Log in

Rhode island Mathematics teachers Association

  • HOME
  • Access and Equity Fall Message - The Induction Period

Access and Equity Fall Message - The Induction Period

29 Nov 2023 6:03 AM | Gina Kilday (Administrator)

Greetings Rhode Island mathematicians!

As we dive into the start of the 2023-2024 school year, the RIMTA Access & Equity committee would like to take this opportunity to share some ways that you can create a culturally responsive mathematics classroom that engages and excites learners of all ages. In our monthly newsletters, we will provide examples of activities, research, and best practices that lend themselves to access and equity and that aim to develop agency and self efficacy in all students.

This month we take a look at the first weeks of school, also known as the induction period. According to Samuelsson, “there is a substantial amount of research that shows how negative relationships with mathematics affect students’ achievement in mathematics and it is also well known that affective factors such as a student’s intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, as well as self-efficacy and anxiety with respect to mathematics, are critical predictors of academic success.” Conversely, we know how impactful positive relationships can affect students' effort and achievement in mathematics and how important it is for teachers to foster a love of learning mathematics within all their students. Thus, the first two weeks of school are integral when setting out to build relationships that support students’ motivations for achievement and growth.

There are many activities that you can use to engage with during the induction period that will help you to get to know your students, that will help the students to get to know each other, and that will provide invaluable information that can make your curriculum more rich and relevant, making space for your students' prior knowledge and experiences. One such activity is a well planned icebreaker. We really love the Personal Number Bingo activity. This activity is suitable for students in all grades. However, we recommend limiting the numbers used so that the students are more apt to match with other students in the class and for younger students so that the numbers are developmentally appropriate. 

Materials needed: blank bingo cards, markers/pencils, timer, anchor chart/index cards (optional)

Objective: Match 5 of your numbers with other students in the class so that you have a bingo on your card.

Time needed to play: 15 minutes


First: Students are given one blank bingo card (can be modified from a traditional 5x5 to a 4x4 or 3x3 as needed to suit your individual student needs). They are instructed to fill in each blank square with any number from 0-31 (or whatever range is most suitable for your students) that is meaningful to them (e.g., birthday, number of pets). This should take no more than 5 minutes.

Second: Once all students have completed their cards, they are instructed to leave their seats and find classmates with a matching number. When they find their match, the students share why that number is meaningful to them and x out that number. This continues for 5, one minute rounds, or until a bingo is made. The teacher may repeat this process several times as needed. 

Third: Students return to their seats. Teacher leads a discussion about what the students learned about each other. Here, the teacher can annotate an anchor chart to make visible what the class has shared or they can use index cards to privately take notes on each student that will be used in future lesson planning.

We would love to hear about the activities you use in your classroom during the induction period that aim to support building relationships and creating a positive math mindset for all students. Please feel free to comment and share. 

Thank you and we look forward to sharing our monthly newsletters with you. 

Sara & Elizabeth, co-chairs Access & Equity

References: Joakim Samuelsson (2023) Developing students’ relationships with mathematics, Educational Action Research, 31:2, 180-194, DOI: 10.1080/09650792.2021.1899012

RIMTA is a partner affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).

RIMTA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software