California Early Math Project 2019

Classification & Patterning

Classification

 

Classification is sorting objects according to some established criteria. Preschool children learn to sort according to attributes apparent to them. Children around 48 months of age begin to group like with like with some errors. Children around 60 months of age will sort like with like with fewer errors and according to more specific attributes.

 

A preschool child’s intuition of how to classify objects is a necessary precursor to later mathematical competencies such as grouping algebraic expressions, data analysis, graphing, and comprehending set theory.

 

Children will not spontaneously choose to sort objects very often. This is an important area in which teachers and family members can further support the development of preschool aged children.

 

Click here for ideas and directions for sorting activities collected by the Early Math Project.

 

Patterning

 

Preschool children learn to recognize and create repeating patterns. Children first learn how to identify the initial unit of a pattern, and then learn how to extend the pattern by making inferences as to what comes next. Teachers and family members can play important roles in teaching preschool children how to extend their recognition of patterns throughout a child’s environment.

 

Click here for ideas and directions for patterning activities collected by the Early Math Project.