Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

Small Victories!

This week, I had a very successful couple of days with a student who I have been struggling to connect with. This student has been struggling with several aspects of number sense. I have realized in past weeks of working with her that she functions best in a game-like setting. My goal this week was to present the skills we were working on like a game. First, we started with identifying and drawing shapes. In the past we were not able to move on from square, circle, and triangle. This week, however, instead of drawing the shape and asking the student to identify it I gave both myself and the student a whiteboard and decided to see if the student could “stump” me. I would ask the student to think of a shape and say the name and we would both then draw it. If the student named and drew the correct shape then they got a point but if they drew the wrong shape I would get a point. This student became excited at the concept of competing with me and really engaged! We were able to correctly identify circle, square, triangle, cube, rectangle, cone, and diamond! I then decided to see assess the student’s understanding of shapes a little more and I drew out all of the shapes they have discussed in class and asked the student to identify each. The student correctly identified every shape except for sphere and trapezoid!
I also worked on different addition number sentences with some of the students who need extra enrichment. One of the students I work with has been developing her understanding of x+y=? for the past few weeks. This week I decided to begin introducing x+?=y to her. At first she did not understand what they word problems were asking her and required some modeling. However, after modeling the approach to these addition equations she began to understand. The most exciting part of our time together was after a few problems she stopped using manipulatives. When I asked her how she was answering these questions correctly she said: “Oh it’s easy, you just count up from the first number until you get the second number.
It has been really exciting for me to see the student’s progress as the year continues. It especially insightful to hear their own rationale behind why they do things; it definitely allows me to open my mind up and see things in a different way!

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