There was never a year that I didn’t need to do some culture resetting and community building at the start of second semester. Our students have been on break for two weeks and need an adjustment period back into school, but so do we as teachers. I believe teachers should actually take a break during break so having a few done for you activities ready to go for the first day or two so you can get back into the swing of planning is what I’m all about. In this post I’m sharing three first day of second semester activities that are ready to use for your first few days back in January that will help reset classroom culture and build community.
Activity #1: Good Group Work
Every single activity in the YouCubed Week of Inspirational Math would be awesome to use on the first day of second semester, but this one activity is a must if you didn’t do it at the start of the year. It’s called Good Groupwork, and it’s a done for you first week activity that will help students explore what they need from their classmates in order to feel comfortable doing math and making mistakes together in group work settings. If we teach students who struggle with math, they likely have high math anxiety and it’s imperative that they feel comfortable, supported, and safe doing math with their peers. This activity will ensure they do.
Activity #2: Respect Circles
I’ve always taught in historically underserved communities and respect is a very important word and idea to discuss openly if you’re going to have a positive classroom culture. The “Respect Circles” activity will help you build a community definition of respect with your students so you know how to show respect to your students, they know how to show respect to you, and they know what respect means to their peers. It’s totally done for you and ready to display, print, and go! Click here to get access.
Activity #3: Math Journey Map
Allowing students to share their math journey is an essential part of increasing engagement and achievement in our math classrooms if you teach students who struggle with math. If you didn’t give students an opportunity to share about their math pasts at the start of the year, I highly encourage you to make time when you start semester two. In the Math Journey Map Activity, students are asked to write about their math pasts, about what teachers have done to help them and hurt them in math as well as hopes and questions they have about your math class. Click here to get the goods!
If you’re looking for even more ready to use activities as you start semester two, check out the complete bundle of activities by clicking here. These are all classroom tested activities in high school math intervention and special education math classrooms to increase student engagement in mathematics!
And hey... you’ve made it halfway through the year! You’ve got this teacher friend!