Which Has More?
20 Plastic Easter eggs or baby food jars with lids
Small counters such as beans or popcorn kernels
Number charts or number lines (1 to 20)
Use this center with children who are just learning to compare numbers and need very concrete experiences with the skill in order to master it. To prepare the center, write the numbers from 1 to 20 on each of the eggs, or baby food jar lids. Then fill the containers with the appropriate number of counters. Place the filled containers in a small basket.
To play, the children choose two eggs from the basket. They then empty the beans from one of the eggs, count them, and place them in a line on the table. They do the same with the other egg. Show them how to line up the counters so that they start at the same spot, and are lined up directly across from the counters, from the first egg or jar. You may want to provide a two column grid to help them. When they are finished, they can see which number is greater. Provide a 1 - 20 number chart or number line, so that they can double-check their work. They then put the correct number of counters back into the containers, and choose two more.
- Let students who have trouble keeping track of their counters, place each counter directly on the boxes of the number chart.
- Only use the numbers from 1 to 10 with students who are still struggling.
- For students who need more of a challenge, provide a separate basket with higher numbers in it.
These