The preschool standards aligned to the Common Core State Standards don't take up geometry or operations-those are held over for Kindergarten. At this point, the object is to build number sense. The counting and cardinality skills focus on “how many.” These focus on “how much” as in volume and as well as “how big, or small, or tall, or short, or other attributes of plane figures, as well as volume. Still, by pairing geometric shapes with colors and size, you will begin to build skills.
When writing IEP Goals for functions and algebra, you will focus on the attributes of shapes for sorting. This early skill will help students build other skills in sorting, categorizing and finally in geometry.
Of course, to successfully sort for color, shape, and size, it is important to have the shapes in different sizes. Many math programs come with the same size shapes-look for an older set (wooden) which are generally smaller than the plastic geometric shapes.
- 2.PK.1 Sort objects by similar attributes (e.g., size, shape, and color).
- 2.PK.3 Compare sets of objects. Determine which set has more or less.
The first and third standards could be combined in a single goal because they call on students to sort and compare, skills that require students to assign certain attributes and order items. The sorting activities are great for young children who have not yet developed language, as they begin to notice the color, shape or size of the things that they sort.
Goal: By annual review date SAMMY STUDENT will sort and compare colored geometric shapes by color, size, and shape, correctly sorting 18 of 20 (90%) in three consecutive trials as instituted by the special education teacher and teaching staff.
This would have four benchmarks:
- Objective 1: By the end of the first semester of the ______ year, SAMMY STUDENT will sort geometric shapes by color with 80% accuracy as measured by the special education teacher and teaching staff.
- Objective 2: By the end of the third quarter of the ____ year, SAMMY STUDENT will sort geometric shapes by shape with 80% accuracy as measured by the special education teacher and teaching staff.
- Objective 3: By the end of the second semester of the ______ year, SAMMY STUDENT will sort geometric shapes by size with 80% accuracy as measured by the special education teacher and teaching staff.
- Objective 4: By annual review date, SAMMY STUDENTS will sort geometric shapes and compare groups for more or less, with 90% accuracy as measured by the special education teacher and teaching staff.
To begin students sorting, start with two: two colors, two sizes, two shapes. Once the students have mastered two, you can move them on to three.
When you begin with colors, use plates of the same color. Over time they will know that orange is orange.
When you move on to shape names, be sure you talk about the characteristics of the shape: a square has four sides and four square angles (or corners. Some Math curricula talk about “corners” before they introduce “angles.”) Triangles have three sides, etc. When students are sorting, they are at the very first level. In early intervention, pre-kindergarten you focus is going to be on building vocabulary, not the ability to name all the attributes of plane figures.
Once you are started to expand the student's repertoire, you need to introduce two attributes, as well as comparing small sets for “more” or “less.”
The rule for patterns is they have to reappear three times to be a pattern. The geometric shapes above, beads or counters of any kind can be used to demonstrate and then replicate patterns. This is an activity that you can create with pattern cards that the students can replicate, first on the card with a template for placing the shapes, and then just a card with the shapes. These can also be purchased
2.PK.2 Recognize and replicate simple patterns (e.g., ABAB.)
Goal: By annual review date, when presented with a pattern with three repeats, PENNY PUPIL will accurately replicate the pattern in 9 out of 10 trials.
- Objective 1: By the first semester of the _______ school year, PENNY PUPIL will replicate bead patterns (A,B,A,B,A,B) as represented in a picture presentation on a template, 8 of 10 probes as implemented by the special education teacher and teaching staff.
- Objective 2: By annual review date, PENNY PUPIL will replicate a bead pattern from a picture, extending A,B to A,B,A,B,A,B, 8 of 10 proves as implemented by the special education teacher and the teaching staff.
- Begin modeling patterns with blocks on a table. Place the pattern, ask the student to name the pattern (color) and then have them replicate the pattern in a row closer to them.
- Introduce the pattern cards with the colored blocks (beads) pictured, and places to place each block below (a model template.)
- Once the student is able to replicate the card, have them replicate cards without a template.