Reflection: Tasty Apple Sorting - Section 2: Whole Group Activity


This is an activity that used to be an apple foods graph in my classroom, just like kindergarten classrooms all over the country.  It was really fun turning it into a sorting activity, and the added labeling with numbers for each group provided great review and practice.  I don't mind steering away from old traditions and lots of graphing in kindergarten at all, but I think my focus on the structure of the activity and my desire to make it a meaningful sorting activity allowed for some of my pet peeves to surface.

I teach at a school on a modified calendar--some people call it "year round" school--and this week is our "intersession" week, during which students who need remediation (or whose families need child care) can get extra practice with concepts we've covered in the first quarter.  With students coming from all four kindergarten classes, I have students  who are fairly unfamiliar to me, as they typically have other kindergarten teachers.  Since the focus of the classes are remedial, we invite or "recruit" some of the highest academic and behavioral need students, as well.  This week, 33 kindergartners arrived Monday morning, and management and crowd control became a focus.

The "bandwagon effect" of having 13 kiddos select apple juice as their favorite surfaced because we announced our taste selections in front of the whole group.  If I had the teaching "manpower," I would've had assistants and myself go to each student individually (and quietly) to ask about his or her selection and write a small note on the back of the student's apple.  With 33 buddies and just one helper, that was not a possibility, so we all gathered together to sort our favorite tastes.

The activity really was fun and the students were all engaged.  I was having fun as well, but the 13 apple juices secretly bothered me because the K.MD.3 standard cautions us to keep the group numbers below 10.  I felt as if I was somehow promoting a sort of kindergarten peer pressure... and missing an opportunity to practice our numbers below 10!

All in all, the kids had a fantastic time practicing sorting, quantities, and numerals.  We can do former graphing activities and align them to Common Core!

  The Bandwagon Effect
  The Bandwagon Effect
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Tasty Apple Sorting

Unit 6: Sorting is Super!
Lesson 6 of 8

Objective: SWBAT determine a favorite way to eat apples and then represent his or her preference in a whole-class sorting activity.

Big Idea: In the past, we made apple tasting graphs. Since graphing isn't big in terms of Kindergarten Common Core, this is a great way to update an old tradition with a CCSS-aligned activity!

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