February 2, 2012

Sorting and Classifying Every Day!

Sorting and Classifying Trays

Sorting and Classifying are skills that everyone uses every day. We just do not think about them as such. When we put our clothes away, put the dishes in the cupboard, choose words about a topic in a conversation, set the table, and many other things we are sorting and classifying. We are finding common characteristics among a group of objects.

Children do the same. In the classroom they have to put toys away, they organize items in a dollhouse, they separate pieces of a game and many other activities.

Children also love to play the “What Does Not Belong and Why Game”. I periodically gather objects around the classroom and place them in small baskets for them to tell me which one does not belong in the group and why.

Sometimes children give you fantastic answers that you did not predict.

This week when I was doing this game as a whole group activity I asked 3 girls and one boy to stand up and asked the class which one did not belong in that group. Many students quickly shouted “the boy because he is not a girl”. Then I saw one little hand still up shaking in the air silently saying  “me me me me!” I called him of course and he said that one of the girls did not belong in that group. I said, “What makes you say so?” and he said, “Because she is the only one who is 3 years old.” How clever is that?

We teachers need to be very open-minded and ‘always’ listen to our students. They are amazing intelligent creatures. We must never ever underestimate them!

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