Sorting

teaching sorting skills in preschool

Sorting

Activities and ideas for teaching sorting skills in childcare, preschool, pre-k, or kindergarten classrooms. Teach children to sort using various attributes.

Sorting is a foundational math skill for preschoolers. It can takes months or even an entire school year for mastery of sorting to occur with this age group. For this reason it is important to provide your students with plenty of sorting practice all year long.

Objective: Sort, classify, and order objects by size, shape, color, and a variety of other attributes.

Books about Sorting

Using Music to Teach Sorting:

I routinely use songs to help reinforce math skills in my classroom. I have used HeidiSongs Musical Math DVD with great success in my classroom. The Musical Math DVD has a specific song for teaching sorting that is very effective. HeidiSongs work because they use a multi-sensory approach which adds movement to each song so the students sing the song and move at the same time. When combined, these strategies provide a more meaningful experience that will promote retention of the concept being taught.

Sorting Activities
Animals
sorting
Materials: inexpensive erasers from Oriental Trading to go with your theme, sorting mat
You can find erasers to match just about any theme. Students can sort the erasers by type on a paper sorting mat. I made this sorting mat by tracing circles on a blank sheet of paper.

Sorting by Color
sorting colors
Materials: white vinyl tablecloth (from dollar store), colored permanent markers, variety of different colored objects for sorting (see Color Boxes section on Colors page)
Students enjoy sorting items by color with this giant sorting mat. Sit students in a circle around the mat and pass around a basket full of different colored items. Each child takes an item from the basket and places it on the appropriate circle.

Other materials for sorting:

  • Shells
  • Keys
  • Buttons
  • Seeds
  • Pom Poms
  • Paint sample chips

Thematic Sorting Activities
I have many thematic sorting activities on the individual Theme Pages.

Math Resources

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