Math Background

Identify, Sort, Classify: Introducing the Concept

Gather the children in a circle. Spread out a box of connecting cubes and give each child some cubes. Ask children to pick out all the red and blue cubes and put them in the center of the circle. Put the remaining cubes back in the box. Elicit from children that they have just identified all the red and blue cubes and sorted them out from the other colors.

Materials: an assortment of connecting cubes in two colors, mats

Preparation: Make a simple mat by drawing a line down the center of a piece of paper. Make enough copies to have one for each child.

Prerequisite Skills and Concepts: Children should know their colors.

Give mats and the same number of cubes to each child. Each child needs cubes of two different colors, but not necessarily in equal amounts.

  • Ask: What can you tell me about your cubes?
    Children should say that they have two colors of cubes.
  • Say: Sort your cubes into two groups. Put one color on one side of your mat and the other color on the other side.
  • Ask: What have you just done to your cubes?
    Children should say that they put the cubes of one color on one side of their mat, or that they sorted the cubes by colors and placed them in two groups.
  • Ask: Are the same number of cubes in both groups?
    Children probably will say no.
  • Ask: Do you think you will always have the same number of things in a group when you sort? Why?
    Children should say no, because things can be sorted different ways and there won't always be the same number in a sorting group.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade K