Posts Tagged ‘number sense’

Learning Through Play

It’s very exciting to see Kindergarten children constructing their own knowledge during open ended, self-guided play centers each afternoon. In our classroom, children are invited to play where their interests take them. If I am not working with a small group on a project at the large table, I try to circulate to observe the conversations and self-talk happening at various centers. The Felt Board center is a favorite of several students. In this picture, a student is re-enacting and extending a class game called “Hide Your Eyes, no Peeking,” where I line up numbers 1-12 and remove one while the students cover their eyes. When they open their eyes, they raise hands to guess which number is missing. It is interesting to see the different strategies at work–some students count up from 1 to the gap to figure out the missing number, others count backwards from 12 if it is a higher number that is missing. Some students can’t name their strategy and will say, “I just know!” which means they are using a strategy so quickly and efficiently that they answer comes to them automatically, which is the goal!

When I took this photo, K. was working very hard to place the teen numbers correctly in her number line. She asked for help and I encouraged her to look for a pattern. After a few minutes, she excitedly named the pattern herself: “there’s a one, and then a next higher number!” and then we counted the numbers together once she had them all down. This was a significant moment of knowledge building for her, and helpful for me from an assessment standpoint to see the ways she was using her knowledge of patterns (something we’ve been working hard on!).


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