Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

Spring is Upon Us

This week was our first week back from our own Spring break, and also the last week the students would be in school before their Spring break began. Coming off end of the quarter testing and having gone weeks without seeing us, the students were all excited to be taken out of the classroom and eager to tell us all about what they plan on doing over break. On Tuesday in Mrs. Peterson’s room, I used Dominos to work on addition and subtraction with my students. For students who had demonstrated that they could formulate and solve addition problems without scaffolding, I started with subtraction, and for students who still occasionally needed scaffolding while performing addition, we worked solely on addition. Across the board, the students all expressed excitement when they saw the Domino box. This interest really helped keep the students on task and many wanted to keep practicing addition and subtraction until all the Dominos in the box had been drawn. When the students drew the Domino, they either had to add or subtract the dots on both ends. All of the students working on addition chose to count each dot one-by-one in order to determine the total. Since my research focus is on the acquisition of the counting on strategy for addition, I gave the students who were working on subtraction one Domino to add. I had the students identify the number of dots on each end before adding them together, and in this particular instance one of the two students in the group demonstrated the counting on strategy.
In Mrs. Carmack’s class on Thursday, I worked on the addition and subtraction story problem app with the students. All of the students were able to add or subtract based on what the problems asked for, some requiring scaffolding and others determining if they needed to add or subtract without assistance. With students who were repeatedly solving the problems without consistent scaffolding, I had them start identifying whether the problem was an addition or a subtraction problem before they began solving. It helped to discuss key words such as “take away” or demonstrate the action that was being described in the problem using our fingers in order to determine the type of problem. In future weeks, I am excited to start work with counting on and looking at the strategy from a new perspective based on the readings I have done.
That’s all for now though!

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