This week we continued to focus on number recognition, one-to-one counting, and oral counting with our first group. On Tuesday, the students in this group used counting chips and flashcards to demonstrate their current understanding of number sense. The students were given a pile of chips and asked to count them. The students were then presented with three flashcards, and asked to select the flashcard that showed the corresponding number. While working with these students, it became clear that they continued to struggle with identifying numbers such as 6, 9, 11, 12, and 13. Both of the students did, however, continue to demonstrate a basic understanding of the teen patterns, as they have in previous lessons. We noticed that during this lesson a student consistently counted “13, 14, 16, 17”, forgetting 15 each time he orally counted. To try and help this student recognize that he was forgetting 15, I pointed to a number on the 100’s chart on the wall and had him orally state the number. However, when I pointed to the number 15, he again went from 14 to 16. Julie and I have made note of his struggle to remember the 15 when counting, and it is something we plan to pay attention to in future lessons. On Thursday, the students practiced the same skill in a similar manner, but this time the students used the Count Sort App with the counting setting. The students were shown multiple dots on the screen and asked to count how many in all were on the screen. The students then were asked to select the corresponding number as listed on the screen. Again in this lesson, the students demonstrated similar struggles in identifying numbers 6, 9, 11, 12, and 13, as well as higher teen numbers. Thus, we did not notice a significant difference in the students’ performance when using the manipulative versus using the iPad Apps.

The next group of students we worked with focused on place value, specifically activities dealing with ten-frames. On Tuesday, the students completed a Ten Frame Booklet – an activity that we had done previously in the year with a group who has now moved onto higher-level skills. The students were given a book of ten frames, each page containing blank ten frames and a number in the teens. After identifying the number, the students were asked to make marks/dots in the ten frame boxes to represent the number shown on the page. Some of the students struggled to independently complete this activity, while others were able to correctly complete the booklet with little to no guidance. Some of the students who struggled were unable to identify the number, and others were unable to make the correct number of marks in the ten frames that corresponded with the symbolic number on that page. One student demonstrated a particular example of misunderstanding of place value. The sentence on the pages read “16 is ten ones and ___ more”. The students were to identify 16, make 16 marks, and write 6 in the blank. When asked “how many more”, however, this student responded with 4, meaning that four more boxes needed to be filled in on the second frame. On Thursday, the students practiced the same skill again by using the iPad App Count Sort with the ten-frame setting. The students were shown ten-frames that were partially filled in. The students were asked to determine how many dots were in the ten-frames and select the corresponding number on the sides. I felt that this App proved to be easier for some students to use; the students seemed to have an easier time in “reading” the ten-frame, rather than constructing the ten-frame on their own. Furthermore, by providing the students with the pre-filled ten-frame, it allowed them to work through more problems. However, many of the options listed for numbers beyond ten were number reversals. This proved to be very easy for the students, as they were able to easily distinguish between 51 and 15 before even counting the dots. Julie and I learned shortly after, however, that there is the option to present the students with more than two number choices, which would eliminate the reversal concern. Thus, in the future, Julie and I will be sure to explore all settings and options before using the iPad Apps with the students.

The final group that we worked with this week focused on addition skills. On Tuesday, the students worked with the Ten Bead Math iPad App. The students used this app as an aide to solve the given addition problems. On the screen, the students were shown a “row” containing five white beads and five red beads. The students could drag white beads to the center to represent one of the addends, and the red beads could represent the other. On Thursday, the students were again given a sheet of addition problems. This time, however, the students were given beads on a pipe cleaner to use as an aide. On both Tuesday and Thursday, the students did not seem to enjoy using the beads to help with the addition problems. Rather, many of the students preferred to use their fingers to do simple addition problems. Furthermore, many of the students had difficulties moving the beads both on the iPad screen and on the pipe cleaner, and thus became very frustrated. Overall, we did not note a big difference in the students’ abilities to solve the addition problems when using the pipe cleaners versus using the iPad apps. Rather, the students preferred to use a familiar method of counting, such as using their fingers.

Julie and I are extremely grateful for the experience of working with the Kindergarten students so far! We have seen tremendous progress in our students thus far, and we are excited to see how much more they will grow over these next ten weeks! We plan to continue doing research over our spring break, and brainstorm useful and creative lessons that we will be able to use when we return!

]]>

Our students at level 1 continued working on number recognition and oral counting. On Tuesday students were given a set of chips and were asked to count them. They were then shown three flashcards and asked to pick the card that represented the number of chips they had just counted. This activity allowed the students to practice both number recognition and one-to-one counting with hands-on materials. On Thursday the students work on the same skills by doing relatively the same activity. Using the ipad app, Count Sort (counting), students again counted the number of dots shown on the screen and chose the number they had just counted out. We did not find that one lesson was more successful than the other and do not believe the students prefer one tool to the other. After reflecting on both lessons we have found that the students can successful recognize most numbers 1-20, however there is till an obvious struggle to recognize numbers such as 9, 11, 12, and 13. Both students have picked up on the patterns of the teen numbers 15-19. One student in particular, went from saying a 1 and a 5, to five teen, and finally fifteen. Lisa and I understand that there is much more we need to do with the students at this level, but we are proud of their progress thus far. We also noticed that the students could only count accurately when they had separated the chips they had counted from the chips they had not. When students simply pointed at chips, some were forgotten or counted multiple times. Lastly, another observation we made was in their abilities to orally count. We have one student who can count pretty consistently, however the other has forgotten 15 every time he was asked to count past 14—even when the student was prompted or reminded it was forgotten.

This week the students at level 2 focused on ten frames. On Tuesday students completed the Ten Frame Booklet. They were given a teen number and were asked to represent that number using the ten frames. For example, students were given the number 16 and were asked to make 16 dots (one in each box of the ten frame). Most students understood that when the first ten frame was completely filled in that it meant 10. However when asked how many were left over most students said the teen number (in this case 16.) After many examples and much guidance majority of the students were able to complete the remainder of the booklet on their own. On Thursday students focused on this skill again by using the ipad app Count Sort (ten frame.) When using the ipad I found students were more prone to counting all the dots in the ten frames. Almost all the students I worked with could recognize numbers 1-7 using the ten frames. However, for numbers 8-20 they counted each dot one by one. I asked each student what the first ten frame represented and all students knew it was ten. I prompted them to count up from ten, rather than counting each individual dot but they were unable to pick up this concept unless asked. I personally did not find the Count Sort ten-frame app particularly useful for this lesson. I did not like that the options for numbers beyond ten were mostly reversals. For example, when 17 when shown in the ten-frame the students only options were 17 and 71. Many students knew to choose 17 without really even looking at the ten frames. I also did not like that many of the opinions were obvious. For example, 1 was shown in the ten frame and their options were 1 and 10. Thus, I do not think the app was appropriate to use for all of our students.

Lastly, the students in level 3 focused this week on addition. On Tuesday students were asked to solve addition problems using the Ten Bead Math App. I found that many students did not work well with this app. Many struggled moving the individual beads and grew uninterested quickly. We noticed similar behaviors on Thursday. Lisa and I gave each student a pipe cleaner with 20 beads on it, 10 white and 10 red. (just as they had used on the app) I noticed that the students did not use the stringed beads when the sum could be made using their fingers. Problems such as 3 +2 were all solved using their fingers or in their head. However, when students were given problems such as 9+4 they turned to their stringed beads for support, but they did not seem comfortable using them without our assistance.

Overall we thought this was a successful week, however we do not feel confident enough to move on to new skills. Thus, Lisa and I will continue to plan lessons based on these concepts and skills when we return. We plan to research more later this week and also over our Spring break. We hope to come back with new ideas and ready to make more progress towards our research paper.

]]>

This week, the group with our first focus student continued to work on number recognition, one-to-one counting, counting on and oral counting. On Tuesday, we had the students practice these skills using the Line Em Up iPad App. Our specific focus student, however, was unfortunately absent this day so we were unable to observe how the student performed when using technology to enhance these skills. The other student who was in class showed significant signs of struggle in recognizing numbers beyond 5, especially when the number line at the top was removed, as she used this as a support to count up to the number to help in identifying what number was being shown. On Thursday, we took a slightly different approach, and decided to introduce an activity that focused heavily on oral counting, while also enforcing number recognition. After reflecting on this activity, Julie and I noted something quite interesting. One student, who struggles immensely with number recognition, proved to have a better understanding of oral counting. Where as the other student in this group (our focus student) has proven to have a better understanding of number recognition, but struggles immensely with oral counting.

For the next four groups of students, we created a “How Many More?” worksheet where the students were asked to “match up” the cubes in two adjacent towers, and determine which tower has more cubes. The students then had to fill in a sentence that stated: “There are ___ more purple than green”. Most students in this group proved to do excellent on this worksheet, as many of them were able to correctly complete the worksheet with minimal to no assistance. The biggest struggle that I noted during this activity was the confusion over which way to place the “greater than” or “less than” sign when asked to compare two numbers; this is something that Julie and I have been continuously working on with the students. On Thursday, we also practiced this skill, this time using interlocking cubes. The students were given a worksheet with problems labeled ___ (CIRCLE) ___. With guidance, the students were asked to create two cube towers, and record how many cubes were in each tower on the blank lines. The students were then to determine which tower had more cubes, and place the corresponding “greater than” or “less than” sign in the circle. Again, every student I worked with demonstrated an excellent understanding of comparing numbers. Additionally, I was extremely impressed by some of the students’ and the understanding they demonstrated when I gave them more challenging problems. For example, I set a problem up where I created two equal sets of towers – some of the students were able to identify that the towers were the same and even know to put an equals sign between the two numbers!! Other students demonstrated an understanding of how to balance two of the towers, which is a skill that Julie and I hope to help the students master over the next weeks.

Our last group worked on addition using dominos this week. On Tuesday, we had the students use the “Domino Add” iPad app. All of the students in this group that I worked with demonstrated an excellent understanding of addition. When shown a domino on the screen, the students knew where to put the addends, and also that when combining the total of the two addends, it produced the sum of the equation. The students then did the same activity on Thursday, however this time using actual dominos. Again on Thursday, the students seemed to grasp the concept and were able to complete the activity on their own. Therefore, we did not see any drastic difference between using technology or manipulatives for this week’s lesson.

This week allowed for Julie and I to document a lot of interesting data and observations, which we feel will prove to be useful in our final research project. We plan to continue creating lessons that correlate with what Mrs. Carmack and Mrs. Arnold’s students are currently doing in the classroom.

]]>

This week our first group focused on both number recognition and oral counting. We choose to not focus on the same skill both days this week because we felt our students needed a break from number recognition. We also knew the oral counting sheet would allow us to still collect evidence of their number recognition skills. On Tuesday this group used the Line It Up! App. Only one member of this group was present but we noticed similar trends compared to her performance weeks prior. We noticed this students was still confusing numbers 7,8,9,10, 11. However, for the first time she began to demonstrate an understanding for the teen numbers! We noticed she used the one hundred chart (hung on the wall) to help identify and order numbers. We we believe this helped her catch on to the pattern of the teens. On Thursday we shifted our focus to oral counting. Each student was given the What Comes Next worksheet. First students needed to state the given number and then orally state the three numbers that followed. We hoped we would gain an understanding of their oral counting or counting on abilities. We continued to see these students struggle to recognize the same numbers in past lessons. However, we soon come to realize oral counting is a skill that needs attention as well. One particular student could not count past ten. When shown 11 he stated that 12, 18, 14, 16 followed. Thus, Lisa and I agreed this student must continue to work on this skill.

Four of our groups, or the student at our second level, worked on comparing numbers. Lisa and I created our own worksheet, How Many More?. The worksheet showed two towers of blocks. The students were asked to count the blocks in each stack and tell us which stack was greater. We also challenged them to write this out using the greater than, less than, and equal to sign. The students were also asked to write how many more were in one pile compared to the other. We found that the students could complete this worksheet easily with little to no help from us. One common mistake I came across, however, was that students were counting the amount that was the same in both stacks, rather than what was left over. Students with a stack of 5 and a stack of 3 would state that there were three more in five, instead of two. We soon realized the students were counting their “matches.” On Thursday we continued to focus on comparing and balancing. The students were asked to do the same thing they had done on Tuesday; however, they were not given a worksheet with drawn stacks of blocks. Instead students made their own stacks (their own problems) and solved the same way. The students performed just as well as they had on Tuesday. The students showed a greater interest and were glad to “play” with the blocks.

