Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

## Returning After Break

Since returning from a two week long break, the students are filled with enthusiasm and energy. It seemed that the break was beneficial to some and may serve as a step backwards for others. Many students who were struggling returned from break refreshed and ready to learn whereas some of the students who were excelling seemed to have lost some of their momentum. There were several students who were working with simple addition and are now struggling to recognize the number symbols.
Thursday was a much more productive day with the students, perhaps because they were re-settling into their routine again. This week my partner and I decide to continue to work with the students using the dice patterns and addition strategies. One student, who I have struggled to connect with since the beginning of this project, had a break through and began hinting at seeing 5 on the dice as 2+1+2. She did not fully grasp the task at hand but by simply trying she has made some progress! I worked with another student who is typically very shy and reserved and today she really came out of her shell. When working with the dice patterns she was able to take the 6 on the dice (which is portrayed by two columns of three dots) and make several different equations. She drew out the dice pattern on a white board and then took the second white board to write out the different equations that she saw. She first saw 6 as 3+3 and indicated this by first circling the columns and then writing the equation. When asked if she saw it any other ways she simply nodded and continued on to discover that 4+2, 2+2+2, and 5+1 all equal 6. It was especially exciting to see her circle the different dot patterns because it is similar to steps the students may take when learning multiplication.
It is incredibly exciting and rewarding to see the students make the connections that we have been hoping they would make. I am excited to see if we can apply this concept to working with the hard to distinguish teen numbers. I am also hoping to find a way to integrate the concept of rolling the dice into a more interactive game in order to keep the students engaged.

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