Hey all! I will be teaching 3 blocks of third grade math this year. I would love to find a "first day of school" activity that is math based. I would love something fun for the kids to do that also allows me to get to know a bit more about them. Of course, I want math to be involved! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I read somewhere on here the other day about a teacher who uses numbers that relate to her life and gives the kids a question sheet about herself. Like what year was I born? How many years have I taught? The kids have to try to guess the correct number that goes with the question. It sounded like lots of fun. I'm sorry but I can't remember who posted it.

Make a scavenger hunt that they do to get to know you and them by making the items with numbers-
2 sisters, 1 cat, more than 1 cat, etc....or problems that some students might be able to do and others can't..

I read the book Math Curse to my 2nd graders. They don't really understand a lot of it, but they still love it. It's basically all about this boy who sees numbers wherever he goes. He realizes the world is a giant math problem.

After that, I give them a piece of construction paper that has been divided into 9 squares. We call it "Our Important Numbers". At the top of each box, we'll put numbers. So for example, I would put the number 8-13 in one box. Then in that box I would draw a picture of a cake with candles to represent 8-13 as my bday. Kids will write their phone numbers, how many siblings they have, our classroom room number, etc. Their name goes in the center square. When we're done, we share our drawings. It's a fun activity.

I have done this as a guided lesson and as an independent lesson. Sometimes we'll talk about what our topic will be for each box, then we'll write our own answer for that box. Other times, I'll just give it all to them and have them do it on their own.

I write a bunch of different numbers on index cards (enough for every student). I have all of the students facing the same direction and then I tape the index cards on their backs. I explain to the students it is their job to figure out what number is taped on their back, but there are two rules: 1) they can only ask math-related yes or no questions (is it an even number, is it higher than ____, is it a multiple of _____, is it a two-digit number, etc) 2) they can only ask 3 questions to the same person and then they must move on to another person if they still haven't figured it out. Oh, most importantly---they must introduce themselves before they can begin asking questions. My kids LOVED this last year.

"Missing Math: A Number Mystery". It would be a fantastic read aloud for the beginning of the year as it ties in nicely with all of the ways we use math and numbers every day.

Last year was my first year teaching so I don't have a lot of ideas but here is one that I did and the students loved it (and we got to know each other a bit).
My favorite ice cream is _______ , what is yours?
Favorite TV show is ______, what is yours?

I did about 10 facts (birthday month, any pets, siblings,, etc)
I then compiled the info and had groups of students make graphs to display the data - great MEAP review also. I then hung the graphs in the hallway. the students loved it - I am going to use it again this year.

Tip: not all of the questions will be graph-able - too much data. I ended up with about 6 or 7 graphs.