One way I am going to help my students learn about their new community of learners is through the exploration of Amy Krouse Rosenthal's book, This Plus That. In this picture book, mathematical symbols are used in combination with words to make powerful statements about one's self. Some of my favorites include..."book + chair = cozy" or "somersault + somersault + somersault = dizzy". I am going to ask the class to brainstorm all of the mathematical symbols that they are familiar with such as the greater than symbol, less than symbol, %, x, =, etc...Then students are going to write a word equation for each symbol that we discuss to introduce themselves to the class.
For example, some of mine could be...
Chipotle is greater than Burger King. (couldn't find the greater than symbol on the computer :)
whole family + rollercoaster rides + not paying attention to how late it is = best vacation day ever
pepperoni + mushroom - olives = my side of the pizza
I think this will be a great way to assess the students' knowledge of mathematical symbols and at the same time learn a lot about each other!