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TE 910A

Interview Assignment

Student: Amber

Grade: 1

School: Dingeman Elementary School

Information I used throughout the interview: She listed her friends as

Joanne, Rachel, and Savannah. She told me that she had an older

brother who’s name is Raymond and that he is 9 years old. Her

favorite thing to do is cheerlead on her cheerleading team.

Interview Questions:

1. Can you count by 3s? 10s? Show me on paper.

2. Can you show me 24 with the cubes. Please explain this to me. (Add

10: How many do I have now?).

3. Raymond has 5 apples. His mom gave him 7 more apples. How

many does he have altogether.

4. Amber has 21 toy cars. You give 5 toy cars to Joanne. How many toy

cars to do you have left?

5. Rachel has 19 marbles. How many more marbles does she need to

have 32 altogether.

6. Amber has 9 marbles and Savannah has 4 marbles. How many more

marbles does Amber have than Savannah?

7. Rachel has 3 packages of gum. There are 5 sticks of gum in each

package. How many pieces of gum does Rachel have. (3 pack with 12

sticks of gum in each package.)

8. At a party there were 18 M&Ms left to be shared among 3 children.

How many M&Ms should each child get?

9. 20 children are to be driven to the park. If each car had seat belts

for only 4 children, how many cars would be needed to drive all 20

children to the park?

10. Can you write a problem with a bigger number that you can solve?

11. 19 children are taking a mini-bus to the zoo. They will have to sit

either 2 or 3 to a seat. The bus has 7 seats. How many children will

have to sit three to a seat, and how many can sit two to a seat?

12. Imagine that this is a brownie (draw a rectangle). Could you show

me how you might share this with two other people so that each

person gets the same amount? Do the same for 3 people; 4 people; 5

people.

Strategy:

11. In question 11, Amber first drew out 19 lines and 7 lines. She was

drawing a line from one of the 19 to one of the 7. In the middle, she

stopped all of a sudden. She erased everything and drew 7 seats. Then

she placed 2 lines in each seat. She said that these were the 2 people

that sat in each seat. She then counted all of the people in the seats to

get 14. After that, she put a third person in every seat until she got to

19. She concluded that 5 seats have 3 people and 2 seats have 2

people. When I asked her to explain why she erased everything, she

told me that she figured out a better way to do it on her own. Then she

told me that she put 2 people in every seat because she knew at least

2 people had to be in the seat. She put the 5 remainding into seats of

3. This was an example of direct modeling. She showed me how she

got the answer through a visual representation. She also figured the

answer out using counting. She went from counting by 2s to counting

by 3s.

8. This was one of the only times that Amber really utilized the cubes.

She took 18 cubes. One by one, she put each cube into a different pile

until all of her cubes were in 3 piles. After she put them in three piles,

she counted to see how many were in each pile. This is also a type of

counting and direct modeling.

7. When I first asked Amber this question, she quickly got the answer

without using any cubes or writing. She said that all she had to do was

count by 5s for 3 times. She said, “5, 10, 15.” When asked if she could

show me 3 packages with 12 pieces of gum, she took out her paper

and used tally marks. She put the 12 tally marks in 3 groups. Then she

added all of the tally marks to get 36. At first this is an example of

counting and recall (because she knows that 5 added 3 times equals

15.

12. When I drew a picture of a square brownie, Amber was quickly able

to divide the brownie into equal halves. When I asked her to divide it

into thirds, she drew three lines in the center of the square (creating 4

pieces). She then explained that the fourth piece at the end did not

count. It was extra brownie that they did not use. I asked her to draw

the brownie into fourths. She drew 4 vertical lines in the box (creating

5 pieces). Again she said that the last piece was extra and did not

count. This was a part of the derived facts. She took what she already

learned about fractions and tried to apply it to the parts of a whole. Her

derived facts were mostly incorrect about fractions.

This was an incredible learning experience because there are not many

times when a teacher can sit down alone with a student and ask the

student how the student got the answer that they got. It helps to get in

their head for a moment and think about how the student is thinking

about math. If a teacher can do this, they can understand what the

students are struggling with. This experience has also taught me to

question why students are doing math the way they are doing it. Many

of the brief questions are easier for the children. The children seem to

struggle the most with word problems.

I was excited to see how Amber would do during the interview. I knew

that Amber is incredibly bright and has a strong desire to learn and

explore. I was expecting her to do well. I was very at ease with Amber

before and during the interview. I felt more comfortable as we started

getting into the questions. At times I was very shocked with how fast

she came up with the answers. I thought that she would want to use

the cubes more. I was also very shocked with how many questions she

got right. I was going to stop at the multiplication and division

questions but I kept on going since she was getting the answers so

quickly. She was happy for the extra challenge. This was a very

positive interview because she felt so confident in her answers. I felt

like I empowered her to believe that she is great at math.

I was most surprised by the amount of answers she was able to

consider and solve! I thought that we could have to stop at

multiplication and division. One of the most shocking times was when

she counted the five packs of gum by 5s. She did not need to count on

her fingers or draw me a picture to represent this. She knew this so

quickly. Even when I changed the number to 12 pieces of gum she

quickly drew the answer out with tally marks. Then she counted the

tally marks by 5. She was very fast and efficient with a high accuracy

rate.

I think the student has a strong foundation in addition and subtraction.

She knows how to use both in word problems. She is able to

differentiate between addition and subtraction in word problems. I

think she also has a very good foundation in multiplication and

division. She was able to count by groups just like multiplication. She

was also able to separate into groups just as division does so. The next

area I would like to teach Amber is fractions. She understands that

fractions are part of a whole and that all parts should be equal but she

does not understand why there can only be a certain amount of pieces.

I think she would pick up on fractions very quickly.

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