Did you know that your kindergartener is expected to “classify objects into given categories; count the numbers of objects in each category and sort the categories by count?” Yes, they are! according to the Common Core State Standards. Sorting and patterning skills are important in early childhood education, and common everyday activities that involve sorting lay the foundation for developing strong math skills. What you can do at home is to provide ample opportunities to sort various items you have around the house to assure that your child possesses all the necessary skills, which would lead to future academic mastery.
So, begin by gathering objects around the house (for example toys e.i. transportation vehicles, or food such as fruits or vegetables) which share a similar trait and offer your child to sort by one particular characteristic. A skill is like a muscle, to be strong, it needs to be exercised! You can start practicing sorting as early as fifteen months! For example, give your child a bowl with oranges and bananas and offered to sort either by color or by shape. Or offer a basket with cars and teddy bears and offered to sort by texture: hard vs soft. With little ones, start with two sorting groups and offer familiar items.
Here, I offered Adrian wooden threading beads to sort according to 1) color, 2) shape, and 3) size.
Sorting is grouping items according to a similar trait they have, or in a way in which they are the same. Examples of sorting are by color, shape or size. Note, that if sorting by shape, for example, a sphere, although may be of two different sizes, should still be grouped together as they are the same geometrical shape. Similarly, all orange items are grouped together if sorted by color, however, if they vary in shape, the same item can also be sorted into a different group based on the shape caracteristic.
Sorting requires children to compare and classify objects according to specific characteristics, preparing them for more challenging comparisons when working with numbers. Also, sorting encourages children in developing problem-solving skills, spatial awareness, and hand-eye coordination. As such, sorting and classifying are basic skills that can be taught early on to ensure future mastery in math and academic success.
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Please, always supervise your children while they are learning through play as small items can be choking hazard, Xoxo