The Shape of Kindergarten

 

 This year we have had the wonderful opportunity of partnering with Southwest ISD.  Through this partnership, we were able to create a K-2 Math Collaborative.  Teachers devoted staff development days and countless hours afterschool perfecting their craft.  Collaboration occurred at the grade level, school level, and district level.  Teachers have been able to dig deeper into the math TEKS and really determine how to ensure understanding of mathematics concepts.

 

One big idea of this collaboration in kindergarten was allowing the students to experience the math at a concrete level.  It is so important for students to have numerous hands-on, purposeful interactions with the information.  Kindergarten teachers at Elm Creek Elementary School created a memorable experience with geometric shapes.  One of the most concrete ways to learn math is with your own body.  Kindergarten students gathered on the blacktop and created shapes with their bodies.  The students held hands to emphasize the concept of closed shapes and curved lines.  The timing and angle of the picture was perfect to create a shadow that reinforced the shape as well.  Participating in this very tangible representation will help students develop a deeper understanding.  Students will remember what it felt like to be a straight or curved line.  They will remember why it mattered how many lines they formed or if the lines were the same length. 

 

Thank you Kristi Sollohub and the other kindergarten teachers at Elm Creek ES for sharing your idea.  I know there are many teachers out there with many amazing ideas.  If you would like to share a student sample or picture of the incredible math thinking that is happening in your school, please let us know by clicking on the Contact Us button above.  We can all learn so much from each other!

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Training Spotlight

1st-3rd grade educators worked together to learn engaging ways to develop number sense. Students will develop fact fluency while playing games that use their number sense strategies. By learning their facts in this way, students are not merely memorizing, but rather learning to work with numbers flexibly.  “Low achievers are often low achievers not because they know less but because they don’t use numbers flexibly – they have been set on the wrong path, often from an early age, of trying to memorize methods instead of interacting with numbers flexibly.” Jo Boaler,  Stanford University, 2009

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