I was happy to hear that because at the start of school the child told me that he hated school, and I responded with, "You've just given me a great challenge. I'm going to try to make this a good year for you."
A mom stopped me on the sidewalk to tell me that her daughter was having a great math year. She said that her daughter mentioned that she really likes math now.
I attribute these reactions, in part, to the book I read about math this summer. The book talked a lot about the beauty and wonder of numbers. I brought that information to class as we reviewed numbers, vocabulary, models, resources, past concepts, skills, and knowledge.
This review unit was added as a prequel to the CCSS scope and sequence. This unit and a few other lessons were added to create a community of math learners, common process, cultural proficient teaching, the Standards of Mathematical Practice (SMPs), and a vibrant learning team. The comments at the top of the page provide affirmation for this effort. I will think more about this unit as the year progresses and over the summer when planning for the year to come occurs. In the meantime, I believe that introducing students to the beauty and wonder of math at the start of the year (and throughout the year) is one way to inspire long term mathematical thinking, learning engagement, and growth.