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Sort and Count I

Alignments to Content Standards: K.MD.B.3


You will need sorting cards or items, for example: colors, shapes, animals, foods, etc. Cards should be able to be sorted multiple ways (example, foods could be sorted by color, then sorted by fruit vs. veggie vs. grain). Another example is animals could first be sorted by pet vs. wild animal vs. farm animal and next be sorted by number of legs and finally be sorted by furry animals/skin animals/scale animals.

First have students look at the cards and decide two or three different ways to sort. Next each student can randomly choose a card or item. Then when all class has one, they sort themselves into categories according to color, shape, type of animal or food they have. Then the teacher can ask the questions:

  • “Which group has the most?”
  • “Which group has the least?”
  • “Do any groups have the same number?”

The students count the groups and answer the teacher’s questions.

IM Commentary

  • English Language Learners would benefit from verbally naming the item they chose and also the other items of the rest of the class.

  • It would benefit all students to be taught to respond in complete sentences to the teacher’s questions. For example they can say, “There are more triangles.”

  • As one variation, each student chooses an Attribute Block. The teacher can then sort the students using 1 attribute and have the students “Guess the Rule” by how they are sorted.

  • Another variation would use a Venn Diagram, in a whole group setting, to sort the attribute blocks the students chose.


The students should become familiar with the math vocabulary more/less/same and most/least.

The students should be able to count and compare small groups.