Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

The Perfect End to our Journey

This week concluded our work with the Kindergarten students and our involvement in the Number Sense Program. We started the week by administering the acuity test to Mrs. Carmack’s students to ensure she had enough assessment data for the fourth quarter. On Thursday, we wanted to plan one final activity that would be fun and engaging for the students. We constructed a rainbow craft, in which different colored “rays” came out of a cloud. Each ray had an addition or subtraction problem. Students solved these problems using their preferred problem solving strategy, such as counting on their fingers. After the students completed each equation correctly, they were given a few minutes to decorate and personalize their cloud. We did our best to differentiate the problems on each rainbow to ensure that each student was appropriately challenged. We had never made a craft before with the students and it was something they really seemed to enjoy. On our final day working with the students, we also gave each student their daily problem solving workbook, as well as any other tools and assignments they had created or used.

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Beginning to Wrap Up

Lisa and I used this week to collect additional data for our final paper and presentations. Students were again given teaching tools they had used early in the program. We hoped to compare how students used and explored these tools early in their number sense develop to how they would used them now with a much deeper understanding. We also allowed our other students additional practice with the skills they have been focusing on for the past several weeks.

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Nearing the End

This week Julie and I allowed the students to further practice their numeracy skills through apps and manipulatives that they have already been exposed to in previous lessons. During the lessons this week, we made observations of how our students performed using the tools now compared to how they did when they were first exposed to the tools.

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Extra Practice Leads to Progress

Lisa and I structured our lessons a bit differently this week. Typically our students explore the same concept or skill through the use of both manipulatives and ipad apps within one week. This week, however, our level one students did not experiment with ipad apps at all and our level two focus student only used an ipad app.

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Exposure Time

This week, Julie and I wanted to allow our students more time to explore an unfamiliar tool before asking them to demonstrate their understanding for the concept or skill being practiced. After reflecting on our lessons this week, we wish this was something we had taken into consideration earlier in our Number Sense experience.

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Focus Students

This week Julie and I planned our lessons in a way that would allow us to spend additional time with our “focus” students for our research. We also allotted extra time at the end of the lesson to work with those students who we typically only see every other week.

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Focusing On Our “Focus” Students

This week Lisa and I adjusted our usual schedule in a way that would allow us more time with our focus students as well as the students we try to see once every other week. Thus, we did not meet with the other groups we typically see two times a week.

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Things are Beginning to Click!

While our students enjoyed their two weeks of spring break, Lisa and I turned our complete focus to our research paper. The break from planning and delivering lessons allowed us the opportunity to revise, edit, and continue writing. We have made great progress and feel confident about the work we have completed thus far. However, there is still data we must collect from our students in the remaining lessons to better support claims in our paper. This week we continued to structure our lessons in a way that would allow each group of students to practice a particular mathematical concept or skill using both hands-on manipulatives and technology.

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Back in Action

After another long break, Julie and I finally returned to Longfellow to continue working with our Kindergarten students! To our surprise, we found that two students had left Longfellow over break, but two brand new students now joined Mrs. Carmack’s class! Other than that, Julie and I picked up right where we left off with our students and with our Number Sense research.

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Halfway There!

This week marked the halfway point of our journey through the Number Sense Program! As we reflect back on the work we have done thus far, Julie and I have gathered a great deal of useful evidence of student learning. Over the past few weeks of winter term, we have structured our lessons in a way that allows each group of students to practice a particular mathematical skill using both hands-on manipulatives and technology.

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