Happy New School Year! Sam over at https://samjshah.com/ (You should check out his blog because, he is Sam and he is awesome!) reminded me us that there is a hashtag for folks like us: #MTBoSFD (Math Twitter Blog O Sphere First Days). He also promised to blog twice for

Thanks to @druinok. So here are my our First Days Stations inspired by @magicalmsmurphy.

This is Danielle:
She is the most amazing math 

teacher ever. See that precious bundle on the right? Danielle is so creative, she made a baby and took a year off from teaching. I am so over the moon that she will be my neighbor once again this fall. I have to share her 1/2 time with precious baby bundle o' joy, but that is okay. 

Inspired by  @magicalmsmurphy, an English Teacher in Los Angeles, California we took her idea and sat down today 
for three hours plan our own first day stations. We have 90 minute blocks and will have the students move 
stations every 7 minutes. We will give the students 90 seconds to get to the next station. 

Created by Danielle Graff and Amy Zimmer for grades 9-11

The Purpose:
1) To establish that our classrooms are learning communities.
2) To establish that we Math everyday in our classrooms.

The Set Up:
Students will be randomly assigned to groups of 4.
We will practice how to move around to stations before we let the students actually get to work/play.
Students will go through an introductory activity before they move to their station work. 
We decided that the students will have a record sheet to bring with them for each station. Not all stations
will have something to record, but we want the students to get accustomed to having evidence of their 

Behind The Scenes:
Danielle being Danielle, and the master of all things organizational, started a Google Doc. We designed 
the stations, then went back and determined what was needed for each station (my idea--just so you get 
that this was truly a collaboration). Then we went back through and assigned the needed tasks to each of us.

Husband: You spent 3 hours working on the first day? 
Me: Yeah, I and that was 50% of the work. 

Left To Do:
Determine an exit ticket (will it be part of the activity sheet or separate and what will it be?
How will we debrief? 
And our assigned tasks of course. 

Here you go: 


First Day Stations:

1. Syllabus + Scavenger Hunt – Stickies notes for parking lot questions and comments
Regular post-its, white board for notes, syllabus copies, supply list, scavenger hunt on recording sheet
How do we want intructions to go? IE student reads a question and all try to find answer? Each spends 4-5 minutes looking on own and then all together round robin read so that everyone has the correct answers?

2. Target Number Station – whiteboards, pens, rags NEED CALCULATORS AT MATH STATIONS!!
Space to write down on record sheet that has target number (which is 851 using 50, 1, 20, 5, 63, 10) How close can they get to target number, what is the lowest number they can make and what is the largest number they can make with the given numbers

A- Target number Station & laminate
D - Recording Sheet for ALL stations
3. FlipGrid – need ipad or chromebook and to download the app
Students give us there: name, age and something they are looking forward to this year – we, as teacher need to record an example. SO they watch ours and then record their own.

A&D - Learn how to use and create our own intro video
4. Community Agreements: make a list of agreements that support a safe classroom and create an optimal learning environment, group will need to pick a typist based on who is the oldest.
- Google Form, minimum of 4 suggestions

D- Google Survey
5. Consecutive Chains – For HW students will do two more chains and then create their own + 2-3 order of operations problems

D - Add blank consecutive chains to recording Sheet

A - Station & Directions & Example

6. Notice & Wonder: color print and laminate maps, create google form, students don’t have to write anything just respond on google form.

A - Color copy & Laminate

D - Google Form

A and D--prepare “reveal slides”
7. Order of operations – analyze the math problem that has been going around NEED CALCULATORS AT MATH STATIONS!!

A - station with directions
D - Add space for this on recording sheet

 8. Mindset Reading: Read mindset rubric as a group and make sure students understand what each category is saying, pencils down! Students take clipboard, highlighter and rubric outside to evaluate themselves privately. On the back of sheet they chose one category that they want to move over in and write some ideas on how they think they’ll do that.


