Even though I haven't posted in several days, I've still been working on several ideas for my Algebra 1 classroom (except for the past two days, when I've been enjoying myself in Sedona). I'll try to catch this blog up to my work in the next few days. The following idea is stolen 95% from Dan Meyers at dy/dan.
He made up a first-day survey that was made up of all kinds of geometric shapes and it looked like so much fun compared to my previous list-surveys, I had to use it. But, I wanted to change the questions and his download was only in PDF form.
So, being the I-wanna-do-it-myself kind (which I have to watch out for, I know) I made my own. Its similar but not exactly the same as Dan's, and I centered it around the themes of past, present, and future:
The only questions about math are "What did your previous math teachers do that you liked/disliked?"
Right now, my plan is to use this as my bellwork on the first day, with my answers up on the document camera (doc cam) as an example. Then going over some basic rules and procedues, having everyone share from the survey, and ending with a mini-quiz that doesn't factor into their grades but helps me find out where they are in math.
I'm also considering taking the surveys and printing a second half on the back for day 2, with more math-centered questions. Then when I get them back a second time I'll have lots of info for each child on one sheet. On the other hand, if I scan them, it won't matter where the second page is. Still thinking on this one.
You can download Word and PDF copies of the Who I Am survey at the Sines of Learning Document Page. If you want to change the shapes or questions, open the Word file. The shapes are made using Word Insert>Picture>Autoshapes, and the questions are put in using Insert>Text Boxes. I made some of the text boxes go "sideways" by going to Format>Text Direction.
Have fun! And let me know what you think!