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 13 Notebook File on the SMARTBoard 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? Which group has less?’" (If you don't have a SMARTBoard, there is a Problem of the Day pdf of the slides.) I have several students share ideas. If it is not mentioned, I ask students about the number of pets. “Is the number of pets something that is the same or something that is different?” (Different) “Which group has less?” (The cats.) “How do you know?”
I tell students, "Today we will be looking at more groups of objects and comparing how many are in each group."
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 less."
I remind the students that yesterday we compared groups of stuffed animals, people and classroom objects. Today we are going to use color tiles. I place a piece of white construction paper in the middle of the circle to make the color tiles easier to see on our colorful carpet. I lay down three red color tiles and five green color tiles. I say, “We need to compare these groups to see if they have the same number of color tiles.” I push the color tiles together (red to green, red to green, red to green) to show that two of the green tiles do not have a partner. I say, “These two groups of color tiles do not have the same number. They are not equal. There are more green tiles. We can also say something about the red color tiles. There are less red tiles. Less means there are not as many. When we match the objects, the group with less does not have enough to match to the other groups." I pick up the color tiles and lay down four blue color tiles. I say, “I am going to pick someone with a quiet hand to come up and make a group of yellow color tiles that has less than the blue group.” I choose a student to come up and do so. I have another student come up and push the color tiles together (blue to yellow, blue to yellow, blue to yellow, blue to yellow) to check to see if the yellow group has less.
I tell students, “You are going to go back to your seats and practice this with a partner. You and your partner need to make two groups of color tiles. Your groups should not be equal. You need to be able to tell your classmates which group has less.” I call students back to their seats by table. As I call the tables I designate who will work together (the students seated beside one another). The color tiles are already in a bin on the middle of the table. When all of the students are at their seats, I count down from 5 and say “Freeze.” The students put their hands on their heads and look at me. (This is a routine we use throughout the day.) I repeat the directions and then tell the students that they may begin. I circulate and help pairs who are having trouble. I make note of these students. Students who easily complete the activity are asked to do it again. When all pairs have completed the task at least once, I ask all of the students to put their color tiles back into the bin in the center of the table. I tell students that we will be practicing this on a Less 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. The students will be focusing on groups that are not equal and which groups have less. I still continue to have students talk about groups that are equal and groups that have more in order to help them understand less.
I show students the paper and say, "You will be doing this paper on your own. 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 place a stack of papers in the middle of each table. While the students are writing their names, I turn on the projector and document camera and display the worksheet on the SMARTBoard. 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 less.'" I tell students to complete the paper on their own. When they are finished, they put their papers into the paper tray in the front of the classroom and get their center.
Since the students finish their papers at different times, I circulate through the room to make sure that student are completing their papers, putting it in the tray and getting their centers. By this point, students are completing a center for a second time, so they should know what to do. 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 www.prekinders.com)
SMART Board- Lakeshore Sorting Adventures Interactive Activities
I still quickly circulate to make sure students are engaged and do not have any questions about how to complete the centers. I pull three groups during centers. The first group is comprised of the students who were having trouble with the one to one correspondence and finding groups that have less. I pull the students back to my small group table to do a reteach activity using color tiles and wiki sticks. I keep this group focused on less. I keep the group for about 10 minutes. The next two groups do a follow up activity that reviews identifying equal groups and identifying more and less when working with unequal groups. I use the color tiles and wiki sticks with these groups as well. This is a treat for the students who have been doing well in the whole group lessons and have seen their classmates using these manipulatives in a small group setting. See an example here. I then check in with each table to see how the centers are going. I turn on Tidy Up by Dr. Jean. Students clean up and return to their seats.
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 in one of the review groups 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 SMARTBoard. 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 less. How did we know which group had less? We matched the objects in the groups. The group that did not have enough was the group with less. "Tomorrow, we are going to do a science activity where we will be able to practice sorting and comparing groups.”