Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

Fun New Computer Games!

Wednesday was the first day back with the kindergartners after their long break, and boy were they excited to see us. I know personally I was equally as excited as they were, but I showed my enthusiasm in a less jumping up and down, clapping my hands way. Jumping back into things I was assigned the three highest achieving students in the class to work with using the new programs Randy had installed on the computer before the long break. I had never used them with the students before, so it was interesting to see each program used with the three different children. The two games that I used were “Thinking of a Number” and “Line ‘Em Up.” The thinking of a number game has the computer think of a number between 1 and 20 and the students click on the number tiles to narrow down their choices until they end up at the correct number. The key to this game is to pick numbers in the middle in order to narrow down the choices quickly. The line ‘em up game presents students with a number line from 1 to 20. There are blank spots where the students are to fill in the appropriate number tiles.

I started my morning off working with Jackie. We started with the game “Thinking of a Number.” She was able to complete this game each time, however, she did not understand the strategy of picking numbers in the middle. For example, the clue would be the number is between 2 and 16, and Jackie would pick number 15, which most of the time would just eliminate the numbers 15 and 16 because it was less than 15. Even when I suggested it to Jackie, she did not pick the middle number. After a bit I tried to turn this into a game, try to get the fewest guesses, in the hopes that she would try to pick the middle numbers, but that concept was not one she grasped. Jackie still did very well with this activity. While playing “Line ‘Em Up” she found the correct number, however, she tended to look for the spot that lit up green when the number tile was held over it, indicating that was the correct spot for the tile. Although I know Jackie has mastered her written number recognition and number ordering skills, she stilled used the green light feature as a crutch.

The next student I worked with on Wednesday was Matthew, who is always eager to learn and succeed. We started with “Line ‘Em Up” and Matthew excelled at this game. He was able to identify the correct spot for the number tile without using the green light feature. Also, Matthew knew the correct location to look at when determining the exact spot to put the number tile. He found this game to be fun and was excited each time he got to start the game over. I then had Matthew play “Thinking of a Number” where he excelled at this game as well. Matthew understood that the technique to get the answer the fastest was by picking the middle numbers to eliminate the outside numbers the fastest. We turned this into a game to see who could get the mystery number with the fewest tries. Matthew enjoyed and did very well with each of these games.

The final student I worked with was Brenda. We started with “Thinking of a Number” and had a similar experience to Jackie, she did not understand the concept of picking the middle numbers would help eliminate the most numbers. After completing this game numerous times, he eventually came closer to picking the numbers more towards the middle, rather than at the complete ends. Next we played “Line ‘Em Up,” which came very easily for Brenda. She lined the numbers up quickly, however, her fast paced behaviors did create a few errors when finding the correct location for the number tiles. Overall, she did very well and used the green light minimally.

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