Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

Ups and Downs of Kindergarten

Hello Blog Readers,
This is a follow up to Julies Blog about inconsistency, and a very late one I may add. Last Wednesday was a very interesting day for me, and I believe it was one that best show cases the range of abilities, and inconsistency we see with our students occasionally.

I started off with Michelle and Will and they were going through activities at a very fast rate. We started off with Randy’s Word Problems, which the students could not only read fluently they also could solve easily without the manipulatives. After a few more times, I decided we needed to move to a harder activity. They remembered all the ways to make ten, eleven, so I brought up Randy’s number line math, and we worked on some hard addition facts. They struggled with 7-9, with the exception of doubles (6+6 etc…).  I also was explaining things to them at a higher level. I explained various strategies they could use to figure out 9′s, if it was 10+8 what would it be, now take away 1, or 7+8, what’s 7+7 now add one and with my leading questions they got all the answers correct. They also “just knew” all the answers to 10+x, because “there is a zero so you just put the number in the 0 place”-Michelle. I was pretty excited about this breakthrough, and was ready to begin working with Ashley.

Ashley and I had another rough day; we were continuing to work on the one more idea. Since Ashley has no idea what the word more means, we have been working on just defining the word, and have made very little progress. I decided to try to use the computer to help me explain the idea, and used the Word Problem software. I selected questions that had one more in them so she could see the word and use the visual manipulatives to help understand. Although she had been able to read me a book the other day, she couldn’t read any of the word problems, and simply parrot talked what I was saying. Realizing this plan was failing, I tried a different approach with line ‘em up. By having her solidify her number order I hoped she would see what numbers came after what, and use this for her idea of more. I was trying to use the word in context i.e. 8 is one more than 7, when she would place it on the number line. However, by the end of the session I had still made no progress and she couldn’t answer the questions about more.

While this day was a bit disappointing it reminds me that sometimes you just have to try again, and that we all have our “Everests” and I will figure out how to climb mine.

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