Sorting by Size

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Students will classify objects into given categories, count the numbers of objects in each category, and sort the categories by count.

Big Idea

Students will use each other to sort by size.


20 minutes

To begin our lesson, I grab a bucket of crayons from one of the classroom tables. I tell children I am going to sort them. The children automatically think I will sort the crayons by color, and some will tell me I am doing it wrong as I begin.

I sort the crayons by size; putting the small, broken crayons in a pile, and the nice, longer crayons in a pile. I then ask my class how I sorted the crayons. A few will figure out that I have sorted by size, and I explain my reasoning for why I sorted my crayons this way.

I then tell my students that I am going to sort them by size! They love being involved. I put them in a line across the classroom, sorting them from shortest to tallest. I then "challenge" the kids. I have them come sit back onto the carpet so that they are all out of order. I say, "Wow, that was really hard. Do you think you could sort yourselves by size without my help?" Of course they enjoy being challenged. I give a reminder that while they are sorting themselves, their voices must stay at an indoor level, or I will automatically win. This takes some time, but they really did get it! It was fun to hear the converation taking place.

Independent Practice

15 minutes

Students are asked to complete a sort by size worksheet that I took from my Houghton Mifflin math series. Children need to circle the large shapes in red, and the small shapes in blue. As a point of reference, I draw a large circle in red, and a small circle in blue on the whiteboard. This task goes quickly, but gets the job done! More time is spent on the introduction activity in this lesson.

As students finish, I ask them to put their thumb in the air. I will walk around checking and giving stickers to each child as they complete the task.