I often begin my math lessons with literature. It allows the students to see the importance of reading and it provides a great way for students to practice important comprehension skills like predicting while being introduced to a new math concept. If I can't find a story for a math concept, I will write my own. You can download Greedy Gord Visits the Bakery Again! for this lesson. I print the book on a colored printer and laminate the pages for durability. I bind with a comb binder, but you can use book rings or staple the pages. Make sure to follow the directions for assembling the book. Cut out and attach the "Gordy" with a string to the back of the book to make it interactive.
I gather the students in front of my big chair and show them the cover of the book. The students are immediately excited. They yell, "Gordy!" Gordy is a recurring character in many of my math lessons. I tell the students, Today we are going to read, Greedy Gordy Goes to the Bakery. What do we know about Gordy? That's right. Gordy is Greedy. What do you think he will do in the bakery? You think he will eat all the food? Well, let's read our story to find out if your prediction is right.
Page 1: This is Gordy! He is greedy. He always likes to have more. He especially likes going to the bakery. Boy, it sounds like your prediction might be right! I think they made this cupcake just for me! Why do you think that Gordy said the cupcake was made just for him? That's right, it has a G on it!
Page 2: Gordy wants to pick the bag that has more cookies. Can you help him? I am looking for a student who can put Gordy on the bag that has more cookies. We need to find the greater number. (I use the terms more and greater to provide support for my English Language Learners). I invite a student to come up and place Gordy over the bag that has more cookies. After the student places Gordy on the correct bag, I say to the class, that's right. Eighteen cookies is more than sixteen cookies. Eighteen is greater than sixteen. I make sure I always say a comparative sentence to reinforce the correct usage of the vocabulary for my learners, especially my English Language Learners.
Page 3: We continue as in page 2.
Page 4: Hey Gordy…isn’t that your doctor over Can you help Gordy choose the box that has fewer or less brownies? there? Didn’t he say you should eat less? The students respond...oh no!!
Page 5: Looks like we’re back to eating less now Gordy!! Less...but I like more. Sorry Gordy! Doctor's orders! The children are giggling. This really shows the relationship that they have established with Gordy through the other stories we have read through our math lessons.
Page 6: Can you help Gordy choose the box that has fewer or less brownies? I invite a student up, reminding her that we are now looking for the box that has fewer or less brownies. After the student places Gordy on the correct box, I again say the comparative sentence, twelve brownies are fewer than thirteen or twelve is less than thirteen, to reinforce mathematical vocabulary.
We continue on until we reach the final page.
When the doctor said, “You need to exercise”, I am pretty sure he didn’t mean this! We discuss that Gordy is chasing the bakery worker who has the donuts (Again, the students laugh at Gordy and his antics). So boys and girls, as you can see, we are going to compare numbers today. Let's move over to the SmartBoard to have some more fun with Gordy!
For this part of the lesson, I use my SmartBoard. Click on this link to access the file: Comparing Numbers -Digits. If you have another type of interactive whiteboard, you can still use the materials created for this lesson by opening the file in Smart Notebook Express. I have also included a pdf of the slides so you can create the instruction in a different format if needed.
I gather my students in front of the SMARTBoard. I have cards with each student's name on. These cards are used for selecting who will come up to the SmartBoard.
I open the first slide (Smartboard Slide 1) with the lesson objective written in "student friendly" terms. There is a content objective and a language objective to help focus on vocabulary expansion for my English Learners (ELs) to be congruent with SIOP instructional techniques. I read these objectives aloud for my students.
I can compare two numbers 11-20 and tell which one is greater or less or whether they are equal.
I can explain to a friend that which number is greater or less.
We continue on with the rest of the slides.
Slide 2: It is easy to compare objects to tell if there is more or less. Which group has more? The students quickly respond, "B".
Slide 3: It's a little harder when I am just comparing numbers. Which on is greater or more. I purposefully do not call on students on this slide. I quickly advance to the next slide because I want all the students to have the instruction and not become frustrated because friends know it and they don't.
Slide 4: We can use a number line to help us. The numbers are smaller by the little Gordy and get bigger as we move closer to the big Gordy. I guide the students though the process of finding the numbers on the number line.
