Sorts, oh sorts!
I’m a big fan of sorting activities. I use them regularly in my classroom, during intervention time, and outside of school during tutoring. They’re great for Reading, Spelling, Math, and Science (and I’m sure a whole lot more)! Here are some of the perks about sensational sorts:
1. It moves students up a “rung” on the Bloom’s skills. No longer are they just remembering information, but instead, they are classifying, comparing, and describing.
2. Generally, sorts are easy to find. Teachers can find many different sorting activities in books and online.
3. If you can’t find any pre-made, sorting activities can be made in a snap! You can even make them “while you go”. For example, if you’re sorting different vowel sounds, have students cut out 10 words from a magazine or old worksheet (I know you have plenty of these laying around!). Don’t tell them what it is for, though. Once they have cut, ask students work with a partner, trade, or just sort their own words into groups. That, my friends, is authentic sorting “on the go”!
4. Sorts are great for differentiating. Teachers can make sorts as simple or as difficult as necessary. You can also modify the same concept sort for 2 different students. Low students can receive a “closed sort” (for example, only 2 distinct categories), while higher level students can handle “open sorts”, where they determine their own categories and placements!
5. Sorting activities are visual. This makes them practical and functional for all learners. Even students who struggle with reading can sort spelling patterns—and this gives them extra exposure to print, and of course extra exposure to the words when you discuss them!
6. Sorting activities make great centers to be used over and over again. Laminate cards, use real items (such as 3D figures), or even have students search for their own objects to sort. As long as you set your expectations, sorting centers can help develop and extend new skills!
7. Early finishers? Students can create their OWN sorts, try them out, then share with friends. For and extra “umph”, have students try to create one that can stump you!
8. Last but not least, sorting is fun! Maybe it’s just my Type A personality, but I know even as an adult, I like to sort things! Kids are no exception! J
Below are just a few of my sorting activities that I have created in the past.
Please feel free to post comments, share ideas, and more!
And, like I like to say, Happy Sorting! :)