My First Five Days Plan

August 17, 2014

I have had a horrible time the last couple of years with keeping my blog going during the school year. I’m hoping that a regular schedule will keep me on track. (fingers crossed)

Students come back on 8/25, and right now, all I have set for sure is my first two days (I’m on block schedule, so that’s one class day).

PAP Geometry

I plan to do mostly what I did on the first day last year. I will have my desks grouped into fours (I may or may not use the pinwheel arrangement I used last year–I can’t decide). I will use TheHat to randomly sort the students into groups. My biggest concern is that right now, my 5th period (Tuesday morning) has 42(!) students, and I only have 33 desks.

As a 9th grade teacher, I will have access to a Chromebook cart of 30. Assuming they get my class of 42 down to a reasonable number, I still have an average of 31 students per class, so I’m trying to persuade TPTB that I need more than 30 Chromebooks. They’ve said that they will try. In any event, on the first day, I’m going to use the Chromebooks every which way, and since I had so many links for so many different things, it occurred to me to put a post on my class site to walk them through. They will:

  • Enter their student information into a google form.
  • Use another google form to enter their work on my penny floor problem.
  • Have the option to read online an excerpt from one of my favorite books, Have Spacesuit, Will Travel by Robert Heinlein. I will also have printouts.
  • After reading the excerpt, use another google form to answer questions about the excerpt.

If I have any time left, I’ll talk about the course outline, class rules, etc.


Because my district has formulated an actual scope and sequence, I’m going to have to rearrange things from how I first had them laid out. What won’t change is my first day plan.

Like Geometry, I will have them in groups of four, and like Geometry, we will be using the Chromebooks most of the period (fortunately, I only have two classes back-to-back both days–I’m not sure what the battery life will be). I also set up a new class site, and a post will give them all of the links they need to do the following:

  • Student information form
  • Edmodo setup
  • Blendspace setup
  • Mastering Astronomy (run by Pearson)
  • Desmos

I will then go over the class rules and procedures. When we finish all of that, we will be doing one of my favorite Astronomy introductions, making a “pocket solar system” using adding machine tape.

That’s my first class day planned out. This coming week is all of our inservice stuff. Since I am now officially in two departments, I’m going to have to do some juggling. I had already planned to skip our district math PD because that’s when we astronomy teachers will be getting together, but I found out today that science and math are having their campus department meetings at the same time. That day, I’ll probably need to wear my math hat.



  1. This is so interesting! 42?!? Sounds like it may get reduced? I have a couple of questions. I never heard of that book (have spacesuit will travel) – what’s the excerpt about?
    Also, can you share the pocket solar system? We do some work with SS in physics, that may be interesting. Thanks!

    • I’m really, REALLY, hoping that 42 gets reduced, and my other morning class isn’t much better at 38.

      I usually credit Have Spacesuit, Will Travel for getting me interested in math, and in taking responsibility for my own education. I have them read this excerpt. I usually buy any copies of this book that I can get cheaply, in the hopes that one day I’ll have enough for a class set to assign the whole book.

      Here’s one explanation of the solar system. I usually have them place the planets themselves on one side of the tape, and then do the activity on the other side. The teacher I learned this from taught 7th grade, so they always had fun with the line “Uranus is in the crease.” 🙂

  2. The first day of your class sounds like fun! Any chance you’d be able to share the Google form for sharing work on the penny problem? My school is going 1-1 this year for the first time, so I am looking for ideas and models to share with my colleagues.

    • I’m sorry, but I just now saw your comment. If you check out my class blog at mathblog.wordpress.com, you can see the penny floor form.

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