Day three is when I give the common assessment over the Math Skills (this is the only thing all year where they are not allowed to use a calculator). I plan to start with an opener that has several problems that involve the four skills areas on the common assessment. The basic structure of my openers is that they are projected on the smart board as the students come in to class. I ask them to be in their seats and either start them before the bell rings or be ready to start as soon as the bell rings. They work on them individually for a certain amount of time (varies depending on how many and the complexity of the openers), writing them down in their notebooks. Then I ask them to take a few minutes and discuss their results with the other members of their groups (again, typically four in a group, with one or two threes to make it work out even). Then I ask for volunteers to come up and work them out on the smart board (which I then post to the class blog - sample from last year) and explain then to the class. (I go back and forth whether to ask for volunteers or just pick randomly making them all responsible for being ready and "forcing" them to come up - your thoughts?)
After we work through the openers, I'll then give the common assessment (roughly 15 minutes, although I remember last year it took some students significantly longer than that). Then, based on Dvora's comments on the previous post, I'm considering shifting some of the culture/class expectations piece to today. I'm thinking that after the assessment I may take them to the computer lab (assuming MAP testing hasn't started yet and I can get into the lab) to help them get into their Google Accounts. All of our students have Google Apps accounts, and for students that were in my district last year they may remember how to login, but I also have three students who are new to our district. Once they get logged in I'll help them with their basic Blogger setup (mostly display name and creating a reflective blog for my class), then have them read (and eventually comment on, although we may not get that far) a post on the class blog talking about culture and expectations. This may enable some of a conversation online even if they aren't quite comfortable enough yet to engage in a face-to-face discussion.
Their homework will be to check the online portal for the results of their assessment and, if necessary, make plans to re-assess over any of the areas they did poorly on. (While I'm probably going to tweak it some, here was my assessment plan for last year.) Students sign-up online to re-assess (again, here's last year's sign-up form), and they only need to re-assess over the area(s) they did poorly on (so I'll divide the assessment grade into four portions: adding and subtracting fractions, multiplying and dividing fractions, integer operations, and order of operations). In addition, depending on how far we get in class, I may ask them to comment on the class blog post about culture and expectations (perhaps not "due" until Friday as we don't meet on Thursdays).
We would then be setup to really begin "Algebra" on Friday.