Our students who are performing in our level three range worked on problem solving skills. Next week the students will begin to work on their addition skills using dominos in their classrooms. On Tuesday students used the Domino Add App, while on Thursday they did the same activity but with actual dominos. Students were first asked to count the number of dots on one side and write it and then do the same for the other. Before students counted or added all the dots together they were asked to write out the equation. All of the students were able to do both activities easily and on their own. We saw no obvious difference between how they worked with the ipad vs. how they worked with the dominos.

Lastly, on Thursday we worked with half of the students who see us once every other week. These students worked on comparing and balancing numbers with the Math Balance Beam. I felt these students were extremely excited to use this tool and even more excited when they had made the scale balance. This activity was defiantly more successful with this group than the groups of students who had done it weeks prior. These students understood how the scale worked as well as what it represented. They were also able to balance the scale and come up with different fact families on their own.

Overall, I thought this was a successful week that provided Lisa and I with a lot of great evidence of learning. We will be continuing our research for the remainder of the week and are excited to see where things take us.

]]>

For our first group we continued working on number recognition. We still feel strongly that these students have not yet developed an understanding for numbers beyond ten. Because these students are so far behind when compared to their peers Lisa and I talked to Randy, Mike, and Ms. Carmack about altering the schedule. After we explained our reasoning and provided evidence everyone was on board and more time was allotted for these particular students as well as several other struggling groups. On Tuesday Lisa and I created “goo-bags,” which allowed the students to trace and recognize numbers in a fun and engaging way. The student I worked with seemed really into the lesson. She worked really hard and remained focus. On Thursday these students again focused on number recognition through the ipad app “Number Id.” After reflecting on both lessons we believe the students were more focused and demonstrated a greater understanding while working with the “goo-bags.” Though both of these students have demonstrated signs of improvement, we are not convinced they have mastered number recognition. One student still confuses 6,7,8,9 while the other is struggling with 11, 12, 13, 15. Thus, we will be continuing our efforts towards mastering number recognition next week.

We also continued to implement technology and hands-on learning into our lesson plans with our others groups as well. This week students who had moved beyond number recognition and comparing numbers were challenged to not only compare numbers using the greater than, less than, and equal signs but to balance them as well. On Tuesday these students used the app “Balance Math.” At the end of the day Lisa and I admitted this was not our best day. The students were unfocused, confused, and not interested in the app. Lisa and I grew even more frustrated as the students were simply guessing random weights or choosing colors that matched. We told the students to add numbers and also helped them by using our fingers and the counting chips, but no improvements were made. On Thursday these students worked on the same skill but instead used the Math Balance Beam. Walking into this lesson Lisa and I felt confident that this lesson had to run more smoothly than the last. However, this lesson seemed to cause just as many difficulties. The students had associated one 10g weight with one object. They were unable to understand that when one weight was placed on the number three it meant three or that when two weights were placed on the two it meant four and not one. We again used chips, separated them in piles and counted them, but the students still did not seem to understand the concept of balancing. After reflecting on our lesson and our observations we believe the problem was in our planning. We challenged the students to focus on multiple new concepts and skills at once, instead of introducing them one at a time. We ran into similar problems with our final groups. Our final groups completed a worksheet that focused on addition, comparison, as well as balancing numbers. The students were very confused with our directions and became bored quickly. Overall, Lisa and I agreed that this week’s lessons provided us evidence of understanding. It also served as a lesson to us, which will enhance our future planning. We now know we need to focus on one new skill at a time. We also must consider how complex our lessons and activities are as well as determine if they may be too advanced or complex for our students.

