Today was an exciting day because the kindergartners were preparing for their 100th day of school which is on Wednesday. I am in the same classroom as Julie and Laura so if you have already read their blogs, I may make some references to the students that they see everyday. This morning, Julie and Laura helped the students make necklaces using Fruit Loops. Each student chose 5 different colors and counted out 10 of each color to put on their necklace, and repeated this process again so that they would end up with 100 Fruit Loops. After they had counted out all of their Fruit Loops and placed them on their shoestring, Julie and Laura helped them count by 10’s to 100. They were pretty wound up after playing with Fruit Loops for a while, and they were reminded a few times that the necklaces were not a snack!
I volunteered to take each student aside and see who could count to 100. I was eager to find out which students could count to 100, and also to find out how high students could count to see how far away they were from reaching 100. The first student to count for me set the bar high and counted to 110! She told me that she could probably count higher, but she was out of breath and she didn’t want to pass out. I definitely didn’t want anyone passing out and she had already counted past 100, so I let her pick out a sticker and put it up next to her name on the “I can count to 100!” chart. This chart allows everyone to see who is able to count to 100, and it is a good visual for the students because everyone wants to be able to put a sticker by their name.
I didn’t get through all of the students today, but there were a few more students who counted to 100. However, there were also some who did not do as well as I had expected. Laura mentioned Ashley in her blog, and she was one that was a little disappointing because she has been doing so well lately. I didn’t expect her to count to 100, but she did not even understand the concept of counting today. She is a very visual learner, so asking her to count without having any objects in front of her was very abstract for her and she did not understand. I had a page of stickers in front of me, so I asked her to count the stickers for me. This was not registering for her either, so I tried to model how to count the stickers. I began by counting a row of 5 hoping that she would catch on, but she just repeated after me and stopped when she got to 5. Laura has been working with Ashley for a while now, so I think that if Laura was the one to ask her to count, she may have been able to get better results because she is comfortable with Laura and may understand her better.
For confidentiality reasons, I will call the student that I work with everyday, Brian. When I asked Brian if he could try and count to 100, he laughed at me. He obviously had no confidence in himself to even try to count to 100. Since I have been working with him for quite awhile, I knew that he probably couldn’t count to 100, but I was hoping that he would at least try. After I convinced him to count as high as he could, he counted to 29 and went straight to 100. He probably did this because he has never really counted past 29 so he figured 100 had to come next. I guess it is better that he laughed instead of getting discouraged which is what a few students did after they attempted to count to 100. I didn’t want anyone to feel like they weren’t smart enough, so I told them that if they keep practicing then they get to put a sticker next to their name to show everyone that they learned how to count to 100. That seemed to be motivating because they all were excited to go practice, and they looked on the chart to see who had already counted to 100 so that they could go practice with them.
Before I had the students count to 100, I asked them if they knew why I might be having them count to 100. No one seemed to remember that it was almost the 100th day of school! They had even talked about it before I started having anyone count, but I think with the excitement of making a Fruit Loop necklace, they may have forgotten the reason they were making that necklace. Kindergartners are very easily distracted which is why we are sometimes disappointed that they forget what we taught them the day before like Julie mentioned with Benny and the number 16. There are days when the students impress us with what they remember, but the next day they may have fallen back a few steps. We just have to remember to embrace the good days, and learn from the bad days. However, good day or bad day, we need to stay positive, encourage the students, and show them that we are proud of them.
We have learned that what we have been doing with the students is really showing in their academic achievement. It is nice to know that our hard work is paying off! I look forward to sharing more about the students with everyone, and I hope you read again next week!
Posted on January 25th, 2010 by Sara Ashby
Filed under: Sara Ashby