Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

## A Little Bit of Everything

Hello loyal and interested blog readers! Today was a conglomeration of everything, but actually was not an extremely exciting day. Today Benny was much more on his game. On Wednesday we worked on one more and one less with the Ten Little Monkeys song. I think many of you are wondering why I ALWAYS use this song. Wouldn’t the children get tired of it? Some may think that, but the evidence points to the contrary. In fact the kids LOVE this song and it helps them learn the concept perfectly! I will use this as a lesson for one more/one less until the day I retire. This shows, as a teacher, when you find something that works you NEVER give it up! Now back to Benny… He understood this concept. He was able to tell me all the correct answers once he is sung this song as scaffolding. On Friday we worked on lining up and recognizing numbers. He recognized all his numbers today except for 12. He keeps calling 12 the number 11 or 20. So I had him jump up and down with me while saying 12. Maybe this will help because our little Benny could be a kinesthetic learner. We will see if he can recognize the number 12 on Monday. I did word problems with Benny today because I was curious about his reading abilities. He actually has some sight words and was able to read a few of the sentences. However, it is obvious that he struggles with reading just like he does with math. I think with some extra RTI help in the future, Benny will be able to reach grade level. Extra help may be the key for him to become a better reader and mathematician. It is impressive how many gains he has made in one year. With the extra assistance he has really stretched himself and reached an average level of math content knowledge.

Laura and Ryan were also on their game today. They were able to understand the number line and how to use it to complete addition problems. That was too easy for them so we moved onto word problems. I never knew that Laura was such an amazing reader! She was very impressive the way she could read the sentences. Ryan can really pretty well, but Laura surpasses him in that area. The word problems were a bit too easy for them so we moved back to balance math. This time it was a bit harder because they had to add and subtract to balance the other side. Ryan demonstrated today that he knew 20-5 = 15! That is amazing! These children are truly extremely intelligent and every day I am impressed with the amount of knowledge they have accumulated throughout the year. They also know that the teen numbers are a group of ten and a certain amount of single ones. In her head, Laura was able to tell me that 10 and 9 were 19. Again, she amazed me with everything that she knew! I think these students have been able to really excel because they have been pushed to do so. Teachers tend to focus all of their energies on the students who are struggling and not worry as much about those that know the answer. However, it is imperative that the gifted students are pushed to understand more. If they are not pushed they will never reach their full potential. It is sad that students who are the smartest in the classroom are the ones who are usually overlooked. I think Ryan and Laura are on the way to reaching their full potential and I am so happy for them!

Differentiating instruction is important, especially for the gifted students. As a teacher I will make sure to provide extra supports to those who are struggling, like Benny. However, I have now seen the importance to constantly challenge those students, like Laura and Ryan, who are at a higher level. The goal is for all students to reach their full potential! Even if they reach this potential by singing “ten little monkeys jumping on the bed, one jumped off and…”

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