Teaching Greater than (>) and Less than (<)

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what works for us

This is a concept Noo struggled with in Grade 1, so when Koko had a meltdown with the lesson on Tuesday, I knew exactly what to do. To this day, Noo remembers the simple phrase, “small eats big”. Koko is a visual learner and doesn’t always remember the phrases, so I went searching for crocodile greater and less than pictures. I found THIS perfect download at Twinkl, a UK resource site.

This is how we used this resource. I printed the crocodiles onto one page, select the page range you want to print (in this case pages 2 – 3) and select Multiple (as shown below)

I then laminated the crocodiles for durability. I also wrote “Small eats Big” on each crocodile before laminating the sheet and cutting it out.

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He struggled with the “small eats big” concept that Noo found easy to remember, so we changed it to suit his learning style. The small number goes on the small side of the symbol and the big number on the big side. Once he understood the significance, he aced the worksheet without any issues.

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Its easy to forget that each child is an individual and that children learn differently. The onus is on us, as the teacher and parent, to learn how each child thinks and learns. Koko is a very literal child, small eats big just didn’t work with him, he didn’t see the image I was trying to create. However, explaining to him that the small number was the head (the closed end) and the big number the mouth (the open end) of the symbol, made perfect sense to him. Though he hasn’t completely mastered this concept just yet, he understands how to use the crocodile manipulatives now. I can see us using this manipulative for quite a few lessons.




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