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Grade: Elementary
Subject: Mathematics

#3259. sorting math

Mathematics, level: Elementary
Posted Mon Oct 11 11:53:17 PDT 2004 by Heather Rife (
University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, Johnstown
Materials Required: crayons, graph paper, show-n-tell items, other objects brought in to class to sort, markers, chart/t
Activity Time: 30 min
Concepts Taught: sorting

The students will develop the skills to examine a group of objects and determine possible ways to categorize them.
The students will be able to analyze and classify data in different ways allowing them to sort them into groups.
The students will be able to distinguish similarities and differences between objects.
The students will be able to draw a bar graph using the data they found from sorting their show-n-tell items.
The students will be able to arrange objects from largest to smallest.

Anticipatory Set:
oI would ask the class a number of questions to determine how I would group them. For example: who has a pet; I would look to see who has blonde hair, black, red hair, brown hair; I would look to see who was wearing a certain color such as blue, etc. Then I would sort/group the kids according to these categories and have them sit in their appropriate groups.
oI would then ask the kids in the class if they see any similarities among all the kids in each group. What does each person in the group have in common?
oAfter we talked about it for a little and came up with the right answer I would tell them that today we are going to be learning how to sort/group things into groups or categories according to what those things have in common with each other.
Developmental Activities:
oNow I would explain to them that sorting objects helps people see the similarities and differences between items, and it also helps people locate things in an efficient way.
oNext, we will do a little activity to give them further practice with sorting. I have a small boxful of items that need to be sorted into the right groups or categories. Spread out all the items and give children a few minutes to study them. Then, tell them that it will be their job to find a way to sort them. Allow the children to think of as many ways to sort as they can.
oI will then put the items into the suggested groupings and then as a class we will discuss why they chose to group the items the way they did.
oI would then ask if anyone came up with a different way to group the items and ask if they would like to share it with the class.
oIf there are no questions we will then move onto SHOW-N-TELL TIME!
oAfter each child has a chance to show and talk about the item they brought in we will arrange the objects from largest to smallest. I will have the child with the biggest object brought in lay their item down first. Then I will have the next biggest item placed down beside it, etc. . .
oAfter sequencing the items largest to smallest we will find the common similarities and differences among the items and discuss how we could arrange them into at least 2 separate groups or categories. Have the class think of these groups and help them if needed.
use of the objects
oGo over how the items were grouped/sorted. Now we will count how many items are in each group and mark them on a table or chart, using an X. Then we will tally up each X and put that number to represent the number of items in the group.
oAfter we mark down the number of objects in each group I will send the students, two at a time, to put their show-n-tell items away and then take their seats.
oNow that everyone is seated I will regain their attention by asking if anyone in the class has made a graph before. I will hand out a piece of paper to each child. I will then explain that they will be using their crayons to graph our results and that we will be doing this as a class so no one falls behind.
oGraph results together as a class.
Assessment: Teacher observations, class discussions, responses to open ended questions, collect the graphs and look over them.
Special Needs Adaptations: For a child who is visually impaired I would make sure to seat them close to the front of the room. I would also make sure to use large visual representations, such as: charts, tables, and graphs, in order for them to see easier.
Technology Integration:
One computer in the classroom
Pull onto the overhead projection screen. Go down to 'other literacy games and activities.' You will choose long and short 'a' sorting underneath this heading. Have the students in the class take the piece of construction paper provided and fold it in half. Have them label one half of the piece of paper 'short a' and the other half 'long a.' There are several pictures available on this page. As the teacher you will pronounce each picture and after you do so, have each child write whether it has a long or a short 'a' sound. Once they have decided which column the picture goes in, they will draw their own picture of the object read aloud. For example if hat was said, the students will decide which column hat goes into: long or short 'a' and then they will draw a picture of a hat in whichever column they chose to put it in. Once I go through all the pictures I will collect their papers and check for understanding.
6 computers in the classroom
Break the kids up into pairs. Have the first six pairs go to the computers. Here they will go to website. Then under the Science activities the students can go to two sites. They can go to the 'fruit or vegetable' sorting activity or the sort 'the living and nonliving things' activity. While those students are at the computers the kids at their seats will be doing a sorting worksheet. The worksheet will deal with the different colors of M&M's. They will have to sort the colored M&M's into the correct colored group and then tell how many of each color there are.
Each child has a computer in the classroom
The data found from the M&M worksheet the students in the class will create a bar graph on the computer from the Microsoft Word tool. First they will go Microsoft Word. From the tool bar choose insert, scroll down to picture, and then choose chart. In the first column they will type in the word 'red.' This will represent the red M&M's. If they do not know what a column is I will show them. Then the next column will be 'blue.' They will continue to fill in the columns with the rest of the colors. Then after they have their columns labeled they will punch in the number of each color they had. Once they do this, they will see a bar chart appear. The last step is to print it off the computer and share them with the class.