Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

Cold, Cold, Go Away

Once again, Longfellow had a shortened week this past week due to the cold, so we were only able to work with Mrs. Carmack’s class. Since I didn’t have the chance to work with those students the previous week, I repeated the same counting on activity that I had completed with Mrs. Peterson’s class the week before.
The students have been working on addition during their daily math work and it was evident when everyone in my group was able to read an addition sentence. Even though everyone could tell me what the addition sentence was I don’t think they necessarily knew what they were saying meant. For example, one of the students read me the addition sentence and when I asked him what to do next he said he didn’t know. With assistance this student was able to solve the addition problem, but he needed to be guided through each step. The biggest struggle that I experienced with this group of students was getting them to realize that the addition sentence that they are reading is telling them which two numbers they are supposed to combine. When I was working with the same student that I mentioned previously, we had the problem 3+4. First I instructed him to count me three two-colored counters. After he did that, I asked him what number we had to add to the three and he said he didn’t know. With a couple of these students I need to continue to work on establishing the meaning behind the addition sentence that they are saying.
Something else I noticed this week is that some of the students were struggling to compare numbers. For example, one of the addition problems was 5+3 and when I asked the student which of the numbers was bigger she said three. When I asked her how she knew that she said, “cause it just is.” To examine her claim I had her count me a pile of three counters and then a pile of five counters. When she finished I took the pile of five and gave her the pile of three and then asked her the same question. This time, with the addition of the visual element, the student was able to identify that 5 is in fact bigger than 3. I had several similar instances with students in my group, so I will continue to focus on comparing numbers with and without the use of manipulatives.

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