Attributes and Sorting Fun!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011
To kick off my geometry unit, I always focus first on attributes! To have some fun & get the children "hooked", I read A Lost Button in Frog and Toad are Friends. It's chapter 3 & about a search for (you bet) a lost button - Toad's lost his button, and Frog spends his time looking for it - they find many buttons {of all colors, shapes and sizes}, but not the one Toad's looking for, which turns up back at Toad's house. Toad rewards his friend by sewing him a special jacket filled with all the buttons he found during the search. Too cute & my kiddos love it!!

Once I read the story, I get out a gigantic bag of buttons...loaded with different attributes & we play "Guess my Button!". My sweeties take turns secretly choosing one of the displayed buttons only whispering the identity to me. (I have 6 buttons projected on the SMARTboard using my document camera.) The student then gives the rest of the class attribute clues to help them guess the "secret button". During this game, I emphasize to the kids how we can compare & contrast the buttons based on their shapes, colors, sizes, etc. Once we have played this as a whole group, I then break my students up so they can play it in small groups.

After "Guess My Button", we have a button sorting party!! Our party mission is to find as many ways as possible to sort all the buttons. I do this in small groups and differentiate it by the amount of buttons I give the children.{I apologize for the poor quality of the pics..all I had was my phone that day!}

Another fun activity my kids enjoy is called "Buttons! Buttons!". They pick any two different buttons, glue them on their sheet, list their attributes, and what is alike/different about them.

Click on the picture to download the "Buttons! Buttons!" sheet.

To continue to reinforce attributes, I pull out "The Woozles" from the Land of Attributes. You can get the Woozle cards for FREE {here}! This is an activity that comes out of Van de Walle's elementary math K-3 series- Teaching Student-Centered Mathmatics! If you don't already have this resource book, I highly recommend it!!  

Anyhoo, back to the Woozles. I pair up my students and give them each a set of cards. They sort them by similiar or different attributes.  

Then I give each kiddo a blank index card to make their own Woozle. Once everyone has created their lil' wooz card, we share & sort them by their attributes (ex. # of arms, shape, squiggly hair, etc.!! Fun stuff!!


If you teach using Investigations, you are probably familiar with the shape cards below. We used them to play "Guess My Rule". I tried to find a free copy of the cards online for y'all without success...BOO! But you could easily just make a set of shapes with a variety of attributes (3 sides, 4 sides, curves, no sides, etc.) or just get a set of attribute blocks! To play "Guess My Rule", I paired up my students and gave them each a set of the shape cards. They put four shapes on their work mat that followed a rule {all had 4 sides, all had curves, etc} and their partner had to guess it! Great attribute practice and they were so engaged during the activity! YAY!! 

We also played "Guess My Rule" using the printable below. My students worked independently for this activity so I could monitor/assess their understanding of attributes. I had a ton of paper pattern blocks that my SWEET, AMAZING, GO OUT OF HER WAY paraprincess cut out for me. Bless her! The kids glued pattern blocks that followed a "rule" and wrote about it on their sheet. If you can't use paper pattern blocks, you could also let them just draw shapes or trace pattern blocks. It all works! 

Click on the picture to download the printable.

In addition to these activities, we enjoyed playing a couple of related computer games -Guess My Rule & Guess My Button!

As you can imagine, by the end of all of this fun, my sweets had a strong understanding of attributes/sorting! We were super duper ready to then move on to 2d/3d shapes...more activities/printables coming soon since this post is already a mile long....

Coming Soon!!!
I'm really excited about my next set of math  & literacy centers that are FULL of playful penguins!! I hope to have it posted in the next week or so & can't wait to share it with you!! Love some penguins!!! 

I hope all of you have a wonderful week!!! 12 more days until Christmas break!!! YEAH!!!


Erica Bohrer said...

Thanks for the freebies! They are awesome.
Isn't Toad such a pain? I love the one where he won't get out of bed. The Button Box is another good on for sorting buttons by attributes.
Erica Bohrer's First Grade

Ms. Preppy said...

Thank you so much for the freebies! This is exactly what I'm working on right now and I'm sure my kiddos will love these fun activities!

Ms. Preppy's Adventures in Primary and Polka Dots

Jen R said...

Thank you for the freebies! I just did my Arnold Lobel author study last month, but I have them in my files for next time! :)
The Teachers’ Cauldron

Delighted said...

I am saving this for when I do my Lobel author unit. Thank you for sharing these. They are great!!

First Grade Delight

Breen said...

I did a similar unit for science a few months ago during internship. I also read A Lost Button and then One day they sorted by shape, one day by color, then by size and they graphed their buttons for their science journal.

Mrs. Pollard said...

Love the freebies! THANK YOU! My kids are really having trouble with alike/different-- they have to write sentences about it on our district's math assessments. (By the way, I see you used "CK Handprint" on your button freebie. Where did you download it from? I can't get my font to embed in a PDF and it's drving me crazy!)

Tales of a Teacherista

Deedee Wills said...

These are awesome! Thank you for the FREEBIES! I can't wait to use them!

Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

Unknown said...

I love the button idea! Great thing to add to my frog and toad unit! Awesome for compare and contrast!

Check out my new blog!

Anna Brantley said...

Thanks y'all! I appreciate your comments so much & I love that you can use the printables in your classroom!

Mrs. Pollard- I downloaded CK Handprint on this site-


Mrs. Pollard said...

Ok, that's the site I downloaded it from too and it won't save/embed in a PDF! Frustrating!

Cupcake said...

Such cute freebies, I love the buttons :) And I am eagerly awaiting the penguin centers!! I just discovered your blog-- def. following!

A Cupcake for the Teacher

Heather's Heart said...

I LOVE this and we do the same story and activity(We do Bridges Math). We also make a class book of button riddles. We attach velcro and as the kiddos read the riddle they have to find the matching button. We get a letter from Toad after reading the book and he sends us around the school on a scavenger hunt to see if we can find his button. They LOVE this!

Hop on over to my blog if you get a chance. You might win one of the CUTEST teacher shirts EVER!

Ms.Treml said...

Your blog brightens my day… so I have given you the Sunshine Award! Click the link to check it out and to nominate some other blogs!

Pam K said...

Thank you! Another great sorting book for buttons is called, "The Button Box," by Margarette Reid. I shows kids how to sort a collection of buttons in many different ways.

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