Series: Book Ideas

Matching and Concepts of Same and Different… with Socks!

Concepts of Same and Different with Socks 636x363

Does a polka-dotted sock match a striped sock? In A Pair of Socks young children will learn about matching, an important early math skill, as a lonely striped sock searches the house for its mate.

In this book written by Stuart Murphy and illustrated by Lois Ehlert, children are introduced to the important concept of same and different. On each page, the sock finds a possible match in various places around the house. The book ends with a two-page spread of all the socks shown in the book, and children are invited to find all the matching pairs. The brightly colored pictures make it easy for children to see the patterns and colors of each sock.

In the book we find many opportunities to find math around the home. Invite children to help find pairs of socks when they are putting away their clean clothes. Classify clean clothing in groups by separating shirts, pants, and underwear into piles. By doing this they are defining groups: These are the pajamas, these are the shirts, these are the pants. Then separate the clothes by creating the clothes that belong to each member of the family. These are dad’s clothes, baby’s clothes, big brother’s clothes. And what about clean clothes versus dirty clothes? Whites and colored clothes? There are many ways to sort laundry, depending on the task at hand.

There isn’t a location or chore around the house that doesn’t allow for discussion around matching, sets, and sorting.

Think of all the times sorting and classifying can take place at different times and in different seasons. In the summer, organize swimming gear and outdoor toys. In the winter, organize the family’s gloves or mittens in pairs for easy finding and to prevent them from getting lost throughout the house.

And don’t stop there. After you wash the silverware, ask children to help you put them away in the drawer, making sure that they are all in their proper place with other matching silverware. There isn’t a location or chore around the house that doesn’t allow for discussion around matching, sets, and sorting.

Why is this important?

Defining sets is prerequisite for counting and comparing. Children build strong foundations for mathematical thinking though lots of everyday, meaningful opportunities to sort (and re-sort) collections.

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Big Idea

The same collection can be sorted in different ways. More

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Big Idea

Attributes can be used to sort collections into sets. More

Foundational Math Concepts

Source: Erikson Institute • Copyright: Erikson Institute • Content ID: Not specified

More in the Book Ideas series

NEWS001-1 best childrens books for winter

Finding Math in The First Day of Winter

As a little boy adds more and more trimmings to a snowman on each page, children can chant along and experience the growing pattern: “4 prickly pinecones, 3 striped scarves, 2 bright blue mittens, and a red cap with a gold snap.

What do you think?

  1. Comment icon

    Maggie Lantry

    August 11, 2017 at 5:00pm

    Great ideas! I wish you would make them To Download!
    Then I can easily add to my education file.Please consider it,
    Thanks, M

    • Comment iconAuthor

      Cody Meirick

      August 22, 2017 at 3:28pm

      Hi. You might try the “Print” button that is under the title of the article. That might get what you want.

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