Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

When to use and not to use the iPod?

I also used the video camera this week just to give it a try and see what helpful information I could receive. Some pairs of students I worked with on Tuesday were those of higher ability and I wanted to see how they could do if I used manipulatives to demonstrate what the ‘What’s Hiding?’ iPod game does and compare it to them using the actual game. For those of you who don’t know, ‘What’s Hiding?’ asks students to count the amount of objects, then it hides these objects, takes out a certain amount of objects from hiding, and finally asks the students how many objects are still hiding. It helps students understand the idea of taking away and subtraction and it helps students visualize how many are still hiding without seeing them. First, I started with manipulatives and had up to five chips that I would hide with a folder, grab a different amount each time, and then have the students tell me how many were still hiding. It took some students longer than others to catch on, but when they did there were few mistakes. Once I felt that the students had understood the concept well enough and answered problems correctly, I had them play the game on the iPod. In one pair of students, the boy was a lot quicker with the problems and answered correctly each time; however, the other student had to picture it in her head and I could see her counting to herself in order to figure out some problems. I would sometimes have to hold up my fingers and take some down in order to show her the idea clearly. She did well during the manipulatives game because it was actually right there in front of her, but she might have had difficulties with the iPod because she couldn’t actually touch the chips or imagine me hiding them, which is why I would sometimes do the problem from the game using manipulatives which helped a little more. The boy student was very successful with 1-5 chips hiding but when I changed the setting to 5-10, he was challenged a lot more. I realized that I should have worked more one-on-one with the girl student who wasn’t exactly catching on to the iPod.

On Thursday, I worked with a student who I had told myself the last time I worked with her that she needs more one-on-one attention instead of being paired up with another student because she was way behind other students and needs a lot of help in every area of number sense. I started with identifying numbers and I continued to do that for a while. I only used number cards 1-10 and used repetition a lot in order to help her remember what the numbers looked like; she knew most of the numbers but just couldn’t recognize them. I started with one number, then introduced a second number, went back to the first, and so forth. If I had one card in each hand and held them up one after another (i.e. numbers 3 and 5) over and over again, she would just know what number to say next because I was just going back and forth and she wasn’t even looking since she memorized to say the pattern. However, when I would put up the number 5 twice and she said 3 because that’s what usually came next in this repetition I was doing, she realized I had ‘tricked’ her and it took her a while to figure out that it was 5 and that I had not held up the 3 card. Repetition seemed to work with her after a while and I could tell because we did the count sort game on the computer and she could differentiate between the number options most of the time. I chose to use the computer rather than the iPod because it was larger and seemed more like manipulatives since it was larger.

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