Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

The Lessons that Taught Us

This week, though not as successful as weeks prior, provided us with great evidence for future planning and our research paper. This week we again, focused on one skill for each group and planned two separate lessons—one with ipad apps and one with more hands on materials.

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Taking a Step Backwards

This week amounted to an equal feeling of frustration and optimism. For some of our students, we need to continue repeatedly practicing and working to develop their number sense, as it has not yet clicked. For a significant number of our students, however, it has been remarkable to help them work on their number sense and finally see progress as many have demonstrated an “AH-HA” moment over the past few weeks.

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Things are Beginning to Click!

This week marked moments of great progress! I was overjoyed to work with the students this week and was incredibly proud to see how far they have come. It was truly rewarding to see such progress and excitement in our students. On Tuesday Lisa and I administer the Acuity assessment to Ms. Carmack’s class. We noted the results and data collected during the assessment of all students, which we will reference during future planning.

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On The Road Again!

After returning back to Augie from the long holiday break, Julie and I were ready to jump back into action and continue working with our students at Longfellow. Before leaving for break, we had expressed interest in changing the focus of our observations and work for the remaining of the year; we agreed that we were both notably interested in researching the development of our students’ understanding of number sense through the use of technology versus the use of various hands on manipulatives. We were left to brainstorm and ponder this interesting question over break and consider the route we would be taking for the remainder of the year.

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Back in Action!

After a long winter break Lisa and I were eager to walk into Longfellow and begin working with our students once again. Before we departed for break Lisa and I expressed our interest in comparing how students learn when using ipad apps vs how they learn when using other manipulatives. We hope this idea will serve as the basis of our research project.

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Putting Our Knowledge to the Test

This week Lisa and I administered the ESGI assessment. The students were tested on their ability to recognize numbers 1-30, orally count to 100, compare numbers, recognize shapes, count objects, and write symbolic numbers. After each student had been tested I analyzed their scores as well as which specific numbers had been missed and which had been correctly identified. I then compared this data to my lesson notes and observations I have made thus far. The data from the assessment and my observations seemed to correlate and for the most part every student did as well as we had expected they would.

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Testing… Testing… 1, 2, 3…

On both days this week, Mrs. Carmack and Mrs. Arnold asked Julie and I to take the Kindergarten students out into the hallway to administer the ESGI Assessment. We assessed each student to collect evidence of their current level of understanding for the following areas: number recognition, comparing numbers, shape recognition, oral sequence, one-to-one counting, and writing numbers. While we have gained a general sense of what skills our students have developed thus far, this assessment provided us with useful evidence of what our students know, and what skills we still need to review and/or introduce.

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Let’s Get Messy!

This week at Longfellow was quite eventful (and messy!) After the long holiday weekend, we picked up right where we left of with our Kindergarten students. At this point in the number sense project, we have been creating activities based on the abilities of two groups – students who have mastered number recognition, and those who have not. Therefore, Julie and I wanted to create an activity that would maximize the learning experience for the students who are still struggling to identify numbers one through twenty. We decided that the most important factor at this point was repetition for these students. Thus, Julie and I took the time to make a set of individualized flashcards (containing numbers one through twenty-four) for each student. We then spent roughly 20 minutes with each group reviewing flashcards. We also marked which numbers the students got right and which they did not in order to monitor students’ progress.

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Gettin’ Our Hands Dirty

After reviewing our notes and reflecting on our past lessons, Lisa and I discussed how we should proceed. We decided that we would continue focusing on number recognition for numbers 1-20 with the students that meet with us twice a week and that we would move on to missing numbers or counting on with the students we meet with once a week.

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Turkey Fingers

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday break, Julie and I only worked with the Kindergarten students on Tuesday of this week. Mrs. Arnold and Mrs. Carmack provided us with instructions and materials to lead a turkey finger counting activity with the students. Because we would not be seeing the students again on Thursday, we adjusted the times that we would be working with each group in order to ensure that all students from both classes would be able to create the turkey counter manipulative and spend an adequate amount of time utilizing it to practice their number sense skills.

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