Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

Week #3

This week was great working with Mrs. Carmack’s class. We have officially divided up the class so that both Amy and myself are working with the same students each time. This way, we get to know the students better and we are better able to help them move forward.
I work with about 6 kids each time I do in. Our group of kids is a mix between students who are struggling to count to 15 and students who are doing addition! I have one student I work with who is incredibly bright and is in need of a challenge. When prompted he can count backwards from 13 with ease. He can recognize a lot of 2-dimentsional and 3-dimensional shapes, including hexagons and trapezoids. We spent a lot of time working on problem solving because he is least familiar with addition and I am working hard to keep him engaged an challenged. We used a game called “Hungry Fish” for the iPad and that really helped him be challenged. It was exciting to watch him accept this challenge readily and try really hard to complete the problems. The concept behing “Hungry Fish” is that there will be a fish and it will have a number on its stomach. The fish can only “eat” bubbles of that same number. This works well for students working on number symbol recognition. However if you alter the settings the student then has to add bubbles together to equal the amount the fish needs. Therefore the student needed to know that for 5 they could add4+1 or 3+2. This was a fun and interactive way for this student to be engaged in a game and work on his addition skills.
The great thing about this app was that you could alter the levels to increase or decrease difficulty. This made this app a valuable tool for both the students who need enrichment and the students who were struggling. For the students who were performing at a lower level we worked with solely number recognition. This app was useful because the fish wouldn’t eat the bubble unless it had the same number. It was exciting to see my one student understand, towards the end that 4+1 and 3+2 both equal 5.
In this upcoming week I really hope to start issuing more of a challenge for the students who need them. I hope to find some apps that allow students to practice problem solving.

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