Sorting By Attributes


We had a math lesson recently that was a big hit. Students were introduced to the concept of sorting items by different attributes. One part of the Everyday Math curriculum that I love is the vocabulary words that are introduced with each lesson. A word like “attribute” seems like a mouthful for a kindergarten, but with the way the lesson was structured, each student was quickly using this new vocabulary word with confidence! After introducing the word attribute I had the students identify an attribute that a classmate had that was the same as themselves. For example, one boy was wearing short sleeves and he noticed that the girl across from him had that same attribute. Each student had the opportunity to identify someone in the class that had a matching attribute as themselves. Next, I called students with shoe laces to a spot on the carpet. I told the students that the attributes I was sorting by were laces or no laces. I asked the remainder of the students to organize themselves according to these attributes. Clear as day, right?!

Moving on…..another part of the Everyday Math curriculum that I love is the connection to literature with most lessons. The book I read is just perfect for teaching attributes:


But the best part of the lesson was when I pulled out my own button box that students were to explore in pairs. Their task was to sort their buttons by at least one attribute and then the class would guess what that attribute was. Watch the wheels turning:

Students ended up sorting by color, size, texture, number of holes, and shape.


So start saving all those extra buttons that arrive with shirts, dresses, and suits….you too can have your own button box at home!