What is GREATER than greater than or less than?

What is GREATER to teach in math than greater than or less than? Those infamous alligators are so fun to use! So we have begun a new unit in math where we will be ordering numbers (so far, so good), comparing numbers, and learning how to skip count by 2, 5, and 10. 

Even though I may be a teacher I often wonder things and if I am doing them right. Right now my burning question is whether or not a first grader is able to have a hundreds chart while comparing and ordering numbers during an assessment. Right now we use a hundreds chart because I felt that was too abstract at this age to have all that in their little brains, but when I finish the unit I want to make sure it is okay to use the hundreds chart on the test. Maybe I will ask a first grade teacher where I work....

Anyway, Preston is incredibly brilliant at Math. I think Math is his THING. So last week we simply ordered numbers. We did groups of three, and then groups of five. Then at the end of the week we had a bottle cap center where he filled in the missing number. On Friday's I like to do something fun to end our week of learning. Check it out, it was so much fun Riley was playing with them!

Preston had fun searching for the numbers. We have bottle caps for 1-100. This idea came from Miss Giraffe on Teachers Pay Teachers. I use all her units and centers as my math curriculum since I already have the lesson objectives. Her units are amazing because they are differentiated and come with TONS of activities/centers, worksheets, and the unit test. And these all relate to the Common Core as well, even though I am not using the Common Core as my curriculum. It is nice to have that in the back of my head.

So I made these awesome, amazing alligators to use for Preston: 

I was actually very nervous starting this on Monday, because again he in kindergarten doing first grade work, so I always wonder where I will tap that ability out. He loved the alligators and I put the first problem on the worksheet on the board. I then asked him to pull out his hundreds chart and circle the two numbers so he could visually see it. Then I asked him which one was bigger. I taught him the alligator always eats the bigger number. I had him come up to the board and pull down the alligator that would fit our problem. 

So here is at the board and I am sitting there holding my breath....is he going to get it? It's like watching a nerve-racking football game, I tell ya. So here is his answer:

And the crowd goes WILD!!!! As Preston turned around I told him how awesome he was. He was very proud of himself:

Whoo-hoo!!!! So after we did each on on the board and I had him drag them down, we went back to the worksheet and I had him read each number sentence. He kept wanting to say plus for each greater than or less than sign. So, this week we are going to focus more on that. He has the concept down, now I just need to get him to understand the signs more.

Way to go Mom for making it through another nail-biting lesson! Isn't it great when things go well? 

So, tell me how you learned greater than and less than in school by commenting below. I want to see if anyone learned different from the alligators!

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