A - Station Directions
D - Break up Rubric and Laminate
 We are going to practice going to stations before we actually do them, how do you go to the station, how do you leave the station, leave the station the way you found them for the next group, rules for stations discussion (no talking outside your group, no cell phones) before the stations we have the students introduce themselves (How do we want this done??)  to each other, NEED CALCULATORS AT MATH STATIONS!!

Brain Break in between stations? Brain Break halfway through? Ask questions that get them standing? (If you play a fall sport, stay standing, etc.)

 How/When to Debrief

Please let us know if you use stations on the first day how it goes. Also hit us up with any suggestions or comments! 

Ever since I read about Stand and Talks on https://www.saravanderwerf.com/ (The amazing Sara Vanderwerf's website) they have become the single most important routine/device/exercise/strategy I use in my classroom. You can also hear about them in this Global Math Department's webinar:
Just like warming up before exercising in earnest, like if you take a class at a gym or are getting ready for a race, the coaches ALWAYS warm you up. "Run 500 meters." Then we stretch and THEN we exercise, Stand and Talks open students up. They warm up their minds and activate an openness to learning through safe dialogue with a partner first. I love them. 

What is a Stand and Talk? 
Here is my proposal for the CPM 2020 conference: (Still holding my breath, I was rejected, but asking to be included in some other way--advise accepted)

Stand and Talks--5 minutes that will reshape your classroom culture

Think/Pair/Share is a common go to strategy to give students a cognitive boost.
But what if instead of sitting, you could create a similar, potentially richer, easy access,
sky’s the limit, non-disruptive experience moving and standing? Stand and Talks take five minutes
and will increases math discourse, always gives a student something to share out, and shifts the
cognitive lifting from teacher to student. 

Stand and Talks begin with a prompt to look at and hold so there are no awkward silences.
The directions are simple, the possibilities are endless. I have used them for review, preview,
introduction, and vocabulary. I have used them as an icebreaker with students and with colleagues.
I have used Stand and Talks with Notice and Wonder, What is the same and what is different,
Examples and Non-Examples, Who did it better, and What can you label?
I was introduced to the this strategy by Sara VanDerWerf @saravdwerf
and I can’t wait to share it with you! As Sara says, “My goal is for students to say it before I say it.” 


My directions are modeled after Sara's: You will be standing up and pushing in your chair
when I finish giving you the instructions. You are going to move at least 15 steps away from
your table mindfully and quietly with no devices or writing utensils.
You will find someone to partner with that is NOT at your table. If there are an odd
number of folks, someone needs to find me and I will tell you what to do. When everyone is
partnered and standing, I will give you a card with a picture, graph, or problem on it. You will find
at least 5 things to say about what is on the card. If you can't find more, repeat the ones you have.
You only have 90 seconds so we are not going to worry about who our partner is and you will not
complain about standing the entire time.

I walk around and listen, make sure the students are on topic, nudge them in their thinking. I also
can have "plants" for the whole class discussion that comes after. When the 90 seconds are up,
I ask students to freeze and then I give them a silly instruction for who picks up the paper copies on
the table in front of the room. "The tallest replaces the card and gets two paper copies, the one who
slept the longest, the one with the oldest living grandparent, the one who lives closest to school...(see
the community building there?)

When the students get back to their seats, we annotate them together. This can reinforce, re-engage
or front load a lot of student thinking! The oohs and aahs are super fabulous and a lot of good information
comes from not just the top students. We then glue them into our Everything Notebooks (see earlier
post). And move on with our day. 5-10 minutes max. (We have 95 minute blocks every other day)

They look like this on a half sheet of card stock:

1) I used this S and T just as I was introducing graphing a quadratic by complete the square. in Math 2 (CPM) (Used as
review for all things quadratic in College Readiness):

Here it is annotated:

2) I used this Stand and Talk for introducing piece wise functions in College Readiness: Thank you @ cluzniak @math_mrestrada

3) This is a beautiful student generated Stand and Talk from College Readiness:

4) This is another student generated Stand and Talk from the Spring Final for College Readiness.

