Greater Than- Exploring What It Means To Have More

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Students will be able to compare groups of objects to decide which group has more.

Big Idea

Comparing the number of objects in two groups using one to one correspondence is a foundational skill that students will build on as they begin to compare numbers. This lesson also introduces key vocabulary terms- more and greater than.

Problem of the Day

5 minutes

I start the lesson with a problem of the day to help students review skills and concepts from prior lessons and develop their ability to problem solve.  I call the students up to the carpet. The students find their spots while saying this chant with me.

Criss cross, applesauce, hands in your lap, eyes on the teacher, you've got to show me that.

I project the Problem of the Day on the SMART Board and say to students, "This is our Problem of the Day for today.  This says ‘How are these two pictures alike?  How are they different?’"  I have several students share ideas.  If it is not mentioned, I ask students about the number of balloons.  “Is the number of balloons something that is the same or something that is different?”  The same  “What word can we use when two groups have the same number of objects in them?”  Equal

I tell students, "Today we will be looking at more groups of objects and comparing how many are in each group."

Presentation of Lesson

25 minutes

I have students move into a circle and remind them to sit with their bottoms on the hard floor so that there is room for everyone.  I also remind students that when we are doing an activity in the circle, they need to keep their hands to themselves and stay seated so that everyone can see and pay attention.

"Today we are going to compare two groups to decide which group has more."

I remind the students that yesterday we compared groups of color tiles.  Today we are going to use other objects.  I put four stuffed animals in the middle of the circle.  I place a plate in front of three stuffed animals.  I ask a student to come up and put the first plate on the stuffed animal's lap.  I continue this with the two other plates and stuffed animals.  I say, "The number of stuffed animals and the number of plates is the not the same, so one of the groups has more.  We can also say the number of objects in one of the groups is greater than the other group.  The group that has extra is the group that has more.  This dog does not have a plate, so the group of stuffed animals is more than the group of books.”  I add another stuffed animal to the group and take the plates away.  I sit out books.  I say, "I am going to pick someone with a quiet hand to come up and make a group of books that has more than the group of stuffed animals."  I call on a student who is sitting quietly to come up and lay a book in front of each stuffed animal with at least one extra book.

I continue this with the following examples:

3 stuffed animals and 5 markers

4 boys and 2 girls

5 students and 4 chairs

3 students and 5 stuffed animals

I then tell students that we will be practicing this on a More Worksheet.  During the activity students practiced one to one correspondence by pairing concrete items.  On the worksheet, they will practice this same skill by drawing lines to connect the objects in the two groups.  One to one correspondence helps students identify groups that have more, less or the same number.  The first two days we focused on equal groups.  This helps the students more clearly recognize that now we are working with groups that are not equal.

I show students the paper and say, "We will be doing this paper together.  When you get to your seats, you need to get out your pencil and put your name on your paper.  When your name is on your paper hold your pencil in the air, that will let me know that you are ready to start."  I like to have students hold up their pencils or put their hands on their heads when they are finished with a task.  It makes it easy for me to see who is ready and also keeps the students from writing all over their papers while they wait for other students to finish.  Prior to the lesson, I use a highlighter to write student names on papers for students who are unable to write their name.

I hand each student a paper and they walk back to their seats.  While the students are writing their names, I turn on the projector and document camera and display the worksheet on the SMART Board.  When all students have their pencils up, I say, "The directions on this paper say 'Draw lines to match the objects in the two groups.  Circle the group that has more.'"  I tell students to put their pencil point on the first picture of the moon.  I model this on the SMART Board. I model how to draw a line connecting the moon to the first picture of a sun.  I continue this routine with the other two moons.  I then tell students that they can draw a line connecting each moon to a sun on their paper.  "Do these two groups have the same number of objects?  How do you know?"  No.  There is an extra sun.  “Which group has more?”  The suns.  “We need to circle the group of suns since that is the group that has more.”  I circulate to make sure the students are connecting only one moon to each sun.  (Students who did this correctly the previous two days when working with equal groups may connect one moon to two suns today in order to have a line coming from each sun.)  I tell the students to complete number two by drawing a line to connect each sock to a shoe.  I call up a student who correctly matched the socks and shoes on their paper to connect the socks and shoes on the board.  When the student is finished, I ask, "Are these two groups equal?  How do you know?  Which group has more?"  I continue this with the last question.  I write down the names of the students who were having trouble matching the objects in the two groups and those who did not correctly identify the group with more to pull during centers.  When the paper is finished, I have students put their pencils away, put their paper in the paper tray and put their heads down.


20 minutes

I remind students that when we are done our math paper, we do math centers.  I review the rules for centers.  We need to share the materials, work quietly, and keep the materials in the tray until they are being used.  I call up one student from each table to come back and get their center.  This week's centers are:

Sorting Lakeshore Kid Counters in Sorting Circles
Sorting Fruit Loops in Sorting Boxes
Sorting Beans in Cups
Sorting Apples in Sorting Baskets (from
SMART Board- Lakeshore Sorting Adventures Interactive Activities 

I circulate through the room to make sure that all of the centers are being done correctly.  When I feel that the students are engaged and completing the centers correctly, I pull a group of students who were having trouble with the one to one correspondence and identifying more on their worksheets.  I pull the students back to my small group table to do a reteach activity using color tiles, wiki sticks and white boards.  See activity here.  I only keep the group for about 10 minutes.  I then check in with each table to see how the centers are going.  When there is five minute left, I count down from 5 and say "Freeze."  When I say this, all students stop what they are doing, put their hands on their heads and look at me.  This is a procedure that we use throughout the day.  I say to students, "You have about five minutes left.  Remember when the clean up song comes on, you need to quietly put all of your materials back in your tray and return it to the math center table.  It needs to be on top of your table number.  If you are sorting apples, you can put your paper on the drying rack to dry."  I let the students work for five more minutes and then turn on Tidy Up by Dr. Jean.  Students clean up and return to their seats.


5 minutes

I close this lesson by inviting students back up to the carpet.  I turn on the projector and document camera and let one of the students who worked with me at the small group table share his work on the screen.  The students like getting to "Be the teacher" and other students like seeing their classmates' work being projected on the SMART Board.  This also gives a student who was struggling during the original activity time to feel successful in front of the class.  I mention positive things that I noticed during centers.  I also include something that needs to be better next time.  I review what we did during our whole group lesson.  "Today we compared groups of objects and decided which group has more.  How did we know which group had more?  We matched the objects in the groups.  The group that had extra was the group with more.  "Tomorrow, we are going to continue to work on comparing groups and looking for groups with more.”