Classifying and sorting plays a key role in laying the foundations for mathematical thinking and numeracy concepts. The act of 'sorting, ordering and classifying are important maths concepts and educators support children in this learning when they provide and ask children to find collections of objects' (Arthur, L,. McArdle,F., & Papic, M. , 2010). Children enjoy collecting 'treasures' and consequently categorising and sorting their collections based on common attributes are a large part of their everyday play. 'Simple sorting and classification are fundamental concepts that help children to organize their thinking about their real world' (Reys, 1995, as cited by Platz, 2004).
Play Based experiences that encourage classifying and sorting...
Context: Classifying and Sorting Leaves (sensory, nature walk, collecting)
Activity: Children go on a 'Nature Walk' collecting leaves that have fallen to the ground. They then talk about the attributes of leaves and decide on a way to sort and classify them out. Children must justify how and why they sorted their leaves. Leaves could be sorted into colours, shapes, sizes, mother plants, textures, smell. Children can represent their findings in a variety of interesting ways such as Venn diagrams, tally, groups etc.
Leaf sorting images retrieved from www.pinterest.com