To kick off our math lesson, I read the book Sort it Out by Barbara Mariconda. I often read picture books to my class during our math block. I feel reading a book with mathematical concepts makes a real-world connection for students. In addition, students love story time and associate happy feelings with our time spent together reading stories. My hope is these happy feelings spill into a love for math.
This book is about a mouse sorting through his trinkets. I did find it necessary to explain what a packrat was to the class. I simply told them Packy was a rat who loved to keep everything he came across and pack it away. I like this story because it gets the children involved in the process as Packy is deciding how to sort his items. The book also includes rhyming and has a good flow.
After the story, I explain the task for today while we are still seated on the carpet. Children will complete a sorting activity taken from my Houghton Mifflin math series (see resources). I do not use the math series consistently, as it is not Common Core aligned. However, I was able to pull several sorting activities out for this unit.
This assignment requires students to cut and glue items into the correct backpack or suitcase. I take one picture from each side of the assignment and ask my students to help me place it in the correct spot. For example, the green toothbrush is glued onto the green suitcase. My students love to help me! Once we have completed two examples together, I send students off to work independently. An example of student work is shown below.