Friday, November 6, 2009

SORTING: Words Their Way

I love the program Words their Way. I used to use this spelling program when I taught second grade. Now, I just started using this same program with my little ones. If you have never sorted with your toddler, there is never a better time to start than now. Words Their way was written by Donald R. Bear, Marcia Invernizzi, Shande Templeton, and Francine Johnston. I love their way of thinking. It just fits the way that we learn the best. How does it help toddlers? In the third edition of their book it states, " The human mind appears to work by using a compare-and-contrast categorization system to develop concepts and attributes. The sorting activites build on and reinforce this natural tendency." (Page 102) Sorting also builds vocabulary skills. Toddlers learn names of pictures, items, and categories. Great for organizational skills too.

As little R and I sort, we talk a lot. I ask him questions like, "Why did you put that there? or What made you think that? Where else could we put that?"
Little R has really expanded his vocabulary just by simply sorting things.

What do we sort? You might ask.
We sort just about everything.

Each week I am going to post at least one sort that we have done. I try to do one everyday. They take about 1-2 minutes and any mother or caregiver can do it.

Here was a sort that we did just this week:
Step #1: Dump out Halloween Candy

Step #2: Talk to your toddler about making piles, groups, or rows. Tell them that you are going to sort the candy today. Little R talked about finding "matches." Make sure that the sorting is done by your toddler:)
Step #3 Keep sorting and ask questions to your toddler to get them using vocabulary. What do you call this pile? Why did you put that there? etc.
Step #4 Let that toddler of yours have a treat! I couldn't tell him no, so I let him pick one to eat, after he told me why he picked that one. "Because it is skinny and long!"
Want another fun idea to do with that Halloween Candy?
Click here to make some fun candy art.


  1. What a fun idea. I would do this but the kids have already devoured pretty much all their candy. They probably all have several cavities. Is the chick who does Mother Huddle a friend of yours? It is a darling site!

  2. No, I found the blog a few weeks ago looking for something. I thought they had a cute site. They have lots of fun ideas so far. One to bookmark for sure.

  3. Alright, I have been checking your site daily and you haven't added anything else! What is the deal? Love Ya,

  4. Sorry I have been busy with sick kids, birthdays, and packing:)