Our staff has been participating in critical thinking continuum PD for the last quarter. One of the sessions focused on open sort classification. So, we are beginning a farm unit. Initially, my teaching partner and I were planning on having the students do a open sort on the ipad individually. They would download the pictures from Dropbox on the Educreations app. The students would sort the pictures and record their reasoning/rationale of their sort. At the last minute, we changed our mind and decided to do the open sort/classification activity as our Do Now. Well, my Do Now took 20 minutes and the students were completely engaged. They came up with multiple ways to sort these objects. It was amazing.
Attached is the educreations activity we did together. I projected the pictures on the screen. I moved the pictures and wrote the words. I also repeated what the students said so all could hear and any audience listening/watching would be able to hear as well.
Upon reflection, the value of doing this activity as a whole class is amazing. I don't think I would get these kind of answers if the students did the activity by themselves (actually I know I wouldn't). I would get the one way they sorted it. I think possibly by having some groups, there would be more of a chance to get this same kind of discussion and critical thinking by the students. I am glad that this was a whole activity. I am excited to do the next one.
The key to the open sort is that there are multiple ways to sort. The squirrel and then I added the children quickly at the last moment (instinctually) technically fit in both farm and city sorts but made the students really defend their answers and explain their rationale for where they put each object.