Sorting Games

Teaching Classifying, Comparing and Patterns

Children benefit from having lots of experiences sorting, comparing, and classifying objects before participating in patterning activities. Provide opportunities for children to sort or group things by shape, number, color, or texture. As children play sorting games, vocabulary such as classifying, groups, sets, categories, same, different, fewer, longer, heavier, lighter can be introduced.

Egg Carton Sorting

Simply gather different small objects and foods for kids to sort into egg cartons. Since we were in the kitchen I just grabbed foods items from the pantry such as: raisins, bow tie pasta, elbow macaroni, mints, Gummy Bears, cereal, and so on.

What Am I Thinking?
From Mathematics Their Way, Spiral-bound Teacher guide plus Blackline Masters by Mary Baratta-Lorton

1. You will need two pieces of different colored cards and items that can be sorted in many ways such as old keys, buttons, or plastic toy animals. Put one piece of card beside the other with a space between them.

2. Pick up a gold key from the pile. Say, “This key can go on this paper.”Choose a silver colored key and say, “This key can’t go on the paper ” and put it on the other paper.

3. Sort a few more keys, verbalizing, “this key can.. this key can’t…”, then ask, “What am I thinking?”
Children try and guess the sorting rule. In this case I am sorting by color, gold keys are on one piece of card, keys that are not gold are placed on the other piece of card.

4. When the children get the idea, choose more difficult sorting rules. e.g. keys with round holes go on one paper, keys without round holes do not; keys with words stamped on them go on one paper, keys without words go on the other; small keys go on one side, keys that are not small go on the other side.

5. Buttons that are round go on one card, buttons that are not round go on the other; buttons with four holes go on one card, buttons that do not have four holes go on the other. Wooden blocks work well for sorting activities as well.


Photo by Stephanie Felzenberg
Mathematics Their Way, Spiral-bound Teacher guide plus Blackline Masters

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