Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

An Active Way of Counting

I continued to work with two kids at a time this week as I did last week. I began with the lower ability and progressed to the higher ability students. On Tuesday,  I decided to work with the iPod and the manipulative’s in order to see if there was a difference in ability to successfully complete the task at hand. I only did this with some of the games such as Line ‘Em Up, Count Sort, and What’s Hiding. I would have one student lining up actual cards in order from 1-10 then from 11-20, while the other would line up number cards. What I discovered was that the lower ability students are gaining more from the actual number cards and lining them up than the iPod game. With the game and the higher ability students, I can place the start number at thirteen rather than one, giving them more of a challenge and and opportunity to still work on their number order skills. I would like to try this comparison again with some games because I think I’ll be able to tell whether or not the students are catching on or not by how successful they are at the iPod game.

Also, most of the higher ability students needed to work on rote counting up to 100, and an example of an exercise to practice this was to count stairs. The students loved being able to go outside of the classroom and actively learn as they walked up and down the stairs; it was as if they had no idea they were working on math skills. I first had the students walk up and down the stairs together, but then I realized that I wasn’t able to focus on them individually because one student was louder, faster, or more successful than the other student they were with. Once the students arrive at the top of the stairs, there’s another small set of stairs as they turn, so one student would wait at the top while the other met them, and then they would finish to the very top of the stairs. I had them compare answers and if their answers were different, or if they were wrong, we would count them together. We continued our counting even at the top in order to be able to count up to fifty. Then, if the students did well with that exercise, I encouraged them to count backwards from twenty which was difficult for the majority of the students, until they got to ten, so I helped them along since they kept wanting to count forwards. Who would have thought that you could do so much with something as simple as counting stairs?

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