Reflection: Data Analysis Greater Than, Less Than, Equal To  Section 5: Independent Practice
One of the great things about Common Core is that students are always explaining what they think, when they are right AND when they are wrong. Because of this emphasis on discussion, I have a much clearer window into what a student is thinking at any point in the lesson.
Attached is a video of a little boy who really struggled with this activity. He was a conundrum because he seemed to have a strong understanding of the math. He understood which number is greater and was beginning to be able to articulate why that number is bigger.
However, he got stuck on the language. Later I realized that even when I substituted "bigger than" and "smaller than" for greater and less, he still wasn't sure which words to choose. This is a very common problem when you work with students who have low language backgrounds, and a misconception you might see.
My next steps with him are...
 Practice the language OUTSIDE of math. For example, "Your crayon is bigger than my crayon". The hang up might be the "than". Using other examples might help him solidify this.
 For now, have him just label the numbers with "greater" if it is bigger and "less" if it is smaller. This will show that he at least understands the comparison, and we can keep practicing the comparison sentences until he understands that too!
Greater Than, Less Than, Equal To
Lesson 2 of 8
Objective: SWBAT use the terms "greater than", "Less than" and "equal to" appropriately in sentences about numbers.
Warm up
Wake up students' math brains with this quick warm up! This warm up is a great way to review key math vocabulary as well as practice test taking skills. On the PARCC assessment, students will be asked to find multiple correct answers. This rigorous question type has students judge whether or not all options are correct, rather than having them just look for one correct answer. This little warm up prepares them to do this!
See attached Greater Than Warm Up document!
Resources (1)
Resources (1)
Resources
Setting Up the Learning
In this lesson, students practice academic vocabulary throughout. This is one of the key shifts to the Common Corestudents are expected to use high level academic vocabulary even at the younger grades! You'll notice that I use "compare", "greater than", "less than", "equal to", etc. throughout the lesson. These terms will also help them communicate their mathematical thinking more precisely (MP6).
Review past learning:
Yesterday we practiced using the words “greater than”, “less than” and “equal to”. Today we are going to practice writing sentences about our number comparisons. (Review meanings of greater than/less than/equal to)
Connect to real world:
When we compare numbers, we have to make sure we always read it like a sentence, from left to right. Then we can communicate what we know about numbers using words and writing.
Objective:
Your thinking job is: How can I use words to compare two numbers?
Opening Discussion
Present story problem: Giving students a story problem allows them to have a real life example to work with. Common Core emphasizes using problem based approaches in all parts of math. This is a great example of using a problem even when you are not doing an Operations and Algebraic Thinking standard.
Alex has 70 pennies in his piggy bank. Alton has 84 pennies in his piggy bank.
Partner talk: Who has the greatest number of pennies? Who has the least?
Fill in the sentence: 70 is _________ than 84. I need to make this sentence make sense. I need to use the words “greater than”, “less than” or “equal to”.
 I’ll model reading the sentence with each phrase to see which one makes sense.
Think Aloud:

I am going to write 70 is greater than 84. Do you agree or disagree with that statement?

Partner talk: Do you agree or disagree with that statement? Why?
I’m going to give you 5 minutes to prove to me if I am right or wrong. Then we will come back together.
Student Share
I'll bring students back together to share their thinking. Allowing them a safe place to practice disagreeing with me instead of having to start with disagreeing with a peer is one way to help them practice MP3,"Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others."
Guiding Questions after students work to “prove” it:
 But 84 is greater! So I’ll write greater. Why do I have to write least?
 How do you know 70 is a smaller number? How do you know 84 is greater?
 If students are struggling, model going through it like a sentence. I have to start with the first number and say it first.
Restate: I have to write less because I read it like a sentence. I have to think about how the first number compares to the other number. The first number here is the one that is less, so less than makes sense here.
Independent Practice
Students get 2 copies of place value cards so that there are duplicates. Teacher can have them precut and students pull 2 cards or students can cut out cards and glue them down.
Directions:
1. Pull two cards. Glue them down.
2. Write the numbers that match the cards.
3. Read it like a sentence: Do you need greater than or less than?
Resources (2)
Closing
We will keep practicing MP3, "Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others", as we finish the lesson. Students share their first set of cards with their partner. Their partners “agree” or “disagree” with their statement. The partners practice explaining why they agree or disagree.
Similar Lessons
Greater Than
Environment: Urban
Sequencing Numbers in Counting Order
Environment: Suburban
Crocodiles Love to Eat the Most
Environment: Urban
 UNIT 1: Creating a Culture of Math
 UNIT 2: Count to 100 Every Day!
 UNIT 3: 10: A First Grader's Best Friend
 UNIT 4: Charting and Analyzing Data
 UNIT 5: Inch by Inch, Paperclip by Paperclip
 UNIT 6: Properties of Addition and Subtraction
 UNIT 7: Shapes and Blocks
 UNIT 8: Understanding Equality
 UNIT 9: Adding and Subtracting: Base Ten
 UNIT 10: Solving 3 Addend Problems
 UNIT 11: Missing Parts: Unknowns in All Positions
 UNIT 12: Parts of a Whole
 UNIT 13: Tick Tock, Tick Tock
 UNIT 14: Time is Money: Hitting all the MD Standards
 UNIT 15: Base 10 Bonanza
 UNIT 16: What the WHAT?! Teaching Challenging Story Problems