]]>

This week, Julie and I continued to implement both technology and hands-on leaning into our lesson plans, as this will serve as the basis for our research question. On Tuesday, we had the four groups – who have recently demonstrated mastery of number recognition and ordering – practice comparing and balancing numbers using the “Balance Math” App on the iPad. Many of the students had difficulties in figuring out how to use the app. Furthermore, it became slightly frustrating when many of the students were simply guessing how to balance the two sides of the scale based on the color of the weights, rather than applying what they know about addition and number comparison. Although this activity provided us with insight as to where our students are in terms of their number sense, we felt that the App did not provide much of a benefit for our students. One group that did show ample improvement, however, is the group of two students – E and J – that Julie and I have been continuously working with to master number recognition. On Tuesday we created “goo-bags” which allowed the students to trace numbers in the bags and identify them. While both of these students have shown that they still mix up numbers such as 6, 7, 8 and 9, it is clear the progress they have made and will continue to make over the next days.

On Thursday, we essentially worked on the same skills with the students, but we reversed the type of learning they were doing. So, the students who used the “goo-bags” to work on number recognition used the “Number ID” App. While neither of the students in this group have yet to demonstrate mastery of number recognition, it is a continual progression, and we are confident that our students will get there with additional practice. The students who used the Balance Math app on Tuesday, used the Math Balance Beam to work on comparing and balancing numbers. The skills tested in using this hands-on manipulative proved to be too advanced and complex for our students’ current level of understanding. When placing a 10g weight on a number on one side, say on a 4, the students were unable to grasp the concept that one weight dangling represented a 4, rather than 1 object as they observed. Even when using chips to help split the representation of 4 into two piles, the students were still left confused and frustrated.

Thus, for next week we have decided to take a step back. After discussing a plan of action, Julie and I decided that we do not want to challenge our students with an activity that requires multiple skills they have not yet mastered. Therefore, next week we plan to work on simply comparing numbers rather than comparing and balancing numbers at the same time. Especially as we have began to narrow down our research topic and observe progress and learning in our students, Julie and I are excited for what is to come over these next weeks.

]]>

On Thursday students did the opposite activity as they had done the week prior. (The students who worked with ipad apps worked with the flash cards and the addition tube model and vise versa.) Last week, I worked with students from two particular groups that both used the ipad app Line It Up. They still confused numbers such as 8 and 9 and struggled to recognize teen numbers. Thursday, however, things began to click! I am not sure how or why it happened now, but it was remarkable to see. I had these students first state the number shown on the flashcard. I would then compare the number to another one on the table. Students would tell me if the new flashcard was bigger or smaller then the card pointed to on the table and then place it in line with the other flashcards. Together we made a “train” for numbers 1-10. Then I had students recognize the teen numbers and place them in a train below the first one they had created. After several were placed on the second train I asked the students if they noticed anything. I helped them see that fourteen for example was under the four. I would cover the one in fourteen and say “four and four they are the same.” I would uncover the one and say, “this number has a one in front so it cant be a four anymore.” Soon the students realized that the second row or train was much like the first row they had created but that they were teen numbers. Students were then able to place sixteen, eighteen, and other teen numbers under their corresponding single digit number and recognize it correctly. I think making these trains this way allowed them to visually see the relationship between the numbers.

After meeting with these two groups, I was confident that it was the hands on activity and materials that helped the students pick up this pattern and recognize all numbers one through twenty. I felt that maybe the flashcards and other manipulatives really did help students learn better than the ipad apps. But then I met with my next group. These students have already developed a slightly better understanding than the groups prior, but still confuse many teen numbers and have not yet picked up on the patterns for numbers nineteen and beyond. This week these students used the ipad app to recognize, compare, and order the numbers. I first warmed them up to the activity and got them familiar with the app by starting with numbers 1-10. This was clearly too easy for them. We then moved on to the teen numbers. Though they struggled at first, it was not long before they were recognizing and ordering numbers on their own. I wanted to be sure they understood all the teen numbers before moving on so I had them order the numbers several times. By their third time, they told me “this is so easy Miss. D!” So I challenged them with larger numbers. By the end of their session they were successfully recognizing and ordering numbers 20-35. I was amazed at their level of growth, but also their level of focus and motivation. These students are usually distracted during lessons and have trouble staying on task. However, on Thursday they were cooperative and engaged throughout the entire lesson.

