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  • Writer's pictureJessica Kaminski

Math: Start the Year Off the Right Way

Updated: Mar 4, 2021

I am so excited to write this post! Year after year, I am asked to coach teachers in their classrooms. As we begin to dissect the math lesson, we begin to notice that it's not always the math that's the challenge for the students. Sometimes challenges can come from misconceptions of what's expected of the students and how they are expected to act in the math classroom.

As I debrief with teachers, we always come back to what routines are in place. After awhile, I decided to make a list of my top 5 routines and thought about how great it would be if we just implemented them before the first lesson.

While discussing this, one of my favorite districts encouraged me to write it down. Thus, (drum roll, please...) Day Zero: The First Five Math Lessons was born! Five lessons that were created to provide teachers and students research-based expectations and routines. Now, everyone knows what's expected and learning can begin.

What are the 5 Lessons?

1. Getting to Know the Classroom: This lesson includes a scavenger hunt, student reflection and even a Breakout game for middle school.

2. Math Tools and Journals: How do we get students to use manipulatives the right way? How do we encourage them to record their understanding?

3. Group Dynamics: Use these games to review skills for an informal assessment while working on group expectations.

4. Math Discourse: How do we teach students to have meaningful conversations? How do we help them use vocabulary and contribute to the class?

5. Lesson Structure: Reflect on how your lesson structure impacts the involvement of the students. Do students know what's expected during each section? Do they know what to do?

Check out this video for more information:

If this sounds like something you might want to try out, I'm excited to announce I'm offering it at a HUGE discount. Check out my digital downloads here for only $10. This includes over 50 pages of detailed lesson plans, games with student recording sheets, speaking prompts and visual anchor charts. You can access all of this at the link below or by checking out my store.

I hope you find this resource helpful! I would love to hear how it works for you!

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