*Have paper, pencils and clipboards (optional) ready for the students. I want this to be a quick activity and advanced preparation is crucial.
I have the students sit in a spot where they can see the Smart Board, or where ever you are going to display the quick flash picture. Today you should display the 5,6, and 9 arrangements. I am choosing these because 6 is one more than 5 and I want to see if anyone picks up on that (in some way). The 6 and 9 are similar with the exception that there are three more dots. Again, I want to see who is making that connection when solving for 9. The students are making sense of quantities and their relationships in problem situations. They are bringing two complementary abilities to bear on problems involving quantitative relationships: the ability to decontextualize—to abstract a given situation and represent it symbolically and manipulate the representing symbols as if they have a life of their own (CCSS.Math.Practice.MP2). The students are making use of the structure of the dots to figure out the sum of them (CCSS.Math.Practice.MP7).
Advanced Preparation: You will need connecting cubes and a set of number cards (see resources below).
Start the lesson by reviewing how we put our towers, from Building Towers, in order. Then tell them that today we are going to build more towers, but this time we are only going to build 4 at a time. Have 4 students each pick a card from your number deck. Have the students identify their number and build a tower for each number. Once they are all built, ask the students how would they put them in order from the tower with the least cubes to the tower with the greatest cubes? Have the students share their strategies for how they did it. I like to take a few examples and am always looking for a variety of ways that the task was solved. Once they are in order (card and cube tower next to it), let the students know that they should double check their work and then record it on their recording sheet (see resources) The students are being precise in their explanation and rationale CCSS.Math.Practice.MP6. The students are counting to 10 and are reading and writing the numerals and representing a number of objects with a written numeral. (CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.A.1).
Students team up and play the activity described in the previous section. As they are playing, I keep informal documentation/observations on students ability to:
*instantly recognize the number on the card
*Their ability to sequence the numbers
*Do students just use cards or do they use the cubes too.
**I keep these notes in a steno notebook. I number the lesson and then can refer back at the end of the day and use the information to make decisions about who to work with or touch base with.
**If students finish and are ready to move on, have them play the comparison games from the previous lessons.
The goal here is to introduce the standard notation of greater than >, less than <, and equal to =.
I start off pointing out all of the comparison games we have played. I use the words greater than and less than in this discussion. I then talk about that mathematicians don't like to write a lot of words and they use symbols when ever they can. I then play a quick hand of "Me" (introduced in previous lessons). Ask who won. Then write the numbers of the two cards on the board and leave a space between them. If the numbers were 3 & 5, write: 3 ___ 5 and 5___3 on the board. Then show them how the symbols would be used (3<5 & 5>3). I will spend a few minutes talking about these symbols and how they are used. I like to turn them into fish and show that the fish always eats the bigger number. The students are comparing two one digit numbers with the use of comparison symbols (CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.B.3.
I recommend that you play one or two more rounds with different numbers. Then move to two cards that are the same and introduce the equal sign symbol.
**The use and function of these symbols is introductory at this point. I do not expect all students to master this at this time. The understanding and use of these notations will develop over time through experience and discussion.