Reflection: Size Sorting on the Big Screen - Section 2: Guided Practice


The second sort on the Promethean board, in which students had to look past the differences in shapes and colors but truly focus on size as the attribute by which we sorted, was challenging for the little guys.  To make matters worse, they all got giant egos with the first sort, which was pretty easy for about 95% of the class.

So these poor little over-confident turkeys get to the point where all the big and small circles have been sorted, and the hands go DOWN, as if the kids are silently screaming, “Please don’t call on me,” a sentiment common in 7th grade, I hear, but virtually unheard of kindergarten!

I seized that moment.  It sounds mean—I work with small children, for goodness’ sake!—but I wanted them to feel that intellectual uncertainty.  I wasn’t at all certain that my little guy who tends to know pretty much everything I’m trying to teach would be able to bail us out, but I called on him to sort the first item that wasn’t a circle.  When the little guy moved a big rectangle into the big circle, you could almost hear an audible sigh of relief! 

Personally, I was thrilled that he “got it.”  I usually look at student errors as a great opportunity for learning, but I wanted so much for a fellow student to make the leap from the safety of sorting one shape by size, and it worked!  (If he would’ve sorted incorrectly or stood not knowing what to do, I definitely would’ve helped, but I was so pleased that a fellow student helped sort of “open the gate” to sorting a variety of shapes into the correct size.)  Students got to see another kiddo taking a leap and making a guess, which is so important for successful learning.

  Intellectual Uncertainty-Stepping out of Safety
  Intellectual Uncertainty-Stepping out of Safety
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Size Sorting on the Big Screen

Unit 6: Sorting is Super!
Lesson 3 of 8

Objective: SWBAT sort objects by size.

Big Idea: This Promethean board activity eases students into the challenge of sorting objects by size, getting progressively more challenging as the activities continu

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we can sort by size
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