Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

Spring is here, which means time for assessments!

It was assessment station day in Mrs. Carmack’s classroom, which means mass chaos was in the air. Part of this had to do with it being Friday and the kindergartners wanting to play fun math games. But, we did our best to make this a painless experience, so that we could send our kindergartners on their way for the weekend.

The assessment that I was working on dealt with two-dimensional shapes on geoboards and discussing their properties with the students. The purpose of this assessment was to see if the students were able to identify and describe two-dimensional shapes, as well as start to investigate the effect of rotation on a shape. Mrs. Carmack has had her students previously explore shapes on geoboards, so many of the students were familiar with the task at hand.

I first began by asking the students how many sides a triangle has before constructing a triangle on a geoboard. I followed with the question, “Why is this a triangle?” The majority of the students did not find this to be a challenging question, and was able to understand the concept that a triangle has three sides. Students were then challenged to make their own triangles on the provided geoboards. Some of the students were able to stretch one rubber band to make the shape, while others used multiple rubber bands for each side of the triangle. I was impressed to see that even those students who have difficulty with “number sense” were able to accomplish this activity. Our students seemed to grasp the idea that even if their neighbor made a different looking triangle, the shapes were still both triangles.

I found that most of the kindergartners were successful with this assessment. In fact, even though I only showed the triangle in one orientation, the students were able to explore this idea further and notice that a triangle is a triangle no matter what its orientation. Because some of the students found this assessment to be easy, I asked the students to show me if they could construct different shapes on the geoboard including circles, rectangles, squares, etc. I think that the kindergartners seemed to enjoy having this opportunity to make their own shapes and then record their findings on a piece of paper.

Overall, I think that the kindergartners are beginning to understand the different properties of two-dimensional shapes, as some proudly stated to me that a square had four equal sides. The only problem I found with this assessment was the students were having difficulty drawing their shape on a piece of paper. But, with that one exception, I was proud of my kindergartners as they continue to show me they are making progress. I hope that it is exciting for everybody to read these blogs and follow our student’s activities while recognizing all the hard work that is put into this program.

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