Sunday, September 19, 2010

A simple sorting activity

Welcome to the September Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival.

The Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival hosted by Science@home is for anyone, because we are all teachers and learners all the time. This month our theme is "Maths", which isn't just about counting! Our bloggers have written about games, materials, memory, shapes, graphs and more. Check out the links at the bottom to find some other great posts on Maths.


The mere word 'maths' has been known to send me running for the hills. I am definitely not a maths person even though I have written about making maths resources before! I never was very good at maths at school and I think this has contributed to a life long fear of it! So when I first heard that the theme this month was maths I got a bit worried. What on earth was I going to blog about? So I got to thinking about it all and the fact that maths can incorporate many different things. I have two young children anyway so obviously it couldn't be an activity that was particularly complicated!

I thought about what we had at home to use and finally decided on a sorting activity. I had some beads put away in our craft box which were different colours and sizes - these were perfect for Jacob. An egg carton served as a sorting container. We put all the beads into a bowl first and Jacob got to work sorting them into their different sections. This activity was great as it wasn't just a sorting activity. We were able to name the different colours and talk about the different sizes as we did the activity.

I did a slightly modified version for Esme. I knew she'd want to participate because she wants to do everything her big brother does at the moment. I used a variety of different items that I found in my scrapbook supplies (which are currently gathering dust anyway!) She had fun moving them in and out of her bowl. I can't say she was particularly good at sorting them into the right sections but hey, who am I to judge?!

The great thing about this activity is you can use pretty much whatever you have on hand. It would also be really good with dried beans as well. I'm thinking chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, etc.


Visit Science@home to find out more about the Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival.


Please take the time to visit the other participants and check out their posts on "Maths."

  • Marita at Stuff With Thing writes about meal time maths with the help of our dinner table centrepiece and other food related maths fun :)

  • AmandaB at HomeAge talks about numbers, shapes and sizes, who knew that nested building blocks could be so much more fun than just building them up and knocking them down!

  • For Cass at Schooling Choices the car is one of her favorite learning tools. She thinks you could teach a child almost everything they needed to know about Math without ever leaving the car.

  • Deb at Science@home let her kids raid the chocolate to measure and compare with scales and graphs.

  • Backyard Safari is a right-brained person who spent a lifetime struggling with math, but comes to see the light through the wonder of nature.

  • SMMART Ideas is another food learner, estimating with beans, noodles and cereal...and getting a little number writing practice in there too!

  • For Monique at Your Cheeky Monkey, learning to tell the time is an important part of learning for a child, and it incorporates areas of Maths such as number recognition, counting, sequences and general numeracy.

  • Narelle at A Bunch of Keys has a simple sorting activity that can be done with young children using things found around the home.

  • Colin at Super Parents is writing about the discipline of maths, memory, and recall at 7 years old.

  • Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now loves all the Montessori math materials. But there’s one material she says is absolutely brilliant.

  • Miss Carly from Early Childhood Resources has a range of different mathematics activities that you can play with your children of all age groups!

  • Ash from Mm is for Me has been having some number fun for little learners!

  • The Planning Queen at Planning With Kids has games to teach number recognition to preschoolers - so they don't know you're doing it!

  • Julie at Works For Me Homemaking says it might surprise you to know that maths is heavily reliant on language. Here is a brief discussion of some of the "language" of maths and why children struggling with language development may find maths difficult.

  • Thanks for visiting our carnival, we hope you find some interesting new blogs.


SMMART ideas said...

Yes! I love egg cartons. Thanks for reminding me to use them again. Love muffin tins too. Sorting money into them is another great activity!

amandab said...

We have been doing lots of sorting with beads and egg cartons too! I currently have a container full of bits and pieces and coloured rice set up with an egg carton at the side to sort our "treaures". Unfortunately, I don't think it is being used for much more than creating a mess that Mumma has to vacuum 3 times a day! LOL

PlanningQueen said...

Love this activity. I really need to get some fun materials for sorting. Thanks for the inspiration.

Deb Chitwood said...

That is a great activity! My daughter was obsessed with beads – all the way through her teenage years (of course, then she designed jewelry and bead creations with them). My children and the preschoolers I taught also loved to sort beads with a tweezers. That added a nice extension and a good exercise for eye-hand coordination.

Anonymous said...

Yeah! I like the idea of using lentils/ chickpeas etc too. My 2 year old may give this a good go. I think my 1 year old would just love to throw them around... good outside activity!

Deb said...

What a lovely language rich activity! I can just see all the discussion on size, shape and comparisons, plus getting to play with 3D rather than boring flat 2D is always fun.

Your Cheeky Monkey said...

This is the loveliest blog post - egg cartons and getting back to basics. Its activities these that really keep the kids occupied for ages!

Marita said...

Fun and simple. I like it. Also great for math phobic like myself :D

Miss Carly said...

I love this. Though nowadays we cannot use egg cartons in prior to school settings in case children have allergies. But I love the items that you have used to sort with! A fantastic idea and I love the use of beads!

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