Sorting Activities for Little Learners

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Sorting by attributes is a big fundamental skills taught in every early childhood classroom. Classifying and sorting is  a unit that starts off math instruction for the school year. However, things like classroom management, getting to know your learners and other back to school craziness can take priority during the beginning of the school year. As a result, sorting activities could fall on the back burner.

A Math Block that Works

The great thing about teaching is that we all have our own style.  For me, my math block is very structured.  My students know what to expect and when to expect it.  In my classroom, you can find the following:

  • Engaging mini-lessons
  • Math centers
  •  Independent practice
  • Visuals throughout the room

Engaging Mini-Lessons

Mini lessons are the perfect way to introduce a unit.  First, I like to start with mini lessons that build on each other.  A good book is a great way to start off a mini lesson.  And if you know me, you know how much I love to integrate books into all of my subjects.  Next, model what it looks like to sort objects by a particular attribute.  This is a great time to ask for volunteers to practice with you. 


A Pair of Socks mini lesson for sorting

These are some of my favorite books for this unit:

Math Centers

This is where your learners can practice sorting by different attributes. To begin, centers should be fun and engaging, but effective. I include hands on activities that can be played with a partner or group of students.  In this unit, all centers are focused on sorting items by color, size, shape and many other attributes. 



In addition,  for centers to run smoothly, your center rotation must be on point.  An organized center rotation provides more time for learning and less time for students to misbehave.

Interactive Notebook

As an extension to my mini lessons, I use an interactive notebook.  This is a great resource to bring to the teacher table or to just review lessons.  With the sorting unit, students can glue interactive activities where they are sorting by different attributes.

Visual Aids

Math is a visual subject, so it’s important to have visual aids around the room.  A math word wall is helpful along with posters at different areas of the room.

To see the full resource, check out my Sorting by Attributes math pack.  And be sure to grab the free ‘Sort by..’ poster below!

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progress monitoring in the early elementary classroom for math, literacy and reading

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