Lesson objective: Understand that two numbers can be compared using the symbols =, >, and <.

Students bring prior knowledge of comparing two two-digit numbers from Grade 1, Unit 8, 1.NBT.B.3. This prior knowledge is extended to include the use of symbols as students compare two two-digit numbers. A conceptual challenge students may encounter is the use of abstract symbols and understandings of place value.

The concept is developed through work with connecting cubes or base ten blocks, which allow students to group items in tens and ones, furthering their understanding and use of place value when comparing numbers.

This work helps students deepen their understanding of number because our base ten number system of groups of ten and ones allows students to compare two two-digit numbers.

Students engage in Mathematical Practice #2 (reason abstractly and quantitatively) as they critically think about the relationship between quantities, using flexible thinking of mathematical symbols.

**Key vocabulary:**

- compare
- equals sign
- less
- less than
- greater than
- more
- similar
- symbol
- value

**Special materials needed:**

- base ten blocks
- connecting cubes