KinderGals: Differentiated Math Instruction and Assessments

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Friday, November 6, 2015

Differentiated Math Instruction and Assessments

I recently saw this on social media. I’ve seen it before, but every time I see it I am reminded of the challenges of teaching.
“If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of who didn’t want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher’s job!”  Donald Quinn
Yes, teaching is challenging, but some of the finest people I know are teachers! They look at these challenges with a sense of optimism. They will keep trying all the strategies in their bag of tricks until they find just the right strategy for each learner!
A few years ago my friend Michele and I teamed up to create some activities we could use with our small groups during math. Activities that we could EASILY differentiate and not have to plan different activities for each group!
Children are ever aware that they are doing different activities. We wanted these activities to use the same resources and still be differentiated! Then, they all think they are doing the same thing!!
Let me show you a few of the activities.
In this activity, Dump, Sort and Count…we can easily differentiate just by putting different numbers of pattern blocks in each child’s cup. The children dump out their blocks, sort, and color the recording page. Then, they cut the recording page, sequence the strips by quantity and glue them back down!
Here’s what our plans look like. We script one plan. Then, at the bottom of the plans we write our accommodations that make differentiation easy peasy!
Now, how do we know who is in each group? Who needs 1-5 blocks in their cups and who needs 6-10 in their cups?
We start with the assessment, group our kids, do the activity, then assess again to see the progress. While assessment tells us what the kids accomplished, it also tests the effectiveness of our activity…no improvement—shelf the activity!
Here’s another example…First we did our assessment…the hands game.Slide2
Then, each child plays the game using 3, 4 or 5 bears (depending on the results of the hands game) and records their responses on the recording page.
It’s not like we are doing an assessment for EVERY SINGLE lesson. One assessment helps us determine the grouping for several activities!
In this activity, the kids toss a pompom onto the game board. Then, they put that many pieces on their  frame. Last, they record their results on the recording sheet to show how many more they need to make 3, 4, or 5 depending on the results of the assessment! Same game, just different recording page and different frame.

Last activity! Children spin a spinner, color that many stories on their tower. Then, they determine the number combination!
I love this quote! It reminds me of why we so meticulously think through each lesson, each activity…why we use every second in a way that helps us reach our goal.
We have compiled the assessments for units 1-5 into one unit. You can find a free copy of these assessment by clicking on the cover below.
This assessment pack lists each of the units, the standards, and the assessments you can use for each of the activities.
So how in the world do we keep up with everything!? We use ESGI! Have you heard of it? Want to try it out? You can get a free two month trial by clicking on the image below.
Here’s the cool thing….our math assessments are now on ESGI!!!!
When you click on my name, you will see a screen with each test.
After you administer the test, you can check the bar graph for the class results. But, here’s what’s cool…If you click on the green, you see who already mastered the questions. Click on the gray part, and you see who has not!
You can also see a class spreadsheet. It will show their baseline, then the score they received after teaching and  retesting.
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Karen Stamp said...

Thank you for sharing all these wonderful differentiated activities and for a chance to win as well!!
Karen :)
Mrs. Stamp's Kindergarten

Gina said...

A very cool giveaway, and I"m so excited to see your assessments! Thanks for the chance to win!

Kim Durno Toms said...

Cool giveaway!!! I have been a follower for YEARS!!! Please keep up the good work. See you in Orlando:)

kdg94 said...

I love ESGI and I love all your wonderful ideas!

Unknown said...

I love your blog and thank you for an extra chance at winning!!!

Unknown said...

So many great ideas for differentiating activities! Thank you!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I appreciated reading your post on purging. I have these very same problems...only WE have been in the same house for over 40 years!!! You have inspired me to PURGE!! :)

Anonymous said...

I really liked your math ideas. I am just getting the groove of math centers and I like how you differentiate each activity

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for all the freebies! I appreciate your time!

Unknown said...

I like the Assessment tool

Unknown said...

Thank you! I love this!

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