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FAQ

Changing Numbers

Question

Kindergarten is looking at implementing Assessment #2:  Changing Numbers and we were wondering why this particular assessment doesn't provide a choice of what set of numbers (range of numbers) to begin assessment with.  For our kindergarten students, we were thinking that starting with set 2: 2,5,4,6 would be more appropriate as these are smaller quantities and more students would have entry into task.  We were a little concerned that starting with set 1:  5,8,6,10 might end up frustrating some students.  Can you share information for the reasoning behind this sequence of numbers sets?

Answer

from Kathy Richardson

Here is my thinking behind having all children start with Numbers to 10 for the Changing Numbers Assessment. 
We want to know how children think when they are presented with the task of changing one number to another. We can learn much more about what a child knows about numbers when we start with numbers to 10 than when we start with numbers to 6. It is important to remember that we are trying to find out what a child does and does not understand. Children will just do whatever they know how to do and will not realize they are doing anything wrong even if they make a new pile or add on to the existing pile -but teachers will gain much more insight into children's thinking. The numbers to 6 can help complete the picture but do not give the whole picture by themselves.