Lesson plan

5. Sorting and Comparing (C)

teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.C.6 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/K/CC/C/6
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.C.7 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/K/CC/C/7
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP2 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP2
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP6 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP6
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Lesson objective: Understand that we can compare a quantity and the numeral it represents to a specific numeral to determine if it less than, equal to or greater than. 

Students bring prior knowledge of comparing two groups of objects to determine which group is  greater than, less than or equal to from standard K.CC.6. This prior knowledge is extended to comparing groups to a specific quantity and relating that quantity to a numeral as students identify and create shape puzzles and sort them to determine if they are greater than, less than or equal to the target number. A conceptual challenge students may encounter is creating their own shape puzzle with color tiles, recording their work, then figuring out how to compare it to a specific quantity. 

The concept is developed through work with shape cards that display shape designs of 4-10 color tiles. In the prior connection each student is given a shape card to copy using color tiles. Make a class poster with three labels (less than, equal to and greater than). Each student decides if his/her shape card is less than, equal to or greater than the target number. In the task each student uses 4 -10 color tiles to create a shape design of their own. They will draw their shape design on paper and decide if their new shape card is less than, equal to or greater than the target number. 

This work helps students deepen their understanding of  equivalence as they because they will be considering quantities that are equal to, less than or greater than a specific quantity.  

Students engage in Mathematical Practice 2 (Reason abstractly and quantitatively) as they apply their understanding of comparing with concrete objects to creating a shape card and compare it to a target number to determine if it is less than, equal to or greater than. They also apply Mathematical Practice 6 (Attend to Precision) as they use correct compare language greater than, less than and equal to. Students may rely on counting and matching strategies to support them as they compare shape cards. 

Key vocabulary:

  • compare
  • equal, equal to
  • greater, greater than
  • less, less than
  • more, more than
  • shape cards
  • target number

Special materials needed:

  • color tiles
  • a set of shape cards (Every child needs one shape card to copy in the prior connection activity.) Note: You will need one set of shape cards per pair of students for lesson six. You may want to run these off in advance. 
  • inch grid paper (optional)
  • poster paper or wall to display three columns (less than, equal to, greater than). The class poster will be used for students to compare their shape card to the target number.