iPad Math Journals in Kindergarten

When I was growing up, I always knew I’d be in the top of my class in math, and that gave me a lot of self-confidence. -Sergey Brin

Math confidence is something I did not have in school. While I am super proud of surviving doctoral stats, I feel the pain of my students when they struggle with math concepts.

This week we are working on 2 dimensional shapes. We have found them in our environment and discussed the sides and number of vertices. We have a couple of apps that have helped us as we work with shapes. We add our work to our math journals that were created in Book Creator app.

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Using the Geoboard app, ┬áthe kids made different shapes. Their first inclination is to use a different rubber band for each side. I challenged them to create the shape using just one rubber band. Then, they used the drawing tool to write the number of vertices inside. We had a discussion about why you can’t make a circle using this app.

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We also used the Pattern Shapes app. Students made patterns using shapes and colors.

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Again, using the drawing tool, they numbered the vertices. In addition to the shape and color pattern, they noticed there is also a number pattern.

To reinforce these iPad skills, we have pattern blocks in our math center and real geoboards. During our math talks, we talk about the attributes of these shapes. By bringing in both virtual practice and hands-on activities and putting them in our math journal, we are making connections and developing confidence. During these activities, it became more evident that I have some students with fixed mindsets. While we actively work on having a growth mindset, those who tend to struggle are the ones that give up easily. By providing multiple modalities of learning, engaging in math talks, and reinforcing learning with hands on, the aim is to encourage that growth mindset, even if it means a bit of productive struggle. For many, productive struggle is difficult because the grown- ups in their lives tend to rescue them from it. We work diligently to create independent thinkers and problem solvers.