a certain something, too. Great idea.

Lisa Marshall says

This book looks amazing!I love your ideas!