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06182016, 09:46 PM #1Junior Member
 Join Date
 Jun 2016
 Location
 TX
 Posts
 16
Problems with Greater Than, Less Than and Equal To
My daughter really likes her new school website!! She wanted to get started on it tonight.
She is having trouble (and was before several months ago when I tried to teach her) with greater than, less than and equal to.
She can add and subtract pretty well (onedigit problems), I mean, she get the idea. Sometimes uses counters or little dots on the paper. In other words, she hasn't memorized her facts yet.
But I can tell she doesn't understand the greater than, less than, equal to, mainly because she is just guessing.
So I'm wondering if you all know of any ways we could practice this, or illustrate this for her a little better?
Someone told me once that she is having trouble with understanding that with 2digit numbers because she hasn't learned place value.
But this is like the first part of the math curriculum, so....
She attempted the quiz for this concept, but got 2 out of 5 correct.
I mean, she can do the number order...which number comes next, or three numbers come next in the series, or what number is missing (before or in the middle, etc.).
But when we come to something like  which number is greater than 39 (for example), she is guessing. Sometimes right, sometimes wrong.
And the order from least to greatest (if it isn't in numerical order one to the next), she has trouble with.
Hmmm.....could a very LONG number line be helpful i wonder? Then she can see it better?
Please share any ideas you have. Thank you so much!
Rushell

06192016, 03:38 PM #2Junior Member
 Join Date
 Jan 2016
 Posts
 5
Sounds like she may not understand what "greater" than means. How high can she count? Does she understand counting or did she just memorize it?
You don't necessarily need to know place value to know which number is greater (my son learned to count and add 2 and 3 digit numbers, but still struggles with place values. Even though he knows 20 is 2x10, he doesn't understand why we use place value. It's just not how his mind works. He just knows the numbers as quantities, not as place values and digits.)
I'd play games with her. Roll some dice. the person with the greater number (or lesser number) gets an m&m or something fun for her. Then roll and help her understand which number is larger. You can also count cheerios or m&m's and make 2 piles, ask her which is greater, and why. Who got the most m&m's from the dice game? Explain that the one with the most is the one that's greater. Write the numbers down on a post it next to the piles. Then show her the numbers on the number line too.
It's also possible during the quiz she is just rushing through it or distracted. I know that's common with my kid. He doesn't finish reading all the possible answers, and picks one on the top that might fit (wven though option d would work better).
good luck

06192016, 08:35 PM #3

Sometimes it's not that they don't understand which number is greater and which is less. They just don't remember which way the sign should point. To test this, see if she can verbally tell you which number is bigger, or more and which number is smaller, or less.
If she can tell you orally, think of a way to help her remember which sign is which. I can't remember how Time4Learning does this, but one way I've see in the past is to pretend the greater than or less than signs are birds' mouths and that the bird only wants to eat the bigger pile of worms. The open part of the bird's mouth should point to the larger number.
If she truly doesn't understand "greater than" or "less than", I would give her some threedimensional visuals, such as stackable blocks. These make it easy to visualize the size of a stack. If she stacks six blocks and seven blocks, it's quite easy for her to see that seven is "bigger" than six. You can do this with other manipulatives, but thicker stackable things like dominos tend to work better than counting bears, because it's easier to visualize quantity. Sometimes the difference between a pile of six bears and a pile of seven bears is subtle.
Hope this helps!

06202016, 05:47 PM #5Junior Member
 Join Date
 Jun 2016
 Location
 TX
 Posts
 16
Thanks! Good games/activity ideas  we'll try that.
She can definitely count  I know up to 100, and has known for a couple of years now. But did she just memorize it? That I'm not sure
I do know she is a visual learner, so she needs to see it, and she struggles with things that involve auditory processing.
So the dice and dominoes will probably help some  thought not many of those will have the bigger 2digit numbers.
I also made a very long number line (but was only able to make it as long as 87 . Still, it will work for now. And I made a little frog out of paper. So I'm going to try using that with her by pointing to a certain number (let's say 28) and then if we say is 36 greater than 28, then which way is the frog going to jump  Forward, which means greater than; or Backward, which means less than. So we'll see. I think it might be helpful. A big (really big) number line on the floor too, then maybe she can jump like a frog. Not sure how that will work actually; I can't think of how to make a number line that would be big enough. LOL
Thanks so much!

Can she memorize some "rules" for greater than/less than? She would need to be comfortable identifying the larger singledigit number, or she could at least use a smaller number line this way.
1. When comparing two numbers, the one with the most digits will always be the greater number. (Presumably she only understands whole numbers at this time.)
2. If the numbers have the same number of digits, look at the first digit. If the first digit is larger in one of them, that will be the greater number.
3. If the numbers have the same number of digits and the first digits are identical, look at the next number. The number with the larger one will be greater.
That's all she needs to memorize if she's only doing twodigit numbers. You need to teach her to repeat the process for threedigit or larger numbers.
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