Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

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.

This week was the first week we began working with our newly formed groups. There are four groups we meet with once a week and six groups we meet with twice a week. Of these six groups we feel there are three levels of understanding—two groups of students who hold a solid understanding for numbers 1-5, three groups that demonstrate an understanding for numbers 1-10, and one group of students who are understand but confuse numbers 1-20. Because of the large range of understanding Lisa and I have been differentiating our lessons for each group. However, this week we approached our lesson planning and delivery a bit differently with a new idea in mind. We have decided we will be planning two versions of the same lesson each week. For example, this week the six groups that meet with us two times a week practiced recognizing, comparing, and ordering numbers. Because our first two groups can only confidently recognize numbers 1-5 our focus was to help them expand their understanding for numbers 1-10. One group used flash cards while the other used Randy’s Line It Up ipad app. Both groups worked on developing the same skills just in slightly different ways. (The other three groups worked with either the flash cards or ipads as well, however their focus was on all numbers 1-20.) Next week the students will do the opposite of what they did on Tuesday. (If they used flash cards, next week they will use the Line It Up app) By planning our lessons this way students will get the opportunity to work with different materials. We also hope to compare how students worked with the different materials and use this information in answering questions for our research project.

One of the groups we see twice a week (the group that demonstrates the greatest understanding for numbers 1-20) was challenged to do the same activity as the students that meet with us once a week. All groups worked on comparing numbers, however our first group (the group we see two times a week) received a slightly less difficult worksheet. Students were given a worksheet with sets of two numbers ranging from 1-30 and were asked to color in the greater number. Almost all of the students completed this task quickly with little to no guidance, thus we feel we can introduce a new concept or skill next week.

All students, both in the groups we see once a week and the groups we see twice a week solved a word problem in their Daily Word Problem book. Half of the groups solved a problem using Randy’s app, Word Problems, while the other half used a contraption that Lisa and I created. (Students solved by dropping marbles down two different shoots and then adding the total number of marbles left in the container) Next week the students will do the opposite of what they did this week. (For the remainder of the year students will alternate using ipads and manipulatives to solve daily work problems) Again we hope we can collect data and record observations that may help us in answering our research question.

On Thursday we administered the Mathematics portion of the Acuity test for Mrs. Arnold’s class. (Tuesday will be spent testing Mrs. Carmack’s class) This test was slightly different from the ESGI assessment we had administered before break. This assessment had several questions that focused on addition and fact families. Many of the questions were difficult for our students, especially the ones we see two times a week. Though they struggled through the test, Lisa and I were able to collect more data about their existing knowledge, which will be helpful in future planning.

I am looking forward to meeting with the students next week and seeing if and how they react differently than they did to the materials they used on Tuesday!

Leave a Reply

Spam Protection by WP-SpamFree