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Jamestown Public Schools
All kindergarten classrooms are known for being a buzz of activity but math teachers throughout Jamestown Public Schools, like Ring Elementary School teacher Jen Goshgarian, are using stations and guided math to harness this activity in ways that make math engaging, meaningful and targeted to the student’s learning needs.
What ensues next is the magic of learning stations and guided math. A scan of the room reveals a room that is a flurry of activity because students are engaged while working independently and in small groups throughout the room. Mrs. Goshgarian helped a small group of students work at a table identifying both 2D and 3D shapes, and while this is important, it is only one small piece of the learning that is taking place in the room. Through the independent work the students are doing, they build problem-solving skills as they interact with each other, the materials in their bin and engage with the learning activities related to shapes and counting.
Students visited stations that include strategically selected activities designed to help them in areas they are struggling with or stations that reinforce the concepts learned on the carpet with their teacher moments earlier. Students worked with bingo dabbers identifying numbers zero to five while close by students used a spinner and blocks to reinforce numbers six to nine all while working independently and remaining on task. Some of the kindergarteners used an iPad app to help with counting and basic addition facts, while others explored shapes in the real world by working with a bilingual paraprofessional who helped, not only the English as a New Language students by offering language support, but others in a small group as they played a hands-on game identifying which 2D and 3D shapes were present in real-world objects. This level of support allowed all students to make real-life connections and have language support in both English and Spanish as they reinforced these new terms.
The buzz of Mrs. Goshgarian’s classroom activity reinforced how engaging and fun learning math can be to some of Jamestown’s youngest learners. At just five-years-old, the students had the supports necessary to grow not only in math, but as learners as well. As part of guided math stations, these activities reinforced foundational math skills while also developing engaged and independent learners who are able to become self-directed problem solvers along the way. It is this buzz of activity within Mrs. Goshgarian’s classroom, and other classrooms throughout Jamestown Public Schools, that provide students skills that extend well beyond math, but create a learning environment for students to gainvaluable tools that will transfer to academic success in other content areas and in future grade levels.