Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

40 isn’t over the hill, but it’s close!

Greetings Blog Readers!
Today was an exciting day in kindergarten! They have almost finished making all their letters, and Sarah, Julie, and I got our Valentine’s. I began my day as I do most Wednesday’s. Working with Will and Michelle. I decided to keep with the theme of Dominoes and adding. However, I noticed last week that they still struggled a little with pattern recognition. So we started off our day playing Pattern Sets, which is Randy’s software, that you can get from “Jessi’s” previous blog. After they had a more solid base for patterns, I placed all of the dominoes face down, and had them each select one. They each had to tell me how many dots was on each side of the domino, and how many dots there were total. I than had them write an addition problem modeling what they had told me. This allowed them to see addition was two parts of a whole number, in a more basic way. They understood it as the two sides of the dominoes dots add up to the total number of dots on the domino.  They were able to get almost all the answers right away, and write the mathematical sentence, a+b=c, which shows they are able to do some pretty quick counting, or have excellent memories. They realized that 6+6 =12 and that 5+6=11, without counting. This is a huge step and next time I think I’m going to bring adding with digi-blocks, because Will had a special request for the Digital Blocks.

Ashley had a great day today! We started off using count sort with numbers up to 32 this time, and she was able to count that high, and recognize all the numbers. She did get a little distracted today, but didn’t skip any of the problems that looked hard, which is a huge improvement.  She remember to organize all her counters, and aside from the times when she was distracted and lost count, she answered all the questions correctly. She did have some trouble with the bigger numbers, because sometimes she would miss a dot or not click hard enough, but for the most part today was a huge improvement. Then, we moved on to 40, when we started there was clearly no memory of the number 40, so we went back to our 39 40 drill. I had her write 40, and I also wrote 40. And when she was able to tell me the number 40 successfully, we started counting from 1, and when we hit 39, I showed her the whiteboard with 40 on it, and she remembered! We did this several more times, until I wasn’t using the whiteboard at all, and she got 40 every single time! I sent her back to her seat and asked her what number comes after 39, and she said 40! I was so happy! She understands all the numbers in between like 41, 42, 43… and can count by tens, its just a matter of helping her get her order right. So hopefully we’ll get to put a star sticker on her I can count to 100 chart soon!

The last student I worked with today, still didn’t enjoy the computer, they were distracted the whole time, and kept having to move. I need to find some math movement activities for the student. I did notice that she was able to get the answers right on Pattern Sets when she was focused, so a movement oriented game would be better. Even when I tried to encourage her to pay attention and make the a competition, it didn’t work. I told her that if she got five right in a row I would make the time go faster, she laughed and said “I’m not buying that.” So I was at a dead end, and kept her attention as long as I could before sending her back to her seat. It’s frustrating at times like that because I know she is able to do so much, but I can’t find something that fits her personality, that’ll be one of my goals for break.

On a side note, congrats to Julie for her summer research project being accepted! I do have to give Profs. Egan and Hengst, a huge thank you for this amazing opportunity. My project was accepted as well, and it is because of my Wednesday experiences that I was inspired. This opportunity is  so beneficial to all of us, and I wanted to say thank you to all the people that were involved to make it happen, we are all better for it! This will be my last blog for a while, since break has started, so enjoy the next few weeks, and you’ll be sure to hear from Sara, once we are back in action!

3 Responses to “40 isn’t over the hill, but it’s close!”

  1. Great job Laura! Congratulations on your summer project being accepted too.

    Have a great break – hope to see you soon.

    Love you,
    Aunt Barb

  2. Great Job Laura,
    Keep up the good work it will all pay off. We’re all very proud. Can’t wait to see you next week !!!!!


  3. We’re missing you in kiindergarten! We’re working with geometrical solid shapes which for some of us is difficult since plane shapes are not firmly understood. I’m wondering why Trail Blazers jumped right in with solids. Not all of our students have preschool/Head Start backgrounds, so their knowledge is limited. You really did make lessons stick! When I’ve tried to play dominoes as a game, some of them instantly are adding the total rather than matching the one end number of dots. Way to go!

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