Classification: A Skill for Life

“One of these things is not like the other…” sings a popular children’s tune. But did you know that, while this may just seem like a fun game to most children, it is actually helping them to develop a much needed ability for reading and for life?

At a young age classification is what helps us make sense of our world. It gives order to our thinking. In an older child, this is the ability to say, “these are crayons, these are markers, and these are pencils.” We separate them for ease of use. As a child enters school, he/she then learns to organize their time. “Now is the time to work. Now is the time to play.”

Classification is the skill that makes order out of chaos. Classified is the opposite of random.

At a more basic level, classification is the ability to group and sort. It is how we begin to comprehend. These are yellow, these are red. Beginning with same and different, we ask ourselves, “In what way are these things the same or different? “Is this the only way they are the same or different?” “How else could they be grouped?”

Logical Thought

The skill of logical thought is also classification.

In a very basic way classification helps us to make sense of our world. In a young child’s world it explains “this is mama’s, this is daddy’s, this belongs to sister. It is not mine…” unless I happen to be a toddler, then everything is mine. 🙂

As we grow older we organize or classify for different reasons. In fact, we organize and classify in order to be able to reason and plan.

People with underdeveloped classification skills may be competent working with a single stimulus or doing one thing at a time, but will have a hard time understanding how things go together, what the commonalities are, and how to classify them for leadership, prioritizing or decision making.

Since this ability defines concept formation, a low score in an adult would indicate difficulty in jobs or endeavors that require rapid changes.

But what about reading? Since we’re continuing in this series on the six abilities that could keep your child from reading, it’s important to understand how classification relates to reading & reading readiness specifically.

At the beginning level classification allows us to know the difference between consonant and vowels, to categorize sounds and to group phonetically for discernment of sounds, i.e. Words that have the sound of er (r). Later it allows us to assign meaning to concepts which leads to developing more advanced constructs for comprehension.

Not only is the ability to classify at the root of becoming a successful reader, it is also the foundation for successful learning and living in many different areas.

If a student has underdeveloped classification skills, many areas of academic (and personal) life will continually prove to be a challenge.

At Synap2it! Learning Center we help students develop this ability in addition to providing training in order, precision, and organization, the skills of a successful learner.

Want to learn more? Contact us!

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Renee Anderson

The founder & director of EducationPathways and Synap2it! Learning Center, Renee Anderson is a veteran educator whose career spans over 25 years in both public and private schools. During this time, she has worked in regular classroom settings, special education and in intervention. She became an SOI Structure of Intellect Advanced Trainer in 1996, achieved the SOI Associate designation in 2001 and now acts as a National Trainer and Senior Program Consultant for SOI Systems, Inc. Learn more

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