First, I have to give a huge shout-out to Julie Morgan for introducing me to the Transum website. (Check out her awesome blog post with 5 excellent resources you should make yourself familiar with!) This awesome website has a different starter (think bellringer!) that you can use for math class for every single day of the year!
After clicking on random starters to see what I could find, I stumbled upon this starter and used it the very same day!
|Image Source: http://www.transum.org/software/SW/Starter_of_the_day/starter_December8.asp|
Next, students were begging to figure out the "Verruca Values" of their last names. I promised that we could figure those out AFTER our algebra lesson. At the end of our lesson, we calculated the "Verruca Values" of our last names. Our foreign exchange student won again!
One student was able to come up with a word with a Verruca Value of 24! And, in the end, our foreign exchange student's last name had a Verruca Value of 24, too!
This would be the perfect introduction to a lesson on prime vs. composite numbers. I'm also thinking I could pull it out when we do correlation. Length of name vs. Verruca value.
I highly recommend that you spend some time checking out the Transum website. I think you'll be as pleasantly surprised as I was!