Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

Ten Frames Make Learning Easier

Last week was the second week we were able to use the iPods to help the kindergarteners with math, so most of the students knew how to use the touch-screen from the previous week. With the students confident in how to play the math games on the iPods, it was much easier to focus on teaching the math concepts rather than helping them use the iPods. They had played “What’s Hiding” the previous week, and while some students were very successful with this game, others had been confused. “What’s Hiding” shows the students a certain number of chips, hides them all, and shows only some of them again, asking students to answer how many chips are still hidden. It was difficult for some of the kindergarteners to understand that some of the original number of chips were still hidden, and I had wondered all week if this game was just too challenging for many of the kindergarteners.

Last week I decided to start by playing “Ten Frame Fill” with the students because it teaches a similar concept to what is taught in “What’s Hiding,” but students are able to see how many more chips they need to fill the entire ten frame. Most of the students grasped this concept quickly, even if they needed to count the empty spaces or add chips to fill the empty spaces. The students who didn’t answer correctly at first caught on quickly, and it was exciting to see them learn to count the empty spaces and even recognize a small number needed to fill the ten frame. Since the first two students did so well with “Ten Frame Fill,” I decided to try “What’s Hiding” with them again. These two games are similar because students are trying to answer how many more chips make a certain number. “What’s Hiding” is more difficult because the number is not 10 every time as in “Ten Frame Fill” and students cannot see empty spaces to know how many more chips are needed. Playing “Ten Frame Fill” first was a good transition into “What’s Hiding,” and the students understood the concept of “how many are hiding” and were much more successful with this game last week.

I had the kindergarteners use the computer this week to play a math game that is not yet on the iPods. Since there is only one computer, I worked with one student at a time. This individual instruction was helpful to the students, as it prevented the distractions that come from working with another student. The “Count/Sort” game allowed me to assess each student’s abilities in several different “number sense” areas, including counting 1-20, number recognition, and understanding order irrelevance. I was able to learn much more about the students’ abilities from this game, but the best part was how much fun the students had. One student even said, “I love this game,” as he was quickly getting the right answers. After this game, each student played “Ten Frame Fill” again, and they were very excited for this game as well. They remembered the game from last week, and almost every student easily answered each problem correctly. I’m excited to challenge the students next week with more difficult questions using the ten frame.

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