Wednesday, January 4, 2017

7 Reasons to Use Sorting Activities in Math (and a Free Sample)

Students can practice choosing the correct operation when solving word problems using this addition and subtraction sort. Sorts make great activities during math block. They are perfect when students need to discriminate between two possibilities. Here are 7 reasons I like to use them during my math workshop.

1) They make a great assessment tool. You can see who gets it and who doesn't quickly. This can help you plan for the near future.

2) You can make a sort out of almost anything: a set of word problems (like the free sample in this post), shapes, greater than and less than and the list goes on. There are many different sorts for sale that can save you time but you can easily make your own.

3) They lead to great discussions. Have students sort independently or with a partner and then discuss their answers with a larger group. This works out great because you don't waste time talking about the ones everyone agrees on. The places where students disagree make for excellent math discussions and opportunities for students to learn for each other.

4) Sorts can make students slow down and focus on the topic you want. With word problem operations sorts students have to slow down and think about the operation. This brings awareness to the process instead of them just speeding through a set of problems (and using the wrong operation). They are great activities to bring out when students are making careless errors.
5) They can be easily differentiated. You can give ability groups different items or problems to sort. A group of struggling students can work with you while other groups work independently.

6) Sorts are versatile. They are great for math centers or workshop, early finishers or as an entry in math notebooks.  7) Cut and paste activities make work less tedious, provided much needed fine motor skill practice and make good displays for bulletin boards.

Click here of a free sample of the activity in the pictures.
For more freebies click on "Freebies" at the top of this page. 

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