We have one middle group that is beyond number recognition but is not quite ready for activities that are at the difficulty level of the students who meet with us once a week. Though they work on the same skill, they do so in a slightly modified way. On Thursday we continued working on comparing two numbers. However, this time we did not use a worksheet for this group, but rather an ipad app called Balance Math. I worked with one student who had used this app for the first time. After a few examples he was able to use the app on his own. He understood that he had to make the two sides equal in order for the scale to be balanced. At first I think he was randomly guessing different combinations until it was balanced. But as I questioned his moves he began understanding how and why he was balancing the scale correctly. Eventually he even said “this is easy peezy!” He enjoyed using the ipad and the opportunity to experiment and explore on his own.

Our final two groups, that meet with once a week, completed the same comparison worksheet that the other two groups had done in the week prior. Last week the students were asked to color in the circle that had the larger number. However, after administering the acuity assessment we discovered that these students should have learned or will learn this year the greater than, less than, and equal to sign. Thus, these students were first asked to color in the circle and then add in the appropriate sign. We explained two strategies to help the students, the alligator and dot method, (two dots are placed next to the larger number, while one is placed by the smaller number, the dots are then connected to make the sign.) There were also pictures of the signs placed on the bulletin board to help them. All students were able to make the correct sign, despite the little instruction they had been given!

This week Lisa and I also began researching for our project. We are excited for the lessons that are to come as we begin to dig deeper into our topic.

]]>

On Tuesday, we decided to change things up a bit. This was the first day that which we would be placing the students in the newly arranged groups (before break we re-arranged the groups based on their ESGI Assessments). Some students were simply moved around within the groups, while some students were placed into a group that we would be seeing both days a week, rather than only one, as we felt some students were not receiving the adequate amount of attention we deemed necessary. Tuesday served as somewhat of a trial run for both us and the students, as we made quite a few observations that will be beneficial for future lessons and research.

Julie and I organized Tuesday’s lesson in a way that would help us explore both the advantages and disadvantages of teaching Mathematics using technology versus hands-on manipulatives. When teaching the lesson, we alternated every other group, switching off between using an app on the iPad and printed flashcards. So, with the first group, we had the students identify the numbers on their flashcards (which were used previously before break) and then furthermore arrange them in a number “train”. The use of the flashcards allowed us to work on number recognition with those students who were still working to identify lower numbers, as well as number ordering. For the next group, we had them do essentially the same task, but rather by using the “Line It Up” iPad app. We then had the students who have already demonstrated mastery of number recognition (the remaining groups) work on comparing numbers. We gave the groups a worksheet where they were asked to circle the larger or bigger number. Additionally, they were given a sheet with ten-frames and counting chips in case they needed to use manipulatives to help with physically seeing the difference between two numbers.

This week, we also continued with our daily word problem booklets. Julie and I constructed an “Adding Tube” that would allow students to do a join-result unknown addition problem in a hands-on and interactive way. The students were asked to drop a designated number of marbles, based on the first addend, through one tube. Through the other tube, the students were asked to drop the next set of marbles, based on the second addend. The students then counted the total number of marbles that were dropped through the separate tubes. Half of the groups did an addition problem in this manner, while the other half of the groups used the Word Problem iPad app to compete an x+y=? word problem. We hope that each week we can use solving these word problems with both manipulatives and technology as a way to observe how our students’ are developing in terms of their number sense.

Julie and I are both excited and eager to focus our research in even more over the next few weeks. We’re hoping to integrate both technology and hands-on learning into the remainder of our upcoming lessons. On Thursday of this week, and again on Tuesday, we will be administering the McGraw Acuity test to each of our students. However, after we analyze those results, we hope to finalize our groups (we also have two new students!) and then continue on with our research.

]]>

This week was the first week we began working with our newly formed groups. There are four groups we meet with once a week and six groups we meet with twice a week. Of these six groups we feel there are three levels of understanding—two groups of students who hold a solid understanding for numbers 1-5, three groups that demonstrate an understanding for numbers 1-10, and one group of students who are understand but confuse numbers 1-20. Because of the large range of understanding Lisa and I have been differentiating our lessons for each group. However, this week we approached our lesson planning and delivery a bit differently with a new idea in mind. We have decided we will be planning two versions of the same lesson each week. For example, this week the six groups that meet with us two times a week practiced recognizing, comparing, and ordering numbers. Because our first two groups can only confidently recognize numbers 1-5 our focus was to help them expand their understanding for numbers 1-10. One group used flash cards while the other used Randy’s Line It Up ipad app. Both groups worked on developing the same skills just in slightly different ways. (The other three groups worked with either the flash cards or ipads as well, however their focus was on all numbers 1-20.) Next week the students will do the opposite of what they did on Tuesday. (If they used flash cards, next week they will use the Line It Up app) By planning our lessons this way students will get the opportunity to work with different materials. We also hope to compare how students worked with the different materials and use this information in answering questions for our research project.

