Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

And so it begins… :)

Hello, all! I am Amanda Kriegl, a junior and Elementary Education Major here at Augustana and I will be working with Mrs. Peterson’s kindergarteners throughout these next two terms (Winter and Spring) for Number Sense! I am very excited and cannot wait to really see the kids grow in their number sense skills during these next few months we will be spending with them. :)
With the first few weeks, I have really gotten to know the children in Mrs. Peterson’s classroom. During the first week, Markaye and I spent a lot of time simply getting to know the students on both a classroom and one-to-one basis. This really helped us to get a feeling for the overall demeanor of the classroom, as well as the entire classroom atmosphere. Keeping these things in mind, this will definitely help us to better prepare and execute lesson plans and activities in the future. Some key things I noticed was that Mrs. Peterson’s classroom has a lot of energy; her students like to move around and do a lot of talking. Additionally, we have a lot of participation from the students, which will help with the student involvement in the activities we present.
During week two of Number Sense, Markaye, Courtney, Morgan, and I were able to get to know the students on an individual level by assessing their number sense skills. First, Morgan and Courtney assessed the students by using the “Trailblazer’s Assessment #1”, where they recorded each of the student’s scores in a common notebook that we will be keeping in the classroom so that it is easily accessible to any one of us while we are at Longfellow. Courtney and Morgan found that the students displayed great range of skill level, some of which really excelled at the tasks given. The students that did excel, were then further assessed through a more advanced assessment, the “Kathy Richardson Assessment C1 and C2” by Markaye and me. This assessment focused on many different tasks, such as the symbol-number relationship, counting-on, more and less concepts, etc.
All of these assessments went fairly well, until we got to the last student, where we realized that our wording during one of the proposed questions was not completely clear to the students. The question we had been asking the students dealt with one of the more and less concepts. Initially, we had been asking the students “How many more chips do you have?” (to a given number that the student had vs. a given number we had), but then after this student responded with, “How many more to what?”, we realized that our wording had not been entirely clear to the student (and possibly to the other students as well). Once we reworded the question to ask “How many more chips do you have (student’s given # of chips) than I do (our given # of chips)?”, the student was able to promptly respond with the correct answer.
This leads us to believe that our assessments on the other “more advanced” students need to be re-conducted because they had not been asked this question in this particular way. The question could have been confusing for those other students as well, but perhaps, they did not quite understand why they found the question to be confusing. At the end of the day, this only reiterates the fact that we are human and make mistakes and that not every assessment can be perfectly done, nor can it always tell you exactly what a student can or cannot do; these factors rely upon both the facilitator and the student. Therefore, we must assess once again to see what we can determine about the student’s current number sense abilities.
Forward we march! :)

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