Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

Returning From Spring Break

Over spring break my partner and I spent a lot of time developing our research question and doing our literature review. A lot of the information we found directly correlated to what we had been working on with the kindergarteners. A big breakthrough we had was when we discovered our work had an academic term for it: subitizing. Once we discovered this term a whole different set of academic journals, activity ideas, and iPad apps became available to us.

​Tuesday was the first day back for the kindergarteners from their Spring Break. There was a lot of energy when the students arrived in classroom and part of the time working with the students individually was getting them to focus on the task at hand. I worked with students on rote counting by ones, fives, and tens, problem solving with simple addition and subtraction, and subitizing. These activities were based on the students’ third quarter math scores. The exciting thing with addition and subtraction was that the students remembered how I had set up problems for them before break and were able to set up the problems on their own using a white board and manipulatives.

​Thursday I was able to spend more time on academic material and less time on behavior management. One student, who I first worked with in the fall, struggled with counting to 12 was able to count to 38. It was exciting and refreshing to see the students make such progress over a span of time that might be overlooked day-to-day.

​Dr. Hengst, one of the number sense directors, created and app for my partner and I to use to help with determining the students’ ability to subitize. The app shows a domino tile and an empty ten frame for the students to fill in. At first, I didn’t provide any instruction and wanted to see how the students interacted with the app. Many did not know what to do and simply filled in all ten squares on the ten frame. However, two students were able to fill in the ten frame so that it reflected what was shown on the domino!

​Finally, this week I noticed that the kindergarteners use different language when discussing different apps on the iPad. Apps that have an “academic” look to them are often referred to as work whereas the apps with a lot of graphics are used to play. I hope to pay attention to this a little more in the future and determine why this is.

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