Odds & Order

Pre-Kindergarten
One of Carlo’s favorite things to do is to make different Piles of his Blocks based on color: one pile of green ones, one for blues, one for reds. Carlo is experimenting with ordering objects based on attributes like color, shape and size. Children like to organize items, even at a very young age. It is also fun for them to compare different groups, or compare what they have to what others have. Carlo might play his block game with a friend, noticing that he has more green Blocks than Jimmy, but Jimmy has more blue ones. Without even knowing it, and in a very basic sense, Carlo is making deductions based on a set of data. Sorting things like toys and food is a great way for Carlo to organize data. Asking him questions like, “which color do you have more of?” or “do you have the same amount of each object?” are great ways to help Carlo connect number sense to data gathering.
Kindergarten - 2nd Grade
As Carlo’s thinking and processing develops, he should be able to sort and categorize with more complexity. He can sort by more than one attribute and discuss what the Groups have in common. He can also express not only which one is larger, but how much larger it is. This is a good time to introduce simple bar and line graphs to represent the quantities and comparative attributes of various objects. It is important that Carlo understands this grouping context from various angles. So he not only can chose an attribute and group objects by it, but he can also look at Groups of objects and determine what characteristics they have in common and what characteristics are dissimilar. He will start to be able to organize things and discuss attributes with more and more detail. He may enjoy running experiments and recording results. At the end of 2nd grade, Carlo should be able to solve this odds and order problem: Ask classmates which is their favorite ice cream flavor: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, or mint. Collect the results, then make a bar or picture graph to represent the totals. Discuss the results: which flavor was the most popular? What about the least popular? How much more popular was one than another?