Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

Dice Use and Number Recognition

This has been a great week working with the kids! We have begun to incorporate the weeks focuses into our one-on-one work with the students. This week’s focuses were solid shapes, missing addends, subtraction, and pattern recognition on dice.
During our work with the 5-6 students who are struggling still with number recognition and rote counting we maintained the focus on those skills and only touched on the week’s focuses. However, with the group of students who need enrichment we felt that it would be good to really focus on the week’s focus and hopefully give the students the challenge they need.
One of the things I noticed this week is one of the students I work with constantly wants to use the white boards. The iPad does little to captivate his attention quite like a whiteboard does. To help use this information to my advantage I allowed the student to draw the objects we talked about for the subtraction problems. Through these activities I was able to pick up on the fact that he is very drawn to artistic concepts like drawing and creativity. I am hoping to find a way to allow him to draw and be creative while also meeting our math goals.
The most exciting part of the week however, was the work we did with the dice for the students. The concept behind the dice is fairly simple: the child rolls one or two die depending on how advanced they are, we ask them to tell us how many dots are represented on the die, then we ask them what other ways they can make that number. The exciting thing we stumbled upon was that a couple of our students were able to recognize that if the dice had 6 dots on it they can be drawn as 6 dots (1+1+1+1+1+1) or 4+2 or 5+1 or 3+3. It was really interesting to see how some students were able to recognize all of these different ways to see something whereas most of the students only saw how to recognize 6 one way. My partner and I found this fascinating and have decided to study this skill for the remainder of the year. We are also hoping to see if there is a connection between this set of skills and their ability to process base ten blocks later in the year.
Overall it has been really exciting to watch the student’s progress week after week, It is incredible to me how quickly they absorb and process information and the difference the students have made from the beginning of the year until now. I cannot wait to see the progression as the year goes on.

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