Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

12 or 20?

(It’s a bit late but this is from my work with the kindergarten students from last week )
When I grabbed the first two students to work with, they immediately asked if they could count stairs because they knew that other students had done so before, and since they needed help on rote counting I decided that they definitely could. I had each student go one at a time because these were two boys who are very competitive and I have realized that when they are just trying to go as fast as possible that they don’t count with one-to-one correspondence. These particular students only had troubles when it came to what ten came next, but if i gave them the first syllable then they would remember. I had them counting up to fifty and they only had slight problems so that was successful, so I’m glad that the word’s getting out amongst the students how awesomely fun it is to count stairs :) . Anyways, they also needed some help with number recognition and so I made it into a competition so when I held up the number card, whoever answered correctly would get the card, and the one with the most at the end wins. What I realized with other students, as well as with these students, the number 12 and 20 are problematic and confusing to differentiate between. Not only do these two numbers cause the most mistakes, but for students who need help with # recognition, the teens and twenties create confusion. There are a handful of students that will say 23 if it’s 13, 15 if it’s 25, and so on. For the students that always say that a number is in the twenties, I wonder if it’s because they are just trying to make it seem like they know their twenties since those are higher numbers. But the number 12 and 20 and stumped many students and I focus on these two numbers a lot, placing them back in the pile of number cards to hold up over and over again and then just holding those two up next to each other and asking them to tell me what the difference is. I wonder if there is another way I could be doing this, something more creative….I have a couple weeks of break to find something.

Then on Thursday, I almost did not show up because my voice was almost completely gone, and I sounded awful. I wondered how this would work all day, but I just decided to go in because I could work with higher ability students or just do assessment type activities. And sure enough, the second I began talking all the students were asking questions as to why I sounded funny and were giggling, so I’m glad I could cause a laugh :) . So, I gave students iPod’s and had to loudly whisper corrections as they worked on the number line, and they were successful as I changed the format of the number line in the options. It was a definite learning experience as to how I can adapt to situations and figure something out that still benefits the students. Well, I’ll be back to Longfellow in a couple of weeks because of our break…it feels strange not going to the classroom twice a week, but it’ll be back to normal before I know it!

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