Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

10’s 5’s and 2’s

On Wednesday I worked with three students. These students are those of higher ability levels. I will call these students Steven, Jessica, and Grace. Each of the three students completed the same activity. They were given a 100’s chart and first asked to count to 100. Next the student was given a yellow crayon to color all the 10’s boxes on the chart (10, 20, 30…100) to prepare the student to count by 10’s. We repeated this for all the 5’s with a red crayon. After both of these mini activities I had the student count by 2’s, circling each two up to 20. Here is how this activity went with each student.

Steven was the first student I worked with. When I asked him to count to 100 he looked at me like I was crazy for asking him to perform such an easy task. He is a very smart little boy and he knows he is good at math. Steven counted to 100 easily, but he did make one mistake, which is unusual for him. Steven tends to get very excited and count faster than he is able to think and that is when errors occur. Steven counted from 59 to 70 and didn’t realize his error until I told him and then he was able to restart his counting at 50 and continue without errors. He is a very eager and excited boy and sometimes he goes faster than he is able to count. Other than this mistake, Steven caught on very quickly. He counted by tens effortlessly and counted by fives accurately and with little guidance. When counting by fives he understood that it goes 5, 10, 15, 20 and so on, this was not the case with one of the other students. The final activity we did was count by 2’s and circle all of the twos up to 20. Steven needed a little bit of help with this. We compared it to counting by 5’s and 10’s, meaning those have groups of 5 and 10, and with counting by 2’s, it is a group of 2 numbers. After some explanation Steven caught on and was able to successfully count by two’s.

The next student I worked with was Jessica. When I asked her to count to 100 she was very nervous, clearly doubting her ability. I told her to just give it her best try. Jessica counted to 100 perfectly and was very pleased with herself when she finished successfully. I made sure to praise her accomplishments in order to encourage her to further the activity. Her entire attitude changed from a nervous, timid one, to an “I can do it” attitude. We continued to count by ten’s, which came very easily for Jessica. Next we counted by five’s, which was a little bit of a challenge at first. Jessica didn’t realize that counting by five’s meant that the 5’s and 10’s were included. She started counting 5, 15, 25 thinking that since all of these ended in a 5 those were the only numbers needed. I further explained and outlined the 10’s column in red so she could have a visual that both the fives and tens should be included. This helped and we were well on our way to counting effortlessly by fives. The last thing we did was count by 2’s. I spent a little more time with Jessica on this because I knew she could get it. Counting by two’s to 10 was easy for her, but after that she kept saying 12, 13, 14. Jessica couldn’t get 13 out of her head. I thought that maybe the number chart was distracting her, so I had her flip that over and just count orally by two’s to 20. She counted by two’s to 20 without saying 13! I figured seeing the written number was confusing her, so I flipped the chart back over for her and we crossed off 13. After this she counted by two’s and was excited that she didn’t say 13. The few extra minutes I spent with Jessica really helped her make progress that I knew she was capable of.

My final student was Grace. Her energy is contagious and for some reason always calls me Miss Mooner instead of Miss Mooney. It makes me laugh each time she greets me. Grace came over and sat right down and got immediately started counted to 100. She counted orally and also pointed to each number on the 100’s chart. At one point she skipped a line and was off with the numbers she was pointing to and she stopped, looked down and found the correct number and continued counting. This demonstrated her strong understanding for written numbers. We then counted by ten’s, which was very easy for Grace. We moved on quickly from ten’s to five’s. Like Jessica, Grace wanted to count 5, 15, 25 and so on, but once I explained and noted that the ten’s are also part of counting by five’s she understood and we continued counting. We then moved on to counting by two’s. I was expecting the same beginning confusion I had had with the previous two students. However, that was not the case with Grace. She circled all the two’s up to 20 and counted perfectly. I then wanted to make sure she wasn’t just reading the numbers, since she is very good at number recognition, so I flipped the 100’s chart over. Grace still counted by two’s wonderfully and accurately.

Wednesday was a fun and exciting day with these kindergartners. They always are so full of life and excited to learn because so many things are so new to them. This has been helping me grow as a professional teacher so much. I realized that when I am instructing I say certain words too much. From this self realization I have been able to catch myself and try to sway away from the phrases I use too often. I know that teaching is right for me because when my mom asked me the other day what my favorite class was, I told her my job and clinicals. She said that it is good that what I will actually be doing with my life is my favorite part of my day!

Thanks for reading my incredibly long blog!

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