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Sorting with the Kinder Bunnies

Welcome to our little corner of the internet. We're so happy that you've joined us for our math learning journey. The Kinder Bunnies and I love all things math and are honored to be part of the California Early Math Project. This year I have twenty-three Kinder Bunnies/kindergarteners who are already outstanding mathematicians. We jumped right into our school year, in August, by sharing our sorting and patterning skills. We started with sorting and patterning to create instant success. Patterning is a vital Math Practice that goes beyond the grade-level standards. This skill will help The Bunnies learn to see patterns and structure in reading, writing, and science.

We often read books that support the math standard or practices we're learning. Reading integrates writing, science, and art into our day.

Teaching children even as young as three years old to sort their toys, clothes, and food is not only fun but an important life skill. It's a learning entry point to build self-esteem and learning success. Little brains love success. Our kindergarten brains went to work sorting the stuffed animals in our classroom after enjoying The Animals That Wouldn't Sleep by Sara Levine.

The main character, Marco, demonstrates multiple ways to sort his animal collection so they'll go to sleep. Like Marco, we're also scientists and gathered our stuffed animal collection.

The Kinder Zoologists started by selecting an animal they wanted to use. Then we sat on the perimeter of our rug so everyone could see our collection. I asked how we should sort or group our collection. This way, we'll know where to find them when we read them a bedtime story. *We spend the last ten minutes listening to a class bedtime story with a "quiet friend/stuffed animal."

They shared with each elbow partner, the students on either side, about sorting our unique collection. As the facilitator, I helped them use kid-writing to make labels for their different suggestions. We sorted by size, colors, how they move, and animal habitats. Then one student thought that what each animal ate would be a new way to make groups. This lesson opened up the opportunity for us to create another list of animals to study. In the end, they decided to keep our collection sorted by how they move.

The following day, the students worked independently on sorting animal pictures into their groups. Then each zoologist shared their sorts. We communicate by using "college talk" or speaking in complete sentences. One zoologist shared, "I sorted my animals by the number of legs." Another one shared, " I sorted my animals by their colors."

Our sorting work wasn't over, so we read Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes by James Dean and Eric Litwin. We automatically started talking about our shoes. We assembled around the perimeter of our rug to share our school shoes. We went to work sorting by colors, style, laces, and velcro. We made a graph of our shoe colors and learned how to read a chart.

The Kinder Bunnies were on a sorting roll now, which led us to use our collection of school supplies after reading Sorting by Henry Arthur Pluckrose.

We started this lesson by having them help me with a supply issue. I just returned from the store with several bags of school supplies for our class to use. I dumped the supplies out on the rug. It was a big mess. I asked if they could help me figure out how to sort the mess and enough for all twenty-three students. How can we work together? What do we know?

Immediately arms went up, and they offered to help. They shared that it would be a good idea to find containers to hold the supplies. We found different colored tubs. One friend made the labels, and the class came to the consensus of sorting by each item—glue, pencils, highlighters, scissors, and notebooks. I mixed in toys to see if they'd noticed. They decided that toys should all go into one container but not on the shelf with the school tools. I wondered why they sorted in this way. One friend stated that toys are for playing and not work. We need our work tools in my teacher's place and the toys on the shelf for choosing time.

As we worked on placing each item into their new home, we counted each set. One Bunny wrote the numbers on each container. We then answered that we knew that we had enough supplies for everyone in our class because we counted.

We spent the remainder of our time using pictures of school tools to create patterns and sorting tools and toys into our science notebooks.

What would your little one like to sort? Use clean-up time to have them practice

sorting or grouping their toys. How would they like to put them away?

Sorting is an easy way to get them to count and to compare the groups of objects.

Please visit us often so you can see an actual kindergarten classroom integrate math throughout their learning day.

Remember that you're Math-Tastic!


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