Mathematics Foundation: 3 - Data Analysis

Topic: M3.1 - Demonstrate understanding of classifying

Classifying is a mathematical concept that is important in daily tasks as well as problem solving. The ability is necessary as a foundation for both math and science. Children who are able to classify build foundations for data analysis, which will be used in primary school. Once they have classified items, children can also compare items further to learn more specific similarities and differences between items, both within and between matched groups.

The development of classifying skills leads to:
*The ability to differentiate groups of items, concepts and attributes
*An ability to analyze data in mathematics and daily tasks
*Exploration of data using graphs

Looking Ahead to Kindergarten Family Engagement Special Populations
In kindergarten, students will identify, sort, and classify objects by size, number, and other attributes. They will also be able to identify objects that do not belong to a particular group and explain the reasoning used (K.DA.1). Encourage families to:

*Actively describe environments and objects they are engaged with at home, on the car ride, or at the store (e.g. “Look at the flowers in our yard! The petals on this one are different than the dandelions we collected.”).
*Have the child help sort the laundry by various categories (e.g. matching socks by color or by who the sock belongs to).

Educators can:

*Provide direct intervention and support while children explore different shapes, sizes, and colors.
*For DLL, consider having children work with a friend who speaks their native language.

Powerful Practices
Across all developmental stages, educators can:

*Highlight classification in everyday life and routines (e.g. when children put a puzzle together, point out they are matching shapes. When they are putting on their shoes and socks, remind them they are matching objects. During clean up time, provide children with daily opportunities to classify toys and put them in the correct container, on the correct shelf).
*Provide varied opportunities and materials to sort and classify items by attributes, and encourage children to discuss their reasoning behind each decision.
*Use descriptive words that refer to objects’ color, shape, size, texture, etc.

Infant
Younger Toddler
Provide diverse materials in the environment and draw attention to unique qualities of objects (e.g. “The cow has four legs. You have two.” and “All these blocks are red, but this one is small and this one is big.”)
Older Toddler
Model grouping by attributes (e.g. sorting all the animals in a pile and all the cars in another)

Provide materials that children can sort (e.g. blocks or socks)

Point out similarities and differences (e.g. “This group is big and this group is small.”)

Younger Preschool
Provide materials that children can sort, classify and name during independent and group activities

Play games in which children can practice classification (e.g. classify pizza toppings)

Ask children a question that allows for grouping (e.g. question of the day, “Chocolate vs. Vanilla ice cream?”)

Older Preschool
Provide complex materials that can be sorted by multiple attributes during independent and group activities

Initiate conversation about strategy children can use or used to sort or classify objects

Display and discuss children’s responses to grouping questions