Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Greater Than, Less Than, Equal To

Having trouble remembering what the funny symbols > < = mean? Here is a quick reminder.

The symbol > means greater than. It tells us that whatever is to the left of the sign is greater (or larger) than whatever is on the right of the sign.

The symbol < is less than. It tells us that whatever is to the right of the sign is greater (or larger) than whatever is on the left of the sign.

The symbol = is equal to. It tells us that both sides of the problem have the same or equal value.

Why don't you try these examples, then we will solve them together.

Example 1: 29____ 23

Example 2: 1 + 3____ 3 + 3

Example 3: 5 + 5____ 9 + 1

Answers with explanations:

Example 1: 29 > 23
If you were to say this in words, you would say "Twenty nine is greater than 23.” This shows us that 29 is the bigger number.

Example 2: 1 + 3 < 3+ 3
First, solve either side of the problem. 1+3=4 and 3+3=6. This would make your new problem 4___6. If you were to say this problem aloud, you would say “One plus three is less than three plus three.” or “Four is less than six.”

Example 3: 5+5 = 9+1
To solve this problem, you would do the same as example two. First, you would combine 5+5=10, then 9+1=10. The new problem would be 10 = 10. Since both numbers have the same value, we say they are equal. You would read this problem as "Five plus five is equal to nine plus one." or "Ten is equal to ten."

*Parent Note*
Although in second grade we do not encourage students to draw "alligator teeth" on their signs, this visual may help them remember that the sign always wants to open up to the larger number.

Here is a page where you can create practice sheets for these types of problems. They are a little easier than we will be doing in class, but great if your child is struggling with the topic.

This site has great practice using just the vocabulary, not the actual symbols.

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