A teacher sits with four kindergartners and is holding up her hand to count how many pencils they have on the desk.

Teacher-led instruction for mastery at the kindergarten level

A note about teacher led instruction at the kindergarten level 

Two Learning Tracks in the Rocket Math Worksheet Program, Beginning Numerals and Conceptual Addition, are teacher led instruction. At the kindergarten level teacher led instruction is generally only successful if done in small groups.  Kindergarteners do not pay good attention to whole class instruction, and so will make errors because of inattention to the lesson and directions, rather than confusion about the concepts.  The worksheets in these programs are very straightforward so that students will be able to do them successfully if they are paying attention to the teacher “I do” and “We do” portions of the lesson.  Successful instruction is dependent upon the teacher having the attention of ALL the students while doing the “I do” and “We do” parts of the lesson, which is much easier in small groups.

The goal is that all the students in the group do it 100% correctly. If more than 1/4 of the students in the group make confused errors (wrong answers), the teacher should re-do the sheet as a group the next day.  And keep doing that until fewer than 1/4 make errors.

If fewer than 1/4 of the group are making errors, then the teacher should give those students remedial help and bring them to mastery before moving the whole group on to the next worksheet.  By working with only the confused sub-group, the teacher is better able to make sure they are attending to the instruction.  The teacher should lead instruction and re-do the worksheet with the confused sub-group until they come to mastery too, before reforming the group and moving on.

Ideally, the teacher could work with the confused sub-group immediately after the lesson or later the same day to clarify their misunderstanding quickly.  If not, then work with the smaller sub-group to have them re-do the worksheet at the same time the next day, while the successful students do something else.

Most of the time, if mastery is fully achieved (100% correct doing the independent work independently) then the next worksheet will be able to be brought to mastery without extra sessions.  This is why the 100% criteria for all students is stated at the top.  However, regrouping may be necessary if some students consistently require multiple times through the worksheet to come to mastery (and should be in a different group) while others can do it easily in one session.

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