Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

After the Holiday Break

When I returned from the holiday break, I was curious to see whether the students I had been working with the past 5 weeks would retain the information. After working with the kindergarten students this past week, I discovered that the students not only remembered the content and skills previously taught, but also developed further levels of comprehension associated with number sense skills. This development can be seen in several students who I have worked with. One student had a difficult time including the number 13 during rote counting exercises. Before break, we worked together and discussed where the number 13 lies in the number line, what the number 13 means, and how to represent the number 13. The first day back from break, this student was able to count higher than before and included the number 13 as well. A few students who had difficulty recognizing shapes and defining shapes with the correct terminology were able to do so. Skills in rote counting and shape recognition have progressed since the holiday break. One skill that needed to be addressed this week was counting by tens. Many of the students I work with cannot count by tens and therefore cannot count very high during rote counting exercises. This week, I tried a different approach to counting by tens. Instead of iPad applications, I explained how to count by tens with a dry erase board. I told the students that if they can count to ten, they can count to anything because the pattern simply repeats. I wrote the numbers 1-10 on the dry erase board and then had the students count as high as they could for me by tens. For each “ten” said, I added a 0 to the corresponding first digit. Once a student was stuck, I explained the pattern of counting by tens through the process of adding a zero to the end of the first digit. The students caught on quickly and were able to count by tens after the end of this math session. The following session, we addressed rote counting development. I approached this skill the same way I approached counting by tens. Many students are stuck on numbers such as 29 and 39. I then reviewed that the pattern repeats. We reviewed what “ten” came next and then discussed that we simply repeat the pattern by counting how we count by ones (30, 31, 32, etc.). The students caught on quickly and were able to count to 100 with some assistance. I am hoping that these fundamental skills stuck with the students over the weekend and they will hopefully be able to count to 100 (or close to it) on their own. I am so proud of the progress the students are making after 5 short weeks and I cannot wait to see how they further develop the remaining of the school year! Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday :)

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