5) This is one of my favorite Stand and Talks EVER. I wish I had done a pre and post for Math 2. This was at the end of Right Triangle Trig.

Here it is annotated:

6) I admit, I completely stole the next one. I thank @NatBanting. I used this with Math 2 (and again with College Readiness) introducing the Zero Product Property. 

Anything can be a Stand and Talk. I saw this on Twitter and wrote that if you take out the
original prompt and replace it with "What do you notice? What do you wonder?" you get a
really cool Stand and Talk.

Here is another image from @riehlt:

Gotta Stop, going down the rabbit hole...

Is there anything I should add? That you have questions about??? 

Hi There! Thank you very much to the inspiration of @cluzniak and https://clopendebate.wordpress.com/ for this College Readiness Project. The class is Pre-Calc for the Liberal Arts--those not going into stem fields (they don't think), don't want to take AP Stats, and aren't strong enough for a STEM Pre-Calc class, but they do want to keep their math chops up after Algebra 2 and want to A) do well on their ACT and SAT's and B) place directly into a college level class.

The students had serious Senioritis. As bad as I remember it. I was getting 25% homework in. (In class they were fine, the students just didn't produce outside of class--Senior Project presentations feels like their capstone, and those were delivered April 24. For their final weeks I wanted them to be engaged in the math we had studied. I saw Chris' idea of using Margaret Wise Brown's, The Important Book for a project in his Pre-calculus and Calculus classes. "The important thing about a spoon is that you eat with it." I played some of it being read for the students on Youtube (Chris was much smarter and had each student read a section aloud). I then explained to the students we had a three part final:

Part 1: Each pair of students received a manila folder. The cover needed the topic, and three facts or properties about the topic. The inside cover was a continuation of the properties and rules of the topic, or examples and non-examples. The back inside were two worked problems for the topic. I encouraged students to find an SAT or ACT question as one of them. And the back cover was a Stand and Talk (see https://www.saravanderwerf.com/stand-talks-the-best-thing-i-ever-did-to-get-students-talking-to-one-another/) with one blank copy and one annotated copy.

This worked fabulously. I gave the students 3 full classes to pick topics (each student pair got a number, then I random generated numbers for the pair to choose in the order their number came up) including choosing their topic, researching it, and having me print anything they needed.

Part 2: On the due date, the students made flip books with all the topics. They could use each other's "Important Books." They needed a minimum of five topics from the eleven, but they could have all eleven, because they got to use the information to answer Part 3 that was given on the day of the final.

Part 3: One non-cheatable non-replicable  question based on the role of a twelve-sided die and the number assigned to the ELEVEN topics. That is right, ELEVEN. So if you rolled a 12, you automatically got the 10 points. It was soooooo fun and the students really committed to the process. Some felt over confident given their flipbooks, but in general there was cheering, "Yes I got Lines," and total groans, "I got Logs, NO!"
I was really proud of the questions. Here is a sample:

Given a system of the equations of two parabolas, how do you know they will intersect and how many times. Be thorough in your investigation.

Given system of two linear equations, how do you know if they are parallel, perpendicular or neither. Be thorough in your investigation.

Can two matrices that can be multiplied, be added? Be thorough in your investigation.

How many arrangements of ice cream can Bella enjoy given that she has a choice of 24 flavors. 
Be thorough in your investigation.

We had one student roll a 12 and there was much celebrating for them. (pronoun preferred). 

Here are some pictures of the "Important Books." Next year I will make the cover facts say "Logs are important because you can use them to find out how much time it will take for you need to achieve a future goal." 

Taking suggestions for tweaks. I have the rubric if you want it.

Lines Cover
Lines Inside Cover
Lines Back Inside
Logs for Finance Inside 

Probability Stand and Talk
Logs Stand and Talk
Parent Functions Cover