Monday, November 7, 2016

Day 51: Warm-Ups

One of the many ideas that I collected while in Phoenix last week, was the idea of changing and formalizing my Warm-Up routine.

Up to this point, students have entered the room and there was an estimation question on the board from Estimation 180.  The wrote their estimate and rationale.  Then we read our Pledge to Improved Mathematics and discussed their estimates.

Over the last few weeks, I've been noticing that I've been slacking off in terms of the formalization of those tasks.  I know, for my own self, habit building is vital to having a consistent classroom.  To this effect, I took a page (literally) from Lisa Bejarano.

She has a form sheet where students complete their daily warm-ups for the week.

Monday: Which One Doesn't Belong
Tuesday: Visual Patterns
Wednesday: Estimation
Thursday: Mental Math
Friday: Error Analysis

For more specifics, check out her blog!

Today, we started with WODB.

I put the following image on the board and asked them to identify as many qualities as possible that make each shape different from the other three.

I gave them a few minutes to silently work on it and then we talked.  I went through and asked what properties they had identified.  We found several for each object and when they ran out of suggestions, I tried to offer one that they hadn't thought of.

What was most interesting to me was how almost every student identified the shape in quadrant 2 as being the only one that was "upside-down."

This sent my mind off in a strange direction.  Can shapes be upside-down without a designated "top"?

Isn't "upside-down" a relative term anyway?

In any event, they seemed to like this new warm-up. I anticipate a little difficulty for the first few times, but I'm looking forward to the change.


  1. Justin, About how much time to you expect to spend on warmups, and how long is a class period? Thanks

    1. Pat,

      Thanks for reading! When starting a new type of warm-up, I usually give it 10-15 minutes, but once we get used to it, it shouldn't take more than 5-6. Sometimes, however, if the discussion is particularly rich, I'll spend much more. My classes are 42 minutes at the moment.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...