Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

Kids offer clues to their learning!

Blog 6

This week was very productive, and we collected several of our lesson ideas from the kindergarteners! In particular, we worked individually with a student who is developing his understanding of numbers 1-10 and his pronunciation of numbers in English. Although we have had some behavior problems with the student in the past, we were able to keep his attention for a solid half hour on Thursday! At first, we had the student practicing the numbers he knew by sorting through large pieces of paper with the numbers on them. We asked him to trace the number and place them in order 1-10. Although this has engaged him in the past, today he was not interested in completing the activity. The kindergartener also was feeling sick so needed a lot of tissues…It was comical because every time, the student would try to throw the Kleenex into the garbage can from his seat and surprisingly he had very good aim! Although we were impressed, his basketball practice was distracting from the lesson at hand.

We quickly decided to put the kindergartener’s interest in throwing to use! We re-arranged our lesson idea and spread out the number cards around the room. We used a chain with yellow links (that we were using to count the numbers 1-10) as a “goal line” which the student could not cross. For the new lesson, the student rolled a die and had to throw a crumpled piece of paper at the corresponding “number target”. The student was actively engaged and excited to participate in the activity! It was refreshing to see his enthusiasm and motivation during the game because he had a purpose for wanting to remember the numbers correctly. Although he did not seem to know the numbers 1-10 completely at the end of the activity, his speed and focus on comparing the number shapes did increase. This lesson reminded me that although we have high goals and are determined to see the students’ comprehension develop, they are still kindergarteners and learn best through active engagement and a little fun!

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