Serial Orderer to 5 (Length)

Sub Trajectory: Ordering

Orders lengths, marked in 1 to 5 units. Also, can compare unmarked lengths that are clearly different using broad categories (“big” and “small”) and so can order 3 to 5 such objects but only by trial and error. With an increase in working memory, begins to build a mental image of the final ordering in which the lengths increase “bit by bit” with each successive length the smallest increase. This leads to more accurate and somewhat more efficient ordering. (This level develops in parallel with “End-to-End Length Measurer”.)


You may see this:

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Other Examples:

  • Given towers of cubes, a child puts in order: 1 to 5. 
  • When an adult pulls out one of 5 ordered tower cubes, a child can say which one is missing 

Help your student become a(n) Serial Orderer to 5 (Length)

Activities challenge children to put up to 5 lengths in order. For example, they compare and order unmarked lengths starting with those that are easy to differentiate  (short, middle-sized, and long) and moving to less obvious lengths. If the lengths are marked and countable (e.g., towers of connecting cubes) they are asked to order 3 to 5 lengths. Discussions and new tasks challenge them to find ways to find the shortest, then the next longer, and so forth.

Special Thanks To

Institute of Education Sciences
The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through grant numbers R305K050157, R305A120813, R305A110188, and R305A150243. to the University of Denver. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.