Monday, school started. Due to the short periods, we didn't get a chance to do much and we are taking students out to camp for most of the week so I had to come up to an activity to ease them back into school.

Since we have a break between Tuesday to Friday, I needed something because I do not want to teach until after our cultural event.

I created a 8.5 x 11 inch graphic organizer with 12 squares. The squares are labeled with 2 letters (A-B, or C-D) except for QRS and XYZ. I had the students divide into groups of 2 or 3 and gave each group a sheet.

The idea is that they list as many mathematical words for each letter as they can in say 10 minutes. At the end of the time, have students leave their papers on the desk, walk around looking at other peoples choices for a minute, then when they get back to their own desks they have 2 minutes to write down words they remember seeing.

Once they have reached this point, they are ready. I put the letters on the board and went around the classroom asking for words to go with the letters. I had the students say the word and then give a definition.

We had a wonderful time doing this. A student might say "Justify" for J and the explanation might be "Its the thing you make us do!" I questioned "Thing? What do you mean by thing?" We had a great time laughing due to those explanations the kids came up with while not really remembering the actual definition.

I enjoy this activity as a first day activity because it gently eases them back into mathematical thinking.