Sorting By Shape Buttons

Print Lesson


Students will be able to compare objects and sort objects by shape.

Big Idea

Students are inspired by the Button Box to find different ways to sort their own buttons, including by shape.

Problem of the Day

5 minutes

I start the lesson with a problem of the day to help students review skills and concepts from prior lessons and develop their ability to problem solve.  I call the students up to the carpet. The students find their spots while saying this chant with me.

Criss cross, applesauce, hands in your lap, eyes on the teacher, you've got to show me that.

I project the Problem of the Day on the SMARTBoard and say to students, "This is our Problem of the Day for today.  Look at shapes.  They are just like the shapes we sorted yesterday.  This says 'Sort by shape.  Put the object in the correct group.'"  (If you don't have a SMARTBoard, there is a Problem of the Day pdf of the slides with this lesson.)

I call a student up to drag an object into the corresponding shape.  If the student drags it to the wrong shape, it will snap back, so they will know right away if they made a mistake.  If a student does make a mistake, I say, "Remember we are sorting by shape.  Make sure the objects are the same shape."  I continue to call students up until all of the objects have been correctly sorted. 

I tell students, "Today we will be reading another button story.  This one is called The Button Box.  In this story the character finds lots of ways to sort buttons and one of them is by shape just like we have been doing!"

Presentation of Lesson

25 minutes

Before reading the story, I start with a simple movement to help students get their blood moving.  For this lesson, I used The Hand Song.  It is similar to Dr. Jean's song Wiggle Them, but has a cute video on YouTube to go with it.

When the song is over, I remind the students that now we need to be sitting criss cross applesauce with hands in the lap.  I tell students, "Today we are going read another story about buttons.  In The Button Box a boy talks about lots of different buttons."  I read the story aloud, stopping each time the boy talks about a different attribute of the buttons.  I ask, "Could we sort our buttons like this?"  When the story is finished, I say, "The boy in the story talked about the color, size and shape of the buttons.  How have we learned to sort?"  By color and shape.  "Today we are going to keep practicing sorting by shape."

I tell students that we will be practicing sorting by shape again today on the Shape Buttons worksheet.  Doing a short worksheet each day helps the students learn basic paper and pencil skills such as circling and crossing out, which will help students when they take the assessment at the end of the unit.

I show students the paper and say, "This paper is very similar to other papers that we have done.  We will be doing the first question together, and you will do the rest on your own.  When you get to your seats, you need to get out your pencil and put your name on your paper.  When your name is on your paper hold your pencil in the air, that will let me know that you are ready to start."  I like to have students hold up their pencils or put their hands on their heads when they are finished with a task.  It makes it easy for me to see who is ready and also keeps the students from writing all over their papers while they wait for other students to finish. 

I hand each student a paper and they walk back to their seats.  While the students are writing their names, I turn on the projector and document camera and display the worksheet on the SMARTBoard.  When all students have their pencils up, I say, "The directions on this paper say circle the pictures in the box that belong with each group."  I tell students to put their pencil point on number 1.  I model this on the SMARTBoard.  I call a student up to point to the picture that belongs with the first group of objects.  I ask, "Why did you chose that button?"  (It is a triangle. All of the other buttons are triangles.)  I tell students, "You may finish the paper on your own.  When you are finished, put your paper in the basket and put your head down."


15 minutes

I tell students, "Now we are going to practice sorting more buttons."  I show students plastic trays filled with buttons, and say, "We are going to sort these buttons by shape.  Remember you need to group the buttons that are the same shape."  I review the rules for group work.

Share the materials in the tray.

Materials are to be pulled out as needed. (The tray does not need to be dumped out.) 

Talk in quiet voices. 

I remind students that when the clean up song comes on, they need to put all of their materials back into the tray and put their heads down.  I have students return to their seats and give each table a tray of buttons.  I circulate throughout the room to ensure that students are sorting.  I use the remaining time to pull students to complete our beginning of the year baseline assessment.  To clean up, I turn on the clean up song.  I use Dr. Jean’s Tidy Up.  It is on her All Day Long album.


5 minutes

I close this lesson by inviting students back up to the carpet.  I turn on the projector and document camera and let several students share their work on the screen.  The students like getting to "Be the teacher" and other students like seeing their classmates' work being projected on the SMARTBoard.  I mention positive things that I noticed during the practice time.  I review what we did during our whole group lesson.  "Today we talked about sorting by shape.  This means putting things in groups that are the same shape.  Tomorrow, we are going to look at another way to sort."