Children learn to classify by focusing on attributes of included objects, then later focus on which objects were not included and why. For example, certain people belong in the set called family, and other people do not. Kindergartners can also practice sorting by moving objects into different groups based on observable characteristics such as size, shape, color, or number. By learning to follow rules that take into account the defining characteristics of sets, they are grasping concepts that form a basis for understanding mathematical functions.
Learning theorists tell us that a large part of the cognitive development of young children is driven by classification and kindergarten mathematics begins with ideas of making, describing, and comparing sets.
(Sorting, Classifying, and Patterning: Critical to Mathematical Understanding in Kindergarten by Dr. Jean M. Shaw)
This week we used the connection key to unlock our thinking and construct sets using different pictures of the children.
Karla: “How are these connected?”
Julian: “We can put them together.
Aubrey: “We can sort them! We can sort them by shape . . . oh, they’re all the same.”
Abulkhair: “I can see the same people.”
Aubrey: “I have an idea. - We can sort by people.”
Kili: “You have to get the other ones like William.”
Aubrey (holding up a picture with two people on it): “This is tricky.”
Karla: “Some photos have more than one person. What can we do?”
Amira: “We can put them in the middle.”