An addendum on card sorts

red or green pen?

I thought I might try to give some vaguely helpful advice for new teachers on the card sorts front. Maths seems to be full of them, especially from the Standards Unit which was the number one cited resource by a long shot at SI 2012.

What I do now is look through the card sort and imagine model keen-bean students (of the ability of the set I’m planning for) trying the card sort. What questions would they have? What categorisations would they quibble over? Where would they disagree? Where’s the cognitive conflict?

For example, in a shape categorisation card sort, whether this is a pentagon or not would be a rich source of debate for my imaginary keen beans:


All too often in a paired card sort activity, they would categorise this without thinking or one student would just overrule the other based on popularity or ego size rather than…

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