Today I walked into class and felt like I was talking to a bunch of zombies. Probably because the class culture was DOA since I was at a training on the first day. If you ever have to be absent on your first day of class, I’ll give you two pieces of advice.

1. Don’t.

2. Don’t expect any chemistry to have formed.

When we started it seemed like there was a chemistry vacuum. I thought my lesson plan would lead to a warm environment, but instead whenever I tried turn and talks I got blank stares and silence. Ugghhh.

This class was focused on talking about functions, with visual patterns so that the routine could begin to take hold. The function conversation reminded me how useful it is going to be to slow things down and make sure kids are sitting and thinking (and I’m not up and talking). After dragging kids through an explanation with tables for function the kids were asked to write an example of  two sets that were a function and another two sets that were not a function. This was immediately met with blank stares and silence. After a few minutes we did a little share out and it seemed clear to me that we should think about it a little more. So we did that. It’s one of the few times where asked kids to simply ‘think a little more’ and it worked. After they thought I said that we would talk in pairs and pick one relation or function to share and then we went around every group shared. That was very productive, and livelier than the morning. I also think the pressure of sharing with the group was probably helpful.

Perhaps the key to bringing zombies back to life is making them think? Quick somebody tell Will Smith in I Am Legend!