Monday, March 27, 2017

sol17-27 How shall we sort?

I am participating in the
Slice of Life Story Challenge (SOLSC).
All participants are writing about one moment, one part of their day, every day of March 2017. 
A big thank you to Two Writing Teachers for providing this unique opportunity
for teacher-writers to share and reflect.

A container of "whirly twirly lines"

We've been exploring found objects for several days. Today, I wanted to challenge the children to sort the items - to create "collections" of like objects. I've approached this in different ways through the years. Sometimes, I've suggested sorts or even put a few items of a certain type in various containers, just to get the children started. This year, I challenged myself to let the children be a little bit more in control...what would happen if I let them decide what the sort would be? What did they want to collect?

I set out the found objects with several empty containers, as well. I wanted the children to hone in on something special. I invited the children over in small groups and I asked them - Which object do you like best? Which one do you find especially interesting? What do you notice about it?

Then, I nudged them - can you find other objects that are similar to this one?

One container of "long stringy things"; another of  "things that hold things" 
The small groups worked as teams to look through the remaining objects and find ones that fit each other's collections. 

Oh my, did these preschoolers ever amaze me! 

We sorted by 
We found all the 
We collected 
round, rubber things, 
A container of "music things"
long strings,
things with whirly twirly lines, and 
"things that can hold other things" - basically, creating a container of containers. 

My favorite may be the preschooler who put a block in side a can and then shook it, telling me "music! I like music." He proceeded to find things that made noise - tapping his thigh with a spoon, shaking a wheel, holding a pen cap up to his mouth and blowing noises onto it, telling me it was a harmonica. Really pretty funny!

It is so fun and exciting to watch the way children think, and to see how hard they work to accomplish their goals.


  1. So very cool! I want to be a learner in YOUR classroom. Don't you love it when you give kids choice?

    1. They saw things so differently than I anticipated! Really cool experience!

  2. Awesome! I love all the conceptual information with such a sense of fun too.

    1. It is amazing what the children collect as found objects in the first place - and the learning that happens when they study these is just so much fun.

  3. Love that you let them go and how amazing to hear what they thought. I love the musical child, and "things that hold things" is quite perceptive. Love it, Maureen!

    1. Thanks, Linda! I really enjoyed letting them go ;-)