Monday, January 20, 2014

Concept Sorts in Math

A while ago I posted about one way that I use "concept sorts" to help deepen students' understanding on a topic.  If you missed it, here it is!  It goes into quite a bit of detail about how I structured my lesson to use this GREAT learning tool!

I wanted to show you another way I use these sorts.  The first time I posted, I talked about having the students in trios which is really one of my favorite ways to use them.  The blog post above explains all the different skills that can be worked on in a 20-25 minute activity!

The other day I wanted to do a sort, but I really only wanted to spend about 10 minutes on it, so I wanted to share how I did THAT!

On this day, I knew I had a second teacher in my room during the time I wanted to "warm them up" with this sort, so I planned ahead and got enough supplies ready for TWO for each teacher.  Instead of having the students cut the cards, I did it and knew that this sort would be much more teacher directed.  I got the headers glued onto some big paper and we were ready to work.  My students still seem to be struggling with visualizing fractions, so I wanted to do another sort related to it.

We then split the class into two groups, one for each teacher.  We each did a little minilesson reviewing what we knew about visualizing fractions and then we grabbed our stack of cards to sort.  As a group, we discussed several of them.  I would show the group a card and then ask if there was someone who could explain which category the card belonged in and why it belonged there.  We did several more cards this way and then I passed the rest of the cards out to pairs of students sitting by each other.  I asked them to work together to decide which group they would fall into.

We then shared out a few more with the whole group and I asked groups to pick the one that was the hardest and we discussed that one.  We had a GREAT discussion about 6/8!  Some students felt it didn't fit in ANY category because it was exactly in the middle!  A few students remembered the rounding rule and felt it should be in the "Benchmark 1" category.  What a great discussion!

Again--the point of these sorts isn't always to have a completed product or even to finish the sort.  We probably had 10 cards left that we could have discussed, but the point of today was to do a quick sorting review, and we were able to accomplish a lot in about 12 minutes!  

For those of you who missed my original post, this is resource that these sorts come from here.

More sorts will be coming--geometry, science, and more. I hope you find these useful!

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1 comment:

  1. This is great! I'm going to do this with my intervention groups this week!



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