There are two important standards that students must meet when it comes to comparing numbers: understanding the difference between the tens and ones place and being able to compare two two-digit numbers. Read on to find out why you should be teaching the comparison of numbers and how to practice this skill in class! Plus, you will learn tips for using the less than and more than symbols.
The Reason Behind Teaching Less Than and More Than Symbols
Math is all about the relationships between different numbers. As students learn to add and subtract, they learn how the math symbols can change how two numbers interact with each other!
Comparing numbers is no different. By using the less than and more than symbols, your students will be able to explain the relationship between two different numbers and identify the smallest number and the greater number. This can even help them as you teach and review using a number line because students will be able to visualize and understand where numbers go in comparison to others!
Lastly, learning to compare two numbers with two digits can help students learn place values. This will be a huge part of their math journey and so it is crucial to learn this skill early on!
Comparing Numbers Videos
With so many great resources on the internet, you can use some of these videos to teach these new concepts in different ways!
For example, this video from Kids Academy includes three different activities that could be perfect for whole-class instruction! First, they go over the basics of less than and more than using a racecar scenario. Then, two teachers each take a turn going over two different activities: one using number blocks, and one using a maze worksheet.
This video about the comparison of numbers for 1st graders goes over the three less than and more than symbols, then gives some examples using base-10 blocks.
And if you like to use music as part of your class activities, you can check out this Comparing Numbers to 100 Song about a hungry alligator!
Comparison of Numbers Books
Teach your students about the less than and more than symbols and more using these fun books!
Alfie the Alligator is a rhyming book that teaches how to compare numbers using the alligator method and also comes with some fun bonuses for teachers to use in the classroom. In the alligator method, students use an alligator mouth to create the greater-than symbol or less-than sign.
Gavin the Gator is another fun alligator option and focuses on student interaction while reading. In this book, students use the mouth of the alligator to compare numbers using the correct math symbol.
Lastly, you can teach about place value using the book Penguin Place Value which follows a family of penguins on a fishing trip!
Less Than and More Than Symbols Games
For students who finish up their work early or if you allow them computer time during the day, you could have them try these fun greater than and less than games that allow them to use the comparison symbols in different ways!
Comparing Number Values on ABCya is a racecar game where students are given two numbers and have to use the correct sign to show how they compare. There is a fun bonus game if they get 5 in a row correct!
Additionally, you can check out this Flamingo Number Run game on eSpark Learning. Students play as a flamingo who is given a number and symbol. As they walk through the water, they come across other numbers and must decide if they make the equation true.
Comparison of Numbers in the Classroom
All of these resources are a great way to supplement your student’s learning, but there are also fun ways you can teach the comparison of numbers in small groups and individual activities!
That’s why I’ve created the Place Value and Comparing Numbers in First Grade activity bundle! In this bundle, you’ll get 15 different activities to master these two concepts.
I believe that it so important to include differentiation for students in the classroom, which is also why I provide different activities and math problems for students below, on, and above grade level. You also get different games, learning activities, and worksheets for students to practice this new skill.
And because we are learning about place value and comparisons, make sure you have some Base 10 blocks handy! Using place value blocks is one of the best ways to help students visualize the comparison of numbers and select the bigger number or smaller number, and they make learning this new skill much easier.
There Are So Many Ways To Learn!
Coming up with different activities can make learning new concepts easy and fun for students. By switching up what you are doing and looking at them in new ways, students can quickly master even the toughest of concepts!
Make sure you check out the Place Value and Comparing Numbers activity bundle on Teachers Pay Teachers, and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog for more ways to teach math concepts!
Be sure to grab the free lesson plan from this unit!