Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

Week 2 of Number Sense

Last Monday we had our first weekly group meeting where all of the Number Sense teachers met with Dr. Egan and Dr. Hengst to discuss how things were going in our classrooms. One of the ideas that was purposed at the meeting was splitting up the kindergarten classes into two groups so that the Monday, Wednesday, Friday teachers have a set group of students and the Tuesday/Thursday teachers have a set group of students to focus on and work with. We thought this would be beneficial because before a teacher would cover an objective with a student and then another teachers would work on the same things essentially with the same student and then if the first teacher pulled that student the next time to go over a few parts where they thought that student still struggled, then that would create a lot of repetition. Repetition is not a bad thing for most students, but if the student understand then there is no point in continuing to cover that objective. Also, too much repetition of a certain skill can lead to boredom and the students may not try as hard and show what they know leading us to believe that they do not know the content. With two separate groups we can know with greater accuracy where are students are. Mrs. C. approved the idea and said she would split the class into two groups and give us our lists after the Thanksgiving break. The students who are struggling to complete certain skill still will be placed in both groups in the hopes that the greater amount of individualized instruction time will prove beneficial for those select students.

Week two was a shorter week due to the Thanksgiving break and the students had trouble focusing on math on Wednesday because it was the day before break and the class was making headbands with feathers and Turkey Gobblers to eat. This week Mrs. C. started to give us objectives to work on during the week. This weeks objectives were based off of the skill tested on their last quiz. These skills this week included numbers on a 10 frame and how many dots were needed to fill the 10 frame, knowing the difference between a cube and a square, matching numbers to sets and vice versa, and solving word problems when there is a missing addend.  The students knew a substantial amount about the 10 frame. Every morning Mrs. C. counts the number of days they have been in school and uses tallies, digi blocks, and 10 frames to represent the number of days. This repetition everyday has really helped them be able to understand 10 frames. To see if they understood 10 frames I drew a ten frame on a dry erase board and filled it with a certain number of dots. I had the student tell me how many dots there were and I then wrote that number off to the side. Then I asked how many more dots I would need to fill the 1o frame. Most of them had to count the number of blank squares. They are not able to just look and see that one whole row was empty which is 5 and then add on the number of empty squares on the top. Likewise they were not able to count on. I did have one student who understood that one row was five so as soon as I asked him “how many more dots do I need to fill the 10 frame?” he was able to immediately reply with the number 5. Once the students told me how many more I needed I would write a plus sign after the original number, write the number of dots needed to fill the ten frame, and then write an equal sign. I then asked the students what number the first two numbers they had given me added up to. I thought for sure they would tell me ten because we were working with a 10 frame, but instead they would say 7 or 3 or some other number. I wrote out the number sequences and had a few of the students do it themselves so they could get used to seeing what it looks like. Some of the students did not know how to write a plus sign or an equal sign.

All of the students I worked with knew the difference between a cube and a square. The missing addend problems proved to be a problem though. The students really tried but they are just not there yet. There is an app on the iPad called Word Problems that I used. This app has manipulatives that you can use and move around with your finger. I would have to move the manipulatives for them and use different colors to try and help them see the answer but even then the students struggled.

During week two my partner and I worked with the “gifted” students who need more of a challenge. We used the Balance Math app on the iPad because Mrs. C. said she was interested on how they would do with that app. The two student I worked with did a great job. The app puts a certain weight on one side of a scale and then the students have to make it balance out using different numbers. After the students had balanced it out I had them write the equation on a white board. For example, if the game used 5 and 5 on the one side and the student could used 7 and 3 on the other side to balance it out. I then had the student write 7+3=10 on the white board. The students picked up on this game pretty quickly and really enjoyed it. The one student was using multiple numbers like 4+3+3 to get to 10 and the other student would plan out what he was going to use before he moved any of the weights. It was really interesting to see them go at it and to see how they were thinking about the different problems.

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