Whew...the weekend sure went by....in fact did I just finish a weekend? Anyway, I thought I'd share the math activity we did today to introduce the concept of comparing numbers. It's our first day with the concept, so to get the conversation going and the unit started, here's what we did.
I gave each student an odd number of m&m's. The valentine ones worked great because there are basically only 3 colors: pink, white and red. I limited my selection for each student to 2 colors, but you could give an assortment of all three.
I asked students to write in their math journals what they noticed about the candies. They immediately started with the appearance of the candy like color and shape. I hinted to look at the number(s) of candies they had. Then I had students share at their ideas at their tables.
We came together as a class. I showed students my odd number of m&m's on the doc. camera and asked them to tell me about the number of m&m's I had. As students used key words like most, greatest, less, etc. I put the words on the board.
Then we formally discussed how we could compare the number of candies in a statement such as "I have more red than white." or "My 4 red candies are greater than my 3 pink candies." Students then had to tell me a comparative statement to be able to eat their m&m's.
Then small groups of students were given some numbers and practiced their statements. Students took turns choosing 2 cards and then giving a comparative statement for the two numbers.
Now that I'm blogging about it, I wish I had taken pictures. I'll have to get into a better habit of that. ;)