This week Julie and I took on our first day of Number Sense. On Tuesday, we arrived early in the morning to meet with Mrs. Arnold and Mrs. Carmack to discuss the process and expectations for the next few months. After conversing with the Kindergarten teachers at Longfellow, we were excited about the opportunities that would be presenting themselves while interacting with the students. Mrs. Arnold and Mrs. Carmack had recently attended a professional conference workshop, where they received a packet containing a copious amount of activities, ranging from number recognition activities to counting and base-ten activities, which can be used later in the term as students begin to develop a stronger number sense. Because we had agreed with our cooperating teachers that Julie and I would be taking the reign when it comes to planning lessons each week, we plan on using this packet as a reference when planning number sense activities for the students. We will be using the same ability grouping that we used during EDUC360 with Dr. Egan this past fall. On Tuesday, we wanted to begin with an activity that would allow for an initial assessment of all of our students. Thus, we began with a number recognition bingo activity. We were confident that the students would enjoy this fun game for their first day, but it also provided us with a lot of feedback regarding the students’ current understanding of number sense. The students in groups A-F struggled to recognize numbers beyond ten, where as the higher ability students provided us with evidence that they have mastered number recognition for numbers 1 through 20. However, many students who struggled with number recognition began to pick up on the pattern of teens. For example, students began to grasp the concept that a one and six is 16. However, this pattern became problematic for numbers such as 12, as some students would guess “two teen”. After we completed the bingo activity with each group, we had the students complete a Join – Result Unknown word problem. Julie and I decided that we would be doing one word problem a day with the students. Each week, we will add the new word problem pages to the students’ preceding pages, creating a book for each student. On Thursday, we did a number recognition activity with the students who have not yet provided evidence of mastering number recognition. These students rolled a large die, stated the number, and then colored in the corresponding symbolic number on a sheet. Again, we continued to see similar observations that we had seen on Tuesday. Many of the students were unable to recognize most numbers beyond ten, particularly numbers ten, eleven, twelve, and thirteen. The students who had demonstrated mastery of number recognition completed a base ten-frame worksheet. The students filled out ten frames, demonstrating their understanding that a given number eleven through nineteen is one group of ten plus “x” ones. The majority of the students showed a strong understanding of the value of a number through the ten-frame activity. I was astonished by the performance of one particular student, student I.E. After filling in nineteen dots on the ten-frame, I asked this student “If I were to add 1 more dot, how many would we have?” She answered 20. She was then able to tell me that twenty would be 2 groups of ten. While not all of our students have developed the profound number sense knowledge that student I.E. has, this experience sparked my excitement for the remainder of the number sense experience. Julie and I both look forward to helping these students practice their mathematical skills and develop a stronger number sense over the next two terms.

Posted on November 25th, 2014 by Elizabeth Bartha

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