Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

Helpful Grouping

With four assistants  assessing and practicing skills with a large Kindergarten class, it becomes hard to keep track of where each student is at, in relation to the number sense tasks, as well as what we have already worked on with each student. Therefore, we asked our cooperating teacher to make two groups, one containing higher ability learners and another with lower ability learners so that our two ‘assisting’ teams could focus more intensely on helping each student reach certain goals respectable to their level of mathematical understanding. This grouping has been determined, with the exception of five students, who really need as much extra attention and help in progressing in their number sense. These students work with each of the groups. Being established all week, the groups have greatly helped us focus on each student’s needs and abilities.

For example, we have began to make a progression chart of where our group of students are at in their mathematical understandings so that we can track the progress they make as we prepare instruction and mini lessons unique to each student. We noted that there was somewhat of a consistency in pairs of students having the similar number recognition abilities. With this in mind, we created a two person game to practice number recognition by writing and identifying numbers. We set out a large number line on the floor for each group to practice identifying numbers (1-10) and had a dry erase board for the students to practice writing numbers (1-10). One student would begin by calling out a number and the other student either had to locate it on the number line or write the number on the dry erase board. The game was fun, but it was also a great way for us to assess our group as it was good practice for the students.

We will remain using our progression chart for our smaller group so that we can focus more directly on the skills each individual needs to practice on. We hope this will help us in continuing the use of fun games, which excite our students to learn and work on their understanding of mathematics.

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