Bridges Grade K Advice for Sessions 95-107
If you are in a state with a Supplement, be sure to look at the new Monthly Planners found around page 21 of your supplement, inserting these sessions at the appropriate times. For example, some states have geometry sessions inserted this month.
We ended up last month on Session 94, where we were measuring a child with Unifix cubes by 10’s in different colors. Work Place 2K has the children measuring various objects in the room. You can make the measuring sheets into a small booklet or leave them full-size, stapling them together. I think it will save you a headache to pass these out to everybody, get names on them, then have a basket or other place to store them near the Work Place. You can have the kids show you their finished work before sending them home. Note you need to post 4 signs around the room (page 405).
Going on to Session 98, there is wonderful reading on page 417, “How do you get reluctant students to actively participate (in Work Places)”? Another issue you might still be dealing with is the “butterfly” child, the one alighting here, then there, never seeming to accomplish much. To do the related Work Place proficiently, a child needs to listen, participate, and comprehend the related whole group lesson. When the same activity is put out in a Work Place, it may not look the least bit familiar to some children.
Session 99, Race You to 30¢ provides an example of how to deal with Work Places. After you finish the whole group lesson, hold up the Work Place gameboard and show how it relates to the overhead. Then when you get ready to actually put out this Work Place, go over the game again in front of the whole group, maybe on the floor, playing against a child. After you get to around 10¢, quit and send everyone off to work. Be sure not to miss the Instructional Considerations on page 422, especially “ ...there is something in the game for every learner.” I suggest going on to read the page on Number in Kindergarten on page 423.
Sessions 101-103: When I first did this lesson I was in a hurry and didn’t read the directions closely! Start by using the overhead in Session 101 as much as you feel necessary given the ability level of your class. (I only started the pattern and counted one set of frogs.) Then put out Work Place 2N with only Blackline 2.26 at first. In Session 103, again, go through the overhead version of the second work sheet in as much detail as you feel your class needs. Then put the second worksheet, 2.27 into Work Place 2N. The Instructional Considerations on both page 432 and 437 give valuable advice to beginning teachers on dealing with immature motor skills, difficulty with writing two digit numbers, and pattern.
Your second set of problem solving sessions using frogs starts on page 439. I was amazed at how much the children had progressed in problem solving since their experience with Sea Creatures, plus they had become more familiar with the routine. Here is a sample solution to Picture Problem 1. The question is, “8 eyes, How many frogs?” The student uses a direct modeling solution, or a pictorial representation. Next is Picture Problem 3, "6 frogs were sitting on the log. Some jumped into the water. How many frogs are in the water?" See how he used addition, marking the addend that is the answer? (I taught them the "starring" technique as a way to mark the answer.) The third is a very different kind of solution to #4, “3 frogs on the log. 5 frogs in the water. How many more frogs are in the water than on the log?” This solution illustrates the difference model of subtraction! It may take as many as three days to do the Picture Problems in Sessions 106 and 107, especially if you have a lot of discussion on the many different strategies employed.
On the third or fourth day the children construct the background. Instead of drawing the problem, I walked them through this process and everybody handled it just fine. I kept the lesson very structured. First I passed out a 9X12 light blue paper for the background, then a 4 1/2 X 12 light green strip which we all quickly sculpted into gently rolling land, gluing it down. Next they got a 3 X 12 strip of turquoise that they fashioned into a pond. Finally, brown strips were cut into logs. At this point I suggest not dealing with flaps–just the log, pond, grass etc.
I dealt with constructing an actual problem and the making of the frogs by emailing everyone in the school asking for frog stamps! I got a Frog and Toad stamp and a leaping frog stamp. You might ask your colleagues now in case you have to buy one - or get some clip art if you can’t find any stamps in your school.
Then I put out tubs of green Unifix cubes on the day after the children had constructed the background. (I only had 12 kindergartners, so you may want to do this with your class in two groups.) First I had them set out the Unifix cubes on the log, in the pond, etc., making up a problem in their mind. (Hint: Have the Picture Problems displayed close to this work area.) Then they were to tell their problem to a friend, asking if it made sense - no answer required, just if it made sense. I said, “Raise your hand when you think you have a problem and wait patiently for me to get to you.” The children told me their problem and I then said “Stamp it” if it made sense. I had turquoise paper with me for those who needed a flap for the pond because of the need to hide some of their frogs. I quickly wrote down their spoken problem on a class list, typing it later. The child removed the cubes one by one, stamping a frog in its place. It all worked very smoothly. I was amazed at how easy it went! Here’s how they turned out.
There is a great discussion in Session 108 about children not always understanding the difference between a story and a problem. I worked with another teacher for several years when I taught 1st grade. Stories vs. problems can still an issue when students make bug problems in September of first grade. He finally came up with this “rule”: If there aren’t two numbers you don’t have a problem!” I tried this on my kindies and many understood the idea. (You could be pointing out there are two numbers in every Picture Problem as you do them.)