Lesson: Comparing Numbers and Counting Patterns, Day 3
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Lesson Objective
SWBAT use the inequality symbol when comparing numbers. *Note: builds to comparing 3digit numbers.
Lesson Plan
Edward W. Brooke Charter School
Unit: Comparing and Ordering Numbers / Counting Patterns
Lesson: 3.3
Teaching Point: Mathematicians use the inequality symbol when comparing numbers.
Materials:
 3.3 Problem Solving Task
 3.3 Independent Practice Sheet
 Problem Solving Kits
 Slates and Markers
 You might want to make a greater than / less than symbol that is magnetic so you can use it on the board.
Skip Counting (15 minutes)
Problem Solving Task (5 minutes)
 Refer to 3.3 Problem Solving Task
 This problem solving task is going to require some instruction before the students go off to work. On the top of the task, there is an explanation of the inequality symbol (We are going to start by referring to it as the greater or less than symbol). Go through the explanation of the symbol before sending the students off to work. First explain the symbol and then refer to the picture below which is a piranha. The piranha always wants to eat the bigger number so it’s mouth is always facing the bigger number.
 Read the directions for the task and have the students read the directions aloud twice.
 Send students off to work independently.
 Provide students with problem solving kits in case they want to use base10 blocks when comparing the numbers.
Teaching (20 minutes)
 Have students turn and talk with their partners about the problem solving task.
 Have a whole group discussion about the problem solving task. Important points to include in the discussion:
 63 and 36 are not the same number so we can’t say 63 = 36. We need a symbol that can show that one number is more or less than another number.
 < and> is the greater than/less than symbol. Mathematicians use this symbol when they are comparing numbers that are not the same.
 The symbol shows which number is more and which number is less depending on which way it is facing. Think of it like a hungry piranha’s mouth. The piranha always wants to eat the larger number so its mouth is always facing the larger number.
 Oftentimes this symbol is taught as two separate symbols (a greater than symbol and a less than symbol). We teach it as one symbol that is facing two different directions.
 63 > 36. If you were to say this using words you would say “63 is greater than 36.”
 36 < 63. If you were to say this using words you would say “36 is less than 63.”
 Make sure to go through each example on the board and draw the inequality symbol facing the correct direction.
 Put two numbers up on the board.
 As a class, use place value to decide which number is more/less.
 Have a student come up and draw the greater than/less than symbol facing the correct direction. You might even want to sketch the piranha attached to the symbol to help the students understand.
 As a class say the number sentence using words.
Independent Practice (10 minutes)
 Refer to 3.3 Independent Practice Sheet
 Send students off to work independently
 Since this can potentially be a tricky concept, bring students back to the rug when they are finished working and go over the sheet as a whole class.
Slate Math (10 minutes)
Summary
 By the end of lesson 3.4, all students should be able to use the inequality symbol when comparing numbers.
Lesson Resources
3.3 independent practice sheet.docx Activity 
284

3.3 problem solving task.docx Activity 
210

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