While I like getting to know my students and believe that building classroom community must begin on day one, there are only so many icebreaker activities one can do. I like to jump right in to the curriculum, but in a meaningful way.
Our math pacing begins with a data unit so I kick off the unit by using students birthdays to collect, organize, graph, and analyze data.
I always purchase the Teacher Created Resource Birthday Graph and we complete the graph together. I put labels on each cake piece with the student's name and date. I then call a month and everybody with that month comes up front and we put the dates in numerical order. We build the cakes beginning with the first birthday and go up until the last of the month and then add our candle at the top!
Once our poster graph is complete, we observe the data and begin organizing it into a data column, then graph the data, and then use our data to answer questions about birthdays in our class. I created a SMARTBoard .notebook file for the lesson. The students have a copy of the data table, graph, and questions on a printable that they complete.
You can purchase the SMARTboard which includes the printable student packet at my Teacher Pay Teachers Store.