Sunday, May 18, 2014

Minute-Win It: Quick Counting Assessment

The end of the year is approaching and my team and I are navigating a long list of assessments for the report cards. As I mentioned, in Kindergarten what we view as developmentally appropriate assessment (testing) is performance-based and in a 1-on-1 or small group setting. 1-on-1 meaning one student and one teacher, and performance-based meaning the student works through a problem or activity. The focus is as much on the process they use as the product, if not more so. More often that not, using manipulatives or some other concrete objects like counters, cubes, popsicle sticks, etc. are part of the "performance." The opposite of performance-based assessment in our classrooms is essentially a written, multiple choice test.
       Time management is crucial. So, I give to you "Minute--Win It." Based very loosely off the the hit NBC game show, to which I am staking no intellectual property or copyright infringement, students perform some math-based counting task in the time of one minute. When introduced like a *fun* game-show like activity, your students get hooked in and nerves dissipate. It is also very easy to differentiate. The grid paper helps evaluate 1:1 correspondence for students with lower number sense skills, so I've found it appropriate for absolutely every student.

Here is Math "Minute--Win It" in a nutshell:

  • Materials: Grid paper and pencil, timer
  • Objective: Students work independently to count and write numerals
    •  CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.A.1 Count to 100 by ones and by tens.
    • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.A.2 Count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence (instead of having to begin at 1).
    • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.A.3 Write numbers from 0 to 20. Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0-20 (with 0 representing a count of no objects).
    • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.B.4.A When counting objects, say the number names in the standard order, pairing each object with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only one object.
  • Directions: In 1 minute, student write as many numbers in counting order as they can. This is a race only against themselves. (Repeat daily or weekly until goal is met).
  • Differentiate!
    • Count by ones
    • Count by tens, fives, twos
    • Start at a number other than one
    • Count backwards
    • Compare results over time (ONLY against their own work, not among peers)
    • Extend time beyond 60 seconds to help all students feel successful
      • When beginning, I usually give around 90 seconds but use a time visual to the students so that they can understand the brevity of the game (for fun!) and also feel accomplished once the timer goes off

Can your see Minute--Win it working for you? In other content areas? I'll share some student examples this week as well. Good luck in the homestretch this year teachers! Enjoy this "minute" themed song as you plan this assessment for your class as well!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Blooming into the next school year!

Part of our team's presentation to next year's Kindergarten students and their families includes a link you a channel we packed with our favorite readiness songs and videos. Check out what we've got so far below. What favorites are we missing? Our main objectives are for students to be able to, on an introductory level:

  • Recognize letter names
  • Produce letter sounds
  • Sing the alphabet song
  • Know colors
  • Know shapes
  • Count to 10
  • Identify body parts
  • Know a few common nursery rhymes
Share your favorite tunes to help learn these objectives below. Thanks!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

KindeRx : Confusing Numerals 12 and 20

Kinder + Rx = Simple language, simple strategies for common student misunderstandings

Chapter 1: Students commonly confuse numerals 12 and 20 when reading, writing and talking about numbers

Our solution is a song to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat. My lovely students will demonstrate it for you below. Enjoy!

Count,  count,  count  to  twelve. 
It's  a  one  and  two.
When  you  get  to  twenty,
two  and  zero  will  do.

What world problems such as this one do YOU solve while driving to work or washing your hair? Share songs like this one I made up below!