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.
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.