We did our sorting task this week. The students worked in groups of three, and each group had 10 images. First they were to sort the images into two groups, using any reasoning they wanted. We shared the categories they had selected as a whole class. We then had a mini competition to see which group could come up with the most categories for dividing the images. The group with the most came up with 15 different ways to sort the pile into two. The different categories were very interesting although were all at the level of has and doesn`t have. ie has a snake body or doesn`t, is a hybrid or isn`t, my favourite category was " has angry eyes".

Once we had finished this I then asked the students to exclude one image in turn from the group. They struggled a little with understanding the instructions, some excluded one image then a second from the group and so on until they only had one remaining. This was towards the end of the lesson, and they are not the most concentrated group of kids, although of course I may not have been very clear in my instructions....


By doing the different possible categories before the "odd man out", it gave the students a variety of ideas for how they could define the parameter for exclusion. It was also very interesting to observe how the students contributed to the groups. Some of the students who I would define as the "brightest" really struggled beyond one or two categories and some of the ones that I wasn`t expecting too much of really surprised me and came up with many and varied categories. I wonder if it is linked in any way to language. Next time with this group I might see if there is a difference between those who have three or more languages and the others.


# Alexander Sokol 2011-01-31 18:46
can you please give more details on the divisions students came up with?
One of the things I am interested in is whether you actually dealt with the quality of divisions in any way? This would have probably been Step 2 (and possibly also Step 3) of the Thinking Task Framework.
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