Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

## It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas…and Hanukah!

Longfellow students are buzzing with excitement as the Holiday season rapidly approaches. The school has been decorated and as the winter program nears, everyone is beginning to feel antsy still being in school, especially the kindergarteners. This past week we had little to do in preparation for the time that we were going to spend with the kindergarteners. In honor of Hanukah Mrs. Peterson had us review the dreidel game with her students and instead of using gold coins we used skittles. In order to incorporate math we often stopped the game and had the students count how many skittle they had. Another concept that we discussed with the students is half. One of the symbols on the dreidel instructs the students to take half of the pot, and instead of splitting the skittles in the pot for them, we tried to explain to them that in order to find half you have to make two equal groups with the skittle that you have. With some guided instruction, most of the students were able to split small groups of skittles in half. The students seemed to have a lot of fun with this game; at least until their math teachers told them they couldn’t eat the skittles!

In Mrs. Carmack’s class we were assisting her with some of the standards testing that needed to be completed for the students’ report cards that are due next week. The assessment that we administered covered number recognition, writing numerals, counting objects, and shape recognition. The testing was pretty straight forward, but there were some results that really surprised me! For example, when I was working with one student she couldn’t recognize the numbers nine or ten, but when we got to the writing numerals portion of the test she was able to draw the numbers nine and ten. I was really surprised that some students weren’t able to identify numbers that they knew how to write. Reflecting on these results, I think some of the reason that students were struggling with the numbers recognition section and excelling at writing the numerals is because for the number recognition section, the numbers aren’t in order, but when they’re asked to write their numbers they do so in sequential order. I even had one student tell me during the number recognition portion, “Ms. Jackie, this would be a lot easier if they were in the right order.” I thought this was really clever of the student because that is how she has grown accustomed to seeing the numbers presented to her. Another thing that I found really interesting during this round of testing was that some students were writing their numbers backwards one time, but when they wrote them again they were the correct way. For instance, I had a student draw the number three backwards, but when she drew the number thirteen she drew her three correctly. Occurrences like these make me really excited to see how the students continue to develop and progress throughout the course of the year!

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