Contributed by: New York State Alternative Assessment in Science
Project
Description:
Students will develop two binary classification systems using
concrete objects. The classification systems will be based on two
different properties of the concrete objects.
The task assesses students' abilities to make simple observations
and apply their understanding to classification.
This task is designed to take students approximately 1015 minutes
to complete.
Overall Task Content Area:
 Physical Science
Specific Knowledge Areas:
 Properties of objects and materials
Performance Expectations:
 applying scientific principles to develop explanations and solve
new problems
National Science Education Standards:
4 A SI 1: Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry:
Grades K4
1.5 Communicate investigations and explanations. Students should
begin developing the abilities to communicate, critique, and analyze
their work and the work of other students. This communication might
be spoken or drawn as well as written.
4 B PS 1: Properties of objects and materials: Grades
K4
1.1 Objects have many observable properties, including size,
weight, shape, color, temperature, and the ability to react with
other substances. Those properties can be measured using tools,
such as rulers, balances and thermometers.
1.2 Objects are made of one or more materials, such as paper,
wood and metal. Objects can be described by the properties of the
materials from which they are made, and those properties can be
used to separate or sort a group of objects or materials.
(Use the "hot" link on the PALS home page to
check the full text of related National Science Education Standards,
if desired.)
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics:
AL1: Understand patterns, relations and functions:
Grades pre K5 a. sort, classify, and order objects by size,
number, and other properties.
DAP1: Formulate questions that can
be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant
data to answer them:
Grades pre K5 b. sort and classify objects
according to their attributes and organize data about the objects
GEO1: Analyze characteristics and properties of two
and threedimensional shapes and develop mathematical arguments
about geometric relationships:
Grades pre K5 b. describe attributes and parts of two and
threedimensional shapes
MEAS1: Understand measurable attributes of objects and
the units, systems, and processes of measurement:
Grades pre K5 b. compare and order objects according to
these (length, volume, weight, area, and time) attributes
PS3: Apply and adapt a variety of appropriate strategies
to solve problems:
Grades pre K5
RP2: Make and investigate mathematical conjectures:
Grades pre K5
REP1: Create and use representations to organize, record,
and communicate mathematical ideas:
Grades pre K5
General Instructions to the Teacher:
This task is designed to take students approximately 1015 minutes
to complete.
Students will be working individually during this exercise.
Students should be ready to work as soon as the period begins.
The materials should be set out at each lab station, if possible.
A central supply area, if needed, should be easily accessible.
Materials for "Classifying Candy I":
At this station students should have:
 1 sandwich bag with 1315 pieces of candy.
Advance Preparation
 Prepare 1 bag of candy for each student. Any selection of candy
is valid as long as it contains items of various shape, color,
wrappers, texture, etc.
 An odd number of pieces is best. This eliminates the assumption
that groups must be of equal number.
 It is also suggested that the candy sample not
include doubles of any one candy.
 An example would be an assortment of both hard and soft candy:
 red striped peppermint
 butterscotch disc
 caramel
 root beer barrel
 green sour ball
 blue square mint
 Tootsie Rolls
 green striped wintergreen
 red square anise flavor
 red cinnamon ball
 green tropical flavored disc
 sugar filled caramel (round)
Safety:
 The students should be instructed not to eat or taste any of
the candy.
 Be careful.
 Teachers and students should always exercise appropriate safety
precautions and utilize appropriate laboratory safety procedures
and equipment when working on science performance tasks.
Extensions/modifications:
 Classifying Candy II and Classifying Candy III
 Rubric language should be targeted to the specific NCTM standard(s)
to be measured.
Advanced Preparation Set Up:
Teacher: Prepare a bag of candy.
Student: Sort candy.
