Hebe Three needs style advice - explore strategies for sorting data with a visit to Numberline Lane.

- Describe features of 2-D and 3-D shapes.
- Solve a given problem by sorting, classifying and organising information in simple ways.

Practical and visual strategies are essential at the early stages of understanding in sorting and grouping data. If a story is used as a stimulus, then the children can use the characters as a means of role-playing possible outcomes, providing a vital tool in problem-solving. This process can then be transferred on to paper or an ICT package, to represent the sorting and organisation of the data.

Introduce Numberline Lane and the character of Hebe Three (see box right). Discuss with the class the problem of sorting shoes into pairs. Reinforce the idea that there are many different ways of sorting the same information.

- Give each child a colour 2-D shape (eg triangle, square, circle and so on) and explain that each shape represents a shoe from Hebe Three's collection. Ask the children to look at the shape they have been given and to think about the different ways in which it could be described (for example, colour, size, number of sides, number of corners and so on).
- Explain to the children that, like Jenny Ten, they are going to come up with different ways of grouping the shapes. Using a large space (such as the school hall or playground) designate specific areas for every group of shapes (for example, shapes with four sides in one corner, shapes with curves in another corner and so on). After counting to 3, the children move with their own shape to the area they think they should be in.
- Ask the children to look at the other shapes in their area. Do they think they are standing in the right place? Give the children time to re-sort themselves, and then decide if the groups are now correct.
- Choose a different way of sorting the shapes. Again, designate specific areas in the hall/playground for each 'shape' group and then invite the children to choose the correct group.
- Ask the children to find ways in which to organise themselves into exactly two groups, then three groups and then four. Is there a situation that requires some children to be in more than one group?

Back in the classroom, ask the children to record one of the ways that they grouped the shapes. They could use a list, table, block graph or pictogram (see Resource file opposite for blank templates).

Use a pictogram or block graph that one of the children has completed. Ask questions relating to the data. For example: Which group has the most/least number of shapes? How many shapes were recorded altogether?

For further activities and worksheets on data-handling, visit the Numberline Lane website at www.numberlinelane.co.uk.

Hebe Three has the largest house on Numberline Lane. She also has the largest collection of hats and shoes. One day, Hebe decides she is going to wear her special yellow hat. 'Now I need to find some shoes that match,' she said.

Hebe opened her cupboard and her many shoes tumbled out, all over the floor. There were so many that poor Hebe could not find a matching pair.

'I need some help to sort my shoes,' she decided. Suzy Two suggested sorting the shoes into two groups - one for left shoes and one for right shoes. Nora Four suggested sorting them into indoor and outdoor shoes. Then Jenny Ten came up with a much better way of sorting the shoes...