Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

Circus Trains, Snakes, & More!!!

Hello Blog Followers,

Unfortunately, I was unable to blog last week, so I am going to be doing a little overview of what I did with the students last week, as well as this week.

Wednesday, April 7 -

On Wednesday of last week, I was able to assess multiple students understanding of creating different sets. I was able to assess their understanding by utilizing the Circus Train activity.

- Circus Train: The students are given a worksheet with four circus trains, with three compartments/carts to each train. They were also given part of an egg carton, demonstrating the three carts of the train, and 8-10 beans. The students’ objective was to come up with four different sets by placing a different number of beans in each cart and writing the number down on their worksheet.

  • If the students had a train with a set of 3 – 3 – 4, he/she was not allowed to make a set utilizing those same numbers. For example, they would do a set of
    4 – 3 – 3 in each cart or a set of 3 – 4 – 3.

When beginning this activity, I had the students create different sets utilizing only 8 beans. However, the first few students I worked with completed the activity very quickly. Therefore, instead of beginning the next few students with only 8 beans, I had them begin with 10. On the other hand, if I knew a student struggled with math, I would have him/her only begin with 8 beans.

Friday, April 9 –

On Friday of last week we did stations with the students, where the teachers moved every 15 minutes from group to group helping the students complete a different activity. The activity I introduced to the students was much like the Circus Train activity in that the students broke up the number 10 into three different sets. Before introducing the activity, I had the students retell me the story their teacher read to them the previous day.

  • The story was about a snake that went out to capture some mice for his dinner. On his first trip the snake caught 3 mice and placed them in a jar. On his second trip he caught 4 more mice, and on the third trip he caught 3. As the snake was about to begin eating his “dinner,” one mouse convinced the snake that he should go out and find one more mouse. When the snake left, the mice tipped over the jar and escaped, leaving the snake without any dinner to eat.

After reviewing the story, the students were directed to cut out 10 mice and glue them into the three different sections of a jar illustrated on their worksheet. The students then counted how many mice where in each section and how many mice there were total. Because each student glued a different number of mice into each section, the students were able to see several different ways they could group the number 10.

Although this is a fun activity for the students to do, I felt like 15 minutes was not enough time for them to complete their worksheet and discuss the different sets of ten. Therefore, it was extremely hard for me to assess which students truly understood the concept and didn’t just paste mice into three different sections of a jar.

Monday, April 12 –

On Monday I was able to work with three students on the computer. The games I utilized were Line ‘Em Up and Word Problems.

- Line ‘Em Up: When you first open the game, the students are presented with a number line from 1-20. After clicking on the “Line ‘Em Up” button, the numbers will disappear and about four to five random numbers will reappear. A number is shown below the number line. The students’ objective is to identify and move that number to the correct place on the number line by utilizing the random number that are shown.

When moving the number to its correct spot, another number will appear, much like a stack of cards. The students continue moving the numbers to their correct spot until they have completed the full number line.

- Word Problems: When the game is opened, a number grid from 1-10 and 3 shapes, a square, circle, and triangle, are shown. After clicking on the “Word Problem” button, a word problem will appear in the white box on the top of the screen. The students’ objective is to utilize the different shapes, by dragging the shapes onto the screen, to help solve the word problem

  • Ex: Val has 4 books and her mother buys her 4 more. How many books does Val have?
    • The students would drag 4 triangles to the screen representing the first four books and then 4 circles to represent the books Val’s mother bought her.
    • The student would then count all the shapes and click on the number 8 in the number grid to represent that Val now has 8 books.

Student 1 – Mary

  • Mary found the “Line ‘Em Up” activity to be very easy. Therefore she quickly completed two different number lines with little to no hesitation.

Student 2 – Melanie

  • Melanie struggled with number recognition, which made the activity more challenging for her to complete. When given the number, however, she was able to point whether the number belonged towards the front, middle, or back of the number line. After determining which section of the number line the number belonged, she was able to use the random numbers given, as well as the ones she put in place, to help her find the correct slot for the number. Melanie was able to complete two different number lines but unfortunately ran out of time to play the Word Problem game.

Student 3 – Richard

  • Although Richard struggled with a few numbers, I was impressed overall with his ability to place the numbers in the correct spot on the number line. He also was able to complete two different timelines and did not have enough time to play the Word Problem activity.

Wednesday, April 14

Today I was able to assess the rest of the students understanding of creating 3 different sets of 10 by utilizing the Circus Train activity.

The majority of the students were able to make the connection that each train had 10 animals in it, despite that the 3 train carts in each train were different. However, some students were unable to make this connection, even though they used the same beans to make their different sets and complete the worksheet.

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