Slide 5: If I don't want to use a number line, I can use what I know about numbers to help me out as well. I know that each number has one ten. That is shown by the one in the front. Now, I just need to look at the number with the ten. That's the number in the "one's place". The number that is bigger would tell me that is the greater number. I point to the numbers as I explain how to compare using place value. This might be over some students' heads, but I think it is an important exposure for those who are ready.
Slide 6: Let's compare some more numbers. Circle the one that is greater or more. I invite a student to come up to the Smartboard and circle the number. When the student is done, I say the comparative sentence for the class, Nineteen is greater than sixteen. I have the students repeat after the sentence me. Again, this is great vocabulary and syntax reinforcement for English Language Learners to continually practice.
Slides 7-9: Continue as above.
Slide 10: Now, let's try circling the one that is less. I invite a student up and continue to reinforce the vocabulary by saying the comparative sentence, thirteen is less than sixteen.
Slide 11-14: Continue as above.
Slide 15: It is now Turn and Talk time. Turn and Talk allows all students, especially English Language Learners to practice to expand their vocabulary and build on their English speaking skills. The students are assigned a partner that they work with. (Non-native English students are partnered with students who are native speakers to provide modeling). The students hold the hand of their partner and place it in the air so I can see that everyone is partnered up. I then ask them the question, Using a complete sentence, tell your partner which number is greater. How do you know? I monitor the students' discussions and reinforce the use of the comparative sentence. When the discussion is done, I ask a student to share their answer. I repeat the comparative sentence for the class and have them repeat after me. I then ask the student to explain how they came up with their answer.
We then move back to our seats for guided practice.
For this section of the lesson, you will need the Hanging Numbers 10-20 included with this lesson. These tags have been used with other lessons I have shared on BetterLesson as well. I laminate mine and punch holes and then ran string through so the students could wear the signs. I do two sets of the numbers so everyone in my class can have a tag. You will also need two hula-hoops.
I distribute the tags to the students in the class. One side of the room gets one set of numbers 10-20 and the other side gets a set. I then call a set of numbers to go to the front of the room from each side, such as 16 and 18. I give two students the hula hoops and I ask them to go to the front of the room and "circle" the greater number. I then say the comparative sentence, "Eighteen is greater than sixteen", and have the students repeat it after me. We continue doing several pairs of numbers and then switch to comparing the numbers with less. For fun, I have only the number 15 come up from each side and we talk about how the two numbers are equal.
After everyone has had a chance to go up front at least once as either a number or as the "circler", we collect the cards and prepare for independent practice time.
For this part of the lesson, you will need the Greedy Gordy Wants More and Less Activity Sheet and the Numbers 11-20 for activities for each student. I cut apart the numbers and place them in small brown lunch bags (you could also use envelopes). I have found it helpful to run the numbers on two different colors of paper. This allows me to pass the numbers out so students who sit next to each other do not have the same colors It keeps them from getting mixed up.
I distribute the activity sheet and numbers to the students. I have them write their names on the top of their papers. I explain to the students, We are going to be comparing numbers. You will draw a number from the bag. You will write that number on the first bag. Put that number back and shake up the bag. Draw another number and write it on the other bag. Now, you will circle the number that is greater or more. Continue doing this until you have the entire front side of the sheet completed. On the back side of the worksheet, you will do the same thing, but this time you will circle the number that is less. If you would happen to draw two numbers that are equal, you will circle both the numbers.
My class does quite well now with multi-step directions. If your class struggles with multi-step directions, you might want to have them complete the front side of the sheet and then check it. You can then direct them to circle the number that is less on the backside of the paper.
As the students complete the activity, I check their work to make sure they understand the concept and make note of the students who might need some reteaching. The students then put their completed work in the student mailboxes.
This was an interesting lesson to teach. Even though students in kindergarten only need to compare numerals through 10 according to the Common Core standards, I thought it would be good to challenge the students by going up to 20.
It was really interesting for me to see the students who were able to apply what they know about numbers 0-10 to comparing numbers up to 20. These students were able to quickly look at a pair of numbers and select the greater or lesser number. They were able to apply their knowledge of numbers to larger numbers. These students understand a great deal about "structure" and this knowledge will be used over and over again in tasks with increasing difficulty.
I did have two students who relied heavily on the number line for completing the independent practice. I will need to find out why they needed the number line so much. Did they not understand how to compare numbers 0-10? or Did they not understand how to apply this knowledge to larger numbers, so they defaulted to using the number line. This will be something I will need to examine further.