One of the groups we see twice a week (the group that demonstrates the greatest understanding for numbers 1-20) was challenged to do the same activity as the students that meet with us once a week. All groups worked on comparing numbers, however our first group (the group we see two times a week) received a slightly less difficult worksheet. Students were given a worksheet with sets of two numbers ranging from 1-30 and were asked to color in the greater number. Almost all of the students completed this task quickly with little to no guidance, thus we feel we can introduce a new concept or skill next week.

All students, both in the groups we see once a week and the groups we see twice a week solved a word problem in their Daily Word Problem book. Half of the groups solved a problem using Randy’s app, Word Problems, while the other half used a contraption that Lisa and I created. (Students solved by dropping marbles down two different shoots and then adding the total number of marbles left in the container) Next week the students will do the opposite of what they did this week. (For the remainder of the year students will alternate using ipads and manipulatives to solve daily work problems) Again we hope we can collect data and record observations that may help us in answering our research question.

On Thursday we administered the Mathematics portion of the Acuity test for Mrs. Arnold’s class. (Tuesday will be spent testing Mrs. Carmack’s class) This test was slightly different from the ESGI assessment we had administered before break. This assessment had several questions that focused on addition and fact families. Many of the questions were difficult for our students, especially the ones we see two times a week. Though they struggled through the test, Lisa and I were able to collect more data about their existing knowledge, which will be helpful in future planning.

I am looking forward to meeting with the students next week and seeing if and how they react differently than they did to the materials they used on Tuesday!

]]>

Lisa and I discussed we would use this assessment and our own observations to regroup students based on their existing levels of understanding and ability. We have not yet covered everything that is included in the ESGI assessment- for example shapes, one to one counting, or comparing two numbers. Thus, I had to take this into consideration when I was grouping the students. Though, we had a good idea of how the students would be arranged I wanted to be sure I had enough evidence to support my claims. I reviewed all lessons and compared each student’s performance to their test scores, to ensure no student was placed in a group they should not be just because they had an exceptionally good or bad day when tested. After this analysis a few of my initial placements did change. Lisa will too analyze the results sometime before next week and make her own groups. We will then collaborate and compare groupings to arrange our new groups. Majority of the groups I made have four students, which would allow Lisa to work with two students while I work with the other two. However, I did assemble two groups with only two students. These students have not yet demonstrated an adequate level of understanding and abilities compared to that of their peers. Thus, by arranging these groups this way Lisa and I will be able to work with these students one on one, which would ensure they are getting the assistance and attention they need.

In the lessons thus far we have been working with students in their groups. Though I have arranged the students in groups with a similar intention in mind, we came up with a new idea based on their individual ESGI assessment results. I discussed with Lisa and we both feel the students would benefit most if these groups fluctuated based on the concept being introduced. For example, students who consistently recognize only numbers 1-10 correctly were grouped together. However, I found that some of these students demonstrate understanding for a concept, for example recognizing shapes, which others do not. Thus, we will group students differently based on their existing understanding and the concept or skill being covered. We believe this will help us differentiate our lessons more effectively and accommodate to our students’ needs.

In our meeting this week Lisa and I shared an idea we had for our final research project. At the end of each week we discuss different ideas we may consider the focus of our research project. However, we both seem to be coming back to the same idea. We hope to analyze and compare student learning when they use manipulatives vs using ipad apps. We plan to first introduce a lesson with materials and then use the apps to reinforce it and then do the opposite (introduce a concept with apps and then transition in more hands on materials) We may also approach this idea in other ways as well, for example some students always use materials while others always use apps. This is a topic we have become very interested in and are excited to see where our findings may take us down the road if we choose to pursue it.

]]>