Although I had been enjoying my winter break, it was nice to be back at Longfellow last week to see the kindergarteners and their smiling faces. I always enjoy seeing their enthusiasm and excitement to learn every day, even at 8:30 in the morning when most college students dread getting up to go to class. The kindergarteners were very energetic the day I returned, and many were pleading for a turn on the computer or with the other activity we did on Thursday. To start with on Tuesday and the first part of Thursday, I worked with students on the “Count/Sort” and “Ten Frame Fill” computer games. I helped the remainder of the students in the class who had not previously played these games, so by Thursday every student in the class had completed one turn of these games. The observations and notes I have from watching each student play these “games” helps the classroom teacher and I develop a better idea of each student’s skills with the concepts of counting, number recognition, order irrelevance, and more or less. Now we know the skills I should work on with each student as we continue this project through the rest of the school year.
On Thursday we decided I should work with some of the higher ability students in the class to begin assessing their understanding of one or two more and one or two less than a given number. To do this, I worked with the students on a slighty more advanced version of an activity some students had previously done with me. We had a group of number cards with 11-20 on them, and each student started by randomly choosing a card. Their first job was to tell me what number they saw on the card to check their number recognition skills again, as in “Count/Sort.” Once they told me the correct number, they showed me that number of marbles from a container with about 25 marbles. The higher ability students I worked with had no trouble with this part of the activity, and they easily said the right number and removed the correct number of marbles for each card. However, asking them about one or two more (or less) than the number they had chosen was more challenging. They would correctly count out the number of marbles from the card they chose, then I would ask how many there would be if they added one more, or added two more. Counting on from a number was a new learning experience for these students because they wanted to add one or two marbles, then start re-counting the whole group of marbles from one. This was the case with one girl in this activity, but before I could finish explaining counting on from her previous total of 18 marbles, she excitedly said, “Oh, there’s 18, and 19, and 20!” At some point in my explanation the easier way to “add two more” clicked in her mind, and seeing her excitement in figuring this out was the best part of my day.
Posted on January 19th, 2011 by joshua-fahs
Filed under: Joshua Fahs