In math we have been covering a unit on sorting and classifying. We have been learning about comparing groups and using vocabulary such as ‘more than’, ‘less than’ and ‘same’. At the beginning of every year we also do ‘Star Name’ where we study one student’s name a week, and do word study with it by looking at the letters, sounds, alliteration and rhyming. It also helps the kids start to recognize each other’s names in writing as well.
I combined these two topics I was covering by putting the kids names on stickers on unifix cubes and starting with a whole class sort of the names. The kids had to come up with different ways to sort them. They ended up coming up with sorting them into initial letters, by colors of the blocks, and by the same number of letters in a name. Each time we used the terms ‘more than’, ‘less than’ and ‘same’ to compare groups.
I then had the kids get their name, choose one other name with more letters and one with less letters. If there was no student with a name longer or shorter than their name then they could either randomly choose a second friend’s name or not get a second name. They would then have to say “S/he has less/more than me too” or say “No one has more/less letters than me.” The objective was to get the kids to use the iPad app Educreations, to compare the number of letters in the names using the vocabulary ‘more than’ and ‘less than’. The kids were able to take pictures of the names on their own and then record their voices as they counted and explained. I also like that they had practice recognizing each other’s names. Here are two examples: