Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

Work Before Play

Well on Tuesday I didn’t get too much of a chance to work with the students in pairs because the teacher asked if I could walk around and help the students with an activity she wanted the whole class to participate in. The students had a worksheet with ‘boat docks’ on them and next to each dock was a number 1-12. What the students had to do was to take dominoes and count them the number of dots, then place the domino at the correct dock. I stopped at one table and two boys working together had already placed a good amount of dominoes, and they were able to do so because they didn’t need to count the dots each time and could recognize the pattern. However, there was a pair of girls at the same table who were taking a while because not only did they have to count every dot, every time, but one student in particular had difficulties recognizing the numbers on the sheet to know where to place the domino. After she counted the dots she placed the domino in the wrong ‘dock’ and so I asked her if that was the right one and she answered yeah. So I would tell her to try again and point to the numbers one by one and ask what they were and she told me correctly most of the time, and when I arrived at the correct boat dock and she said the number, she then realized that’s where it went. I was curious as to how she couldn’t identify the number when looking at them all, but could when focusing one them one at a time. At that point, I took a mental note that this particular student needed one on one help next time I worked with her, along with more time for her than other students due to her needs.

However, on Thursday I worked with the students in pairs by ability level again and worked at the skills they were lacking while also trying to discover the difference between technology and manipulative’s and which is more beneficial in certain situations, our research topic. For instance, the first pair I worked with needed extra help in number identification so I decided that the iPod game would not be beneficial yet since their skills are still lacking. So, we placed numbers in order using number cards, and I flipped over number cards and made it into a race for the students to see who could say the number first, encouraging them to really pay attention in order to win. I noticed one student did better than the other so I let him do the Line ‘Em Up game by himself while I worked with the other student one-on-one. The student who worked by himself did the game a couple of times with numbers 1-10, but when he moved onto 11-20, I realized that I will need to work with him on that first before working alone and perfecting the skill using the iPod game.

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