In this lesson, children examine, discuss, classify, and sort a collection of buttons by shape and size before they use the buttons to form and extend patterns. The children have the opportunity to work as a group and then independently to practice the skills they are learning. Be aware that small buttons may pose a choking hazard for young children. Teachers will need to find the best buttons for their age group of children or find other manipulative's to sort. (author/nmb)
This activity would be a fun free choice or center activity in the inclusive classroom. Sorting and describing objects are both important activities for all children. Buttons are inexpensive and easy to collect so they make a great manipulative, as long as they are large enough to prevent choking and diverse enough to have high contrast in size, color, and shape.
The cardboard boxes mentioned for work stations will help all the children keep their buttons within reach, but having a defined space to work in and a limited number of buttons will be especially good for those children who are easily distracted or overwhelmed by too many stimuli. Remember that some children may need support getting a pattern started and some could even use a template to help them sort.
If you want more ideas for your inclusive classroom, you may find what you are looking for on the Planning Options pages of the REC. (author/nmb)
Geometry and Spatial Sense for Early Childhood
Characteristics and Properties
Match identical two- and three-dimensional objects found in the environment in play situations (e.g., 2 squares of same size, 2 stop signs).
Sort and classify similar two- and three-dimensional objects in the environment and play situations (e.g., paper shapes, 2 balls of different size).
Patterns, Functions and Algebra for Early Childhood
Use Patterns, Relations and Functions
Sort, order and classify objects by one attribute (e.g., size, color, shape, use).
Identify, copy, extend and create simple patterns or sequences of sounds, shapes and motions in the context of daily activities and play (e.g., creates red, blue, red, blue pattern with blocks).