Recently, I had the pleasure of teaching a kindergarten class for the very first time! My colleague, CeCe, invited me to teach a lesson on number bonds using my Desmos Number Bond Activity
The Kinders sat on the rug. Cece projected the activity from her computer onto her whiteboard. To start, I stood by the whiteboard and, with Cece’s assistance, ran a mini-lesson. But anyone who has taught kindergarten before understands, it didn’t take me long before I was sitting or kneeling on the ground. I spent the mini-lesson “toggling” between standing to address the whole group and sitting/kneeling to listen and ask follow up questions.
- Me: What do you notice?
- I see numbers
- I see dots
- Me: What color are the dots? Talk to your neighbor.
- Students: Red, purple, green blue.
- Me: What’s the difference between the dots? Turn to your neighbor and talk about the difference.
- Students: Some are big. some are small.
- Me: What else do you notice?
- I see, no.
- I see, yes
- And a number bond
- Me: Let’s talk about all the items you mentioned ….
This simple opener highlighted all the parts of the slide that I needed to discuss prior to using the computer. We then spent a solid 15-20 minutes discussing
- The vocabulary of a number bond: whole & part
- The purpose of the small and big dots
- The value of the whole (for this example)
- How to move the purple slider to fill in the whole value
- How to check an answer by moving the green slider from No to Yes
- The different messages that could pop up
- How to change an answer when a mistake is made (move the green slider back to No, change answer, then check)
And when I say discussing, I mean there was a lot of
- I listened to their conversations and then based my questions on what was mentioned. Depending on what I heard, I asked followed up questions with 1 student, a small group or the whole group.
- I say, you say
- I ask, everyone answers
Students were organized in pairs and used QR codes to access student.desmos.com.
As the students worked through the problems, CeCe (pictured above) and I circulated the room and checked in with each pair. We asked students to explain their thinking and to read the messages that popped up.
A week later, I had the opportunity to run the same lesson with Ana and her students.
I’d like to thank CeCe and Ana for inviting me into their classrooms. Through our collaboration,
- Students enjoyed an engaging math activity
- Students talked A LOT about adding numbers
- Students were introduced to new technology
- The activity was refined
- With your tutelage, I gained new insights into teaching primary grades