Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

Kathy Richardson and her magical little assessments

Hello blog readers! This whole week we have been wrapping up our number sense work since we only have one more week left. We did the Richardson assessment for the whole week with every single student. We did this assessment at the beginning of the year with our students in math methods. Also, Dr. Egan did this assessment with the students before we even arrived at Augustana to begin the school year. It was amazing to see the progress all the students have made over the course of the year.

Benny amazed me with his assessment. He not only counted beautifully, but he excelled at one more/one less! I was so extremely proud of him. He knew how to change numbers and create piles. I could see that he is beginning to form a basic understanding of addition in his head. He really has come a long way from not being able to remember the number 16, to doing basic addition and subtraction in his head. There is one part on the Richardson assessment where you take away the counters and the students have to do the math in their head. Also, the number equations I asked were out of sequence. For example, I would first ask what is 4 and 1? And then move on to asking what is 6 and 1? Benny was able to answer these questions correctly. He did this without counters, numbers in sequence, or the Ten Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed song. He had really learned what one more/one less meant in the scheme of math content.

As my blog readers know I am working with English Language Learners for my summer research project. I worked with two of them on Wednesday and noticed again that they did not recognize the numbers when I said them in Spanish. From watching them count and assessing their progress, I can tell that they do not think the number is 6 is six and seis. They believe that the “Spanish” number cannot look the same or “be” the same as English numbers. Today I tested a little girl who had the least amount of English language skills when she came into the kindergarten class. When I tested her today, I was also amazed by her progress. I was surprised to see that she did all her counting in Spanish. The other ELLs always counted in English. On a whim, I asked her to count the counters in English. She was able to do it perfectly as well. I believe that right now this child is on the road to becoming bilingual. However, since Longfellow does not have a Bilingual program she will probably not be able to become truly bilingual. Through her time at Longfellow her Spanish will be reduced to conversational skills while her English will improve. This is one of the reasons why I am such a proponent of Bilingual education. These students are able to learn English without losing most of their native language abilities. On another note, this student was impressive in her math abilities. She knew everything on the assessment and was even able to give me the correct answer for one less than 60. She went through the first assessment with flying colors and she was wonderful at the second one as well. I think the fact that the assessment was orally given in Spanish helped her a lot. It is a support she really needs and it helps her excel in math.

Seeing the progress the students have made is eye opening. I am amazed that being in the kindergarten room with these students has made this large of a difference in their knowledge of math content. This is the reason I went into teaching. I enjoy every moment I spend with these students and this was the capstone I needed. This partnership was a wonderful experience and leaving these students next week will be extremely difficult.

One Response to “Kathy Richardson and her magical little assessments”

  1. It is truly amazing how much they’ve learned this year! Thanks for the great opportunities my kindergartners received. Vicki

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