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! 

  Data Analysis: Analyzing Mistakes
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Greater Than, Less Than, Equal To

Unit 8: Understanding Equality
Lesson 2 of 8

Objective: SWBAT use the terms "greater than", "Less than" and "equal to" appropriately in sentences about numbers.

Big Idea: Students prepare to use the >, < and = symbols in this lesson focused on inequality language!

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