Official teacher inservice started this week. We had a gentleman come in and teach us some strategies for engaging the students. Some ideas:
A-Z review - in a group they make a small poster for a particular topic and think of terms for each of the letters (we did "dating"). In math, I guess you could be general and do "math" or maybe "geometry", etc.
A $20,000 Pyramid type of game (I think) - you play in pairs, player A has a hidden index card and mentions the subject to player B (say calculus), and then there are (say) 6 terms on the card (derivative, integral, MVTh ...) and then player A tries to get "B" to say the terms by just giving them clues.
Make an appointment - he gave us a sheet of paper with some time slots: 9am, 10am, ...., 3pm, and we were to walk around the room and make an appointment for 9, 11, 1, & 3 o'clock with 4 different people, 9 & 11 were to be in our subject area, 1 & 3 with others. Then throughout the day when he needed us to pair up, he said, "go to your 3pm appointment and ..... ". I guess this is a way to get students to work with people outside of their small circles and comfort level (find someone who is ...) , and it gets them moving around to make the appointments.
There were other activities, too, so now I feel I have a nice treasure trove to pick from.
We also get 1.5 hours each day this week for lunch. Ooh la la. That will be a big shock when we go to 30 minutes this year!