Young children who understand the Big Idea that attributes can be used to sort collections into sets have a working knowledge of what a set is and how it is constructed. Experiences with attributes are central to developing this as they give a solid understanding of how we define collections of things.
© Erikson Institute’s Early Math Collaborative. Reprinted from Big Ideas of Early Mathematics: What Teachers of Young Children Need to Know (2014), Pearson Education.
A kindergarten student organizes a collection of rocks into unique sets. Simple questions can result in explorations in core math concepts such as grouping. In this case, some very unusual groups are created.
A child makes different groups out of a collection of keys.
A child creates groups out of a collection of rocks.
Lyn English defines analogical reasoning and describes its importance and prevalence in early math classrooms.
A child explains how he organizes a group of bears.
Sorting things into categories is one of the ways mathematics enters into our daily life. At “clean-up time,
Cindy Collado and her preschool class at Stock School were involved in a shoe project that incorporated many math concepts through a variety of activities over the course of two months. The class started by taking a good look at their shoes and then talking and thinking about what they saw.