Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

Finally some hands on work

Happy New Year!

As I got back into my regular routine here at Augie, that included waking up early to spend some time with kindergartener’s twice a week and doing some math. When I arrived to Longfellow I was greeted with smiles and hugs from them all and that made it a lot better. As I spoke with the teacher of the classroom, we discussed some manipulatives to use in order to help them improve their skills. I was glad to know that I would be working with them using the manipulatives since we were only using the iPod’s prior to break, so i was interested to see  how students worked with actual objects. She had a new list of the areas that each student needs to work on: counting, number recognition, and spot counting are the areas we mostly focused on. So, what I did was to look at which students needed the most work in certain areas, which was indicated by a circled X on the sheet, and I partnered two students together with similar needs. The manipulatives that I had to use were number cards, different objects to count, missing number flip-cards, and number Bingo.

As I began, I started with the lowest ability students and gradually worked up throughout the week to the higher ability students. I wanted to make sure the students were given enough time, so I worked with four pairs on Tuesday and Thursday. The lower ability students all needed the same help which was working on spot counting and counting objects to at least ten, hopefully higher. I generally did the same activities for each pair of students because it worked well, just like the iPod games, the same games seemed to have the same results. However, having actual objects to count gave the students a visual, and I was able to pinpoint where they went wrong and pause to explain. There were a few students who frequently got stuck in the same spot, so being able to repeat things with the students was helpful.

I’m excited to continue use with the iPods, especially since there are new and improved games. However, I’m also curious to be able to compare what students gain from the games and compare those results to what is learned using manipulatives in the sessions to come.

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