Unit 1-Intro to number concepts (to 5)

This is day two of the Unit. The TEKS are K.2 A-E with a focus on representing, counting numbers 1 to 5 (to 5, for the sake of the unit) through number recognition, generating sets, and subitizing.

First of all, this is a new year for Dual Language Kindergarten teachers. This year we will be teaching math in Spanish, for the first time. I cannot express, enough, how excited about this, I am! Why? No, is not because I am a native Spanish speaker and, by default, I am more comfortable teaching in Spanish. It is because, I believe, MATH learning occurs naturally in a person’s native language. This means, that young ELL students will feel more successful at math, counting, representing numbers etc, if they can do this in their native language.

School has started and the Unit 1 is already being unfolded. We have gone over procedures to use the number tracks, and the manipulatives and we have already begun using Unifix blocks to count to 5.

On our first day at school, (yesterday) while we organized our classroom and learned procedures, we filled our small pencil boxes to store our 5 crayons (students could pick any color they like but they could only pick 5) and the promise is to give them 5 more every start of the week until we get to 20 (lets see if they can keep track of how many weeks it took to get the 20). We “organized” a box of Unifix blocks in groups of 5, “because we wanted them to fit in the blocks bin”. Students had a blast getting their hands messy with shaving cream, writing numbers to 5.. and at the end of the day we stacked chairs on stacks of five; because 5 is a reasonable pile of chairs and stacking more is unsafe (or so I made them believe).

Tomorrow, we’ll introduce number talk, use dots and five frames and we will be doing dot subitizing too. And because Wells Branch is now an Art Integration Academy, we will be creating bracelets of 5 and do more number art!

I am very very excited about this year at WBE AIA and our new Dual Language model!




ReStudying K TEKS

K(1)(B) Mathematical process standards. The student uses mathematical processes to acquire and demonstrate mathematical understanding.

The student is expected to use a problem-solving model that incorporates analyzing given information, formulating a plan or strategy, determining a solution, justifying the solution, and evaluating the problem-solving process and the reasonableness of the solution.

This SE describes the traditional problem-solving process used in mathematics and science. Students are expected to use this process in a grade appropriate manner when solving problems that can be considered difficult relative to mathematic maturity.

This is the number one TEK. It is where it all starts. It requires gentle but efficient modeling, plus tons of application variety, and tons of practice time. It needs to be relevant to the day to day world of our students. This TEK is logical, it’s easy to read it and understand it, but teaching it can be tricky, especially in kindergarten. I love that the people behind the ARRC, work hard to provide us, with ideas that we can use in the classroom.

In this K. 1B, students are to use a problem solving model with more than 3 critical components. Analyze given information -students could generate their own questions, or their own view of the problem. The way I start problem solving in my classroom (as taught to me by sweet Mrs. Cordon, in my first year in kinder) is by using a variety of numberless problems that students can relate to. Once we have students generating their own questions, we are off to a good start. Formulate a plan or strategy- this is generally when things can fall apart. Teachers should allow students to find their own way through. At the same time, having all students actively and purposefully working towards a solution, is not an easy task. If many students are not able to generate a plan or come up with a strategy then the problem needs to be readjust to fit their ability and when modeling, this is were the focus can be strengthened. The next critical component has to do with the solution: determine the solution, justify it and evaluate the problem. I love observing how students think of very creative ways to find a solution (I have been surprised, more than once). There will be students who find answers faster than others, and will be very happy to share. Just keep in mind, that if a student could not find a solution it is not the end of the world. With more practice, and more variety, it will happen.

So as Graham Fletcher  puts it , this is definitely the one math “story” that needs to be told over and over in a variety of tales. And each time needs to be retold in such an engaging manner that we do not have students running for the restroom (or raising their hand for it 😉