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JKSK Proportional Reasoning

Full-Day Kindergarten – March 2015

Learning Goals:

We are developing our proportional reasoning skills by:

  • investigating and developing strategies for composing and decomposing quantities to 10 using manipulatives.
  • thinking about size and number relationships.
  • making comparisons of quantities.


Students were first allowed to familiarize themselves with the rods by playing with them.  They made things using the rods, such as houses, robots, Minecraft characters, towers, etc.  They noticed the different sizes and colours of the rods.  Some children sorted their rods into colour piles.

Once students were familiar with the rods, they were challenged to sort them from biggest to smallest.  To complete this task, they were given a handful of random rods and worked with a partner.  Some students naturally began making size comparisons/matches (i.e., a green rod lined up with a red and a white).

In order to develop the concept of numbers and equivalency, we challenged the students to match the various rod sizes.  We started by giving each pair a red rod and some white rods.  How many white rods make 1 red rod?  Once students figured this out, they were given the opportunity to practise more advanced equivalency exercises with all of the rods.  Students were encouraged to verbalize their discoveries.  We took pictures of the combinations that students come up with and the following day, students shared their pictures with the whole group.  They were taught to use the terms same as or equals as they shared their work.  For example, one orange rod is equal to one white rod, one pink rod and one black rod. 

We explicitly taught the students to realize that each size rod comes in one colour (some realized this on their own!).  For example, all the biggest ones are orange.  We have also taught them that each size rod could be labelled as a number.  The orange, as the biggest of ten sizes, is the 10 rod, and so on.  The students made a chart to illustrate this concept.  To get students familiar with the number represented by each rod, we distributed a random rod to each student and called out a number.  All students holding the rod representing the number called had to stand up.  We then challenged the students to put themselves in order, based on the rod each child was holding.    

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