Monday, June 27, 2011

MathStart Books: Fun with Sorting

We had some fun today with blocks and exploring sorting things by various attributes. 

Get Ready:
You will need some things from around the house that can be easily sorted by various attributes.  (Color, Size, Shape, etc.)  Some ideas would be socks, buttons, books, or shoes.  For this activity we used mini unit blocks similar to these. 

Activity 1:  One of these Things Doesn't Belong Here
We reviewed the concepts of "alike" and "different" by playing the game, "One of these things doesn't belong here."  I would line up four objects.  Three of these objects would be alike in some way.  One of the objects would be different in some way.   All of the objects would have something in common.   I had the kids pick out the different object.  I even sang the old sesame street song to the kids because I couldn't resist.
 Acitvity 2:  Guess the rule
The next game we played was called "Guess The Rule".  I would start sorting the objects and the kids would try to guess what attribute I was sorting them by.  We did some talking by asking questions like:
1)  How are all of the objects alike?  (In our case Sophie said that they were all made of wood.)
2)  How are the items in the two groups different?
Activity 3:  Sorting objects on your own
I then had the kids try to think of as many ways as possible of sorting our blocks.  Firs they sorted by color.

Then they sorted by shape. 

Activity 4:  MathStart Book
I love MathStart books by Stuart J. Murphy.  They are really a fantastic way to teach young children math.  Especially if your kids like to be read to.  I read the kids the book 3 Little Firefighters
3 Little Firefighters (MathStart 1)

In the book the three firefighters need to get dressed for the parade, and they need to look their best.   However they are missing their buttons and their belly buttons are showing.  (This always makes the kids giggle.) So they search the house high and low until they find an assortment of various buttons.  

The firefighters each need four buttons on their jacket otherwise they won't stay shut.  Also, since they need to look their best, the buttons need to match in some way.  So the firefighters have to sort their buttons in various ways until they find a combination that works. 

After we read the book, I printed out some copies of the firefighters from the books.  I then gave the kids a puzzle to work out that involved sorting their own "buttons".  (Except we pretended the blocks were buttons because I was too lazy to run upstairs and face by messy button box.)

The kids needed to find a combination that gave:
-Each Firefighter four buttons, and
-The buttons needed to match in some way on each jacket.

First the kids tried sorting the "buttons" by color.  That didn't work because we didn't have four green buttons.
Next the kids sorted the "buttons" by shape.  This worked! 

Well, thanks for reading everyone!!

Links to Become Attached To:
Stuart J. Murphy's Main Site (He is the author of the MathStart series and his website has a ton of great ideas for using his books.)
Math Monday Blog Hop (tons of great math ideas)
Tot School (See how others are learning with their tots!)
Preschool Corner (See how others are learning with their preschoolers!)


Giggly Girls said...

Those books look so neat. I've never heard of them before. I'm going to have to check those out.

Popping in from Tot School.

Mom of the Twinkies and Tot! said...

I love these sorting activities! Sorting is such an important skill for kids! I'm going to have to try something like this with my son!

Monica said...

Found your blog through Tot School - glad I did! We do Before Five in a Row and Sonlight too. I added my blog to your Sonlight blog roll. It's a great idea...I love checking out what others are up to for inspiration.


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