ways to make 5 in kindergarten

Posted on: January 16th, 2014 by jnovakowski

On Monday I spent my morning at Anderson in four of the kindergarten classes, both neighbourhood programs (Laura Daitz, Miran Lo and Shelina Rajani-Shakar) and an Early French Immersion class (Shannon Fitzpatrick). The early primary teachers at Anderson are working on a collaborative inquiry project this year looking at developing their students’ communication of mathematical thinking, including the use of math journals.

In each class we set up tables with different math materials and one table with five of the school’s iPads. After a short lesson on different way to “make 5” the students rotated through the table tasks in groups, showing different ways to make five and “reading the math”.

For example, this student read her groups of yellow and red discs as 4 and 1, 2 and 1 and 2 and the last row as 2 and 1 and 2.

I have learned not to make quick assumptions and asked this student to explain why some of her glass beads were not in groups of five. If you look carefully, you can see that she has used the beads to represent the equation 3 + 2 = 5 in the top section of her work mat. Miran Lo’s class is a K/1 class and some of the students included math equations in their representations.

For all four classes, this was the first time the students had used the iPads at school. As part of the short lesson at the beginning of each class, after showing ways to make five with a material, I then showed them how they could use the Doodle Buddy app on the iPads to represent apps. The students learned how to find the app, open it and use different drawings tools, change colours, use the stamps and then save and share their work. The students were asked to represent 5 in at least two ways.

The students were so excited to use the iPads for math and the teachers all commented on they could see how easily the iPads could be incorporated into their math programs. The teachers received the students’ work in their email inboxes and these images can be printed and included in the students’ math journals or embedded in newsletters or class websites.


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