Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

And the cold presses on..

This week was yet another shortened one due to the cold weather. It actually ended up balancing things out, though, because this week the snow day fell on Tuesday so we got to work with the students in Mrs. Carmack’s room this week. Since this group of students has all demonstrated an understanding of addition as putting two quantities together in previous lessons, and have all been able to identify which two numbers they are to add when given an addition statement, I chose to work on addition with missing addends this week. I had different missing addend problems for numbers 1-5 written on popsicle sticks for the students to draw from a pile and solve. I chose numbers 1-5 since fluently adding within 5 is one of the objectives on the kindergarten report card. The majority of the students were able to solve for the missing addend, occasionally with the help of two color counters but some students also automatically answered a few of the problems. One student in particular had just moved up from the middle group during the last lesson, and he was the only student of the one’s participating in the activity to correctly solve for all of the missing addends on the first try without manipulatives. One student who had demonstrated memorization of the a few basic facts, 2+2=4 being one example, struggled to understand the missing addend. We used manipulatives on each of her turns to help her visualize the problem. Her biggest issue seemed to be that her familiarity with adding two numbers together was causing her to want to add the addend with the total instead of finding the other addend that would help solve for the total. After completing the missing addend activity, however, we worked on an addition and subtraction story problem app and she was able to solve many addition problems without the use of manipulatives. Something I found very interesting while working on missing addends was the concept of zero. The majority of students seemed to struggle with this. I was impressed though that after talking through the problem 5+ ?=5, one student in particular applied what we had discovered about adding zero to her next problem, which was 3+?=3.
The second activity we did was the story problem app. Two students I had in my final group did not work on missing addends and simply focused on story problems. The app asked various basic addition and subtraction story problems, and then provided a number line, ten frames, and a spot for drawing pictures as strategies for solving the problems. Some of the students were able to immediately answer subtraction story problems when 1 was taken away, which shows that their concept of subtraction is developing or developed. The student who had answered all of his missing addend problems also immediately answered a subtraction problem where 0 was taken away, which I found particularly interesting after all the questions adding 0 had brought up during the previous activity.
That’s all for this week, though!

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