First Week of Math: Resources to help make connections & build relationships

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In Ontario, students need a minimum of three math credits to graduate high school, one of which must be at the grade 11 or 12 level. For students who are not pursuing a post-secondary path that requires mathematics, and/or who really struggle with math, the grade 11 college-pathway math course (MBF3C) is often the last mandatory math course they need to take to graduate.

Teachers of this course face several challenges, such as the range of student abilities, range of student interest (particularly if a student is only in the course because they need it to graduate), and also the wide variety of topics in the course curriculum.

Last year, we offered new support for MBF3C teachers in our board. At our first session with the teachers, we had round-table discussions on what they most wanted in the way of resources to help their students succeed. 

One of the topics that came up was about how building relationships with our students early in the school year is key to having students buy-in to the course, and persevere when facing challenging material. How can we make better connections with the students?


Making Connections & Building Relationships

Here are some of the resources we curated to help make those connections with students in the first week of school - activities that aren't necessarily academic, but still have a math focus. Take a peek and try something new this September!

  • Week of Inspirational Math
    • A full week's worth of activities from Jo Boaler (@joboaler), tailored to grade level, and updated from year to year. There is a built-in focus on mindset, and being creative in mathematics.
  • Locally-Themed Problems
    • In the spring, we created locally-themed "problems of the week" based on Which one Doesn't Belong prompts, estimation questions, and open-response problems. Consider what you can mathematize in your local community, or based on your students' interests! (And feel free to use the ones above if you are in the Sudbury/Espanola/Manitoulin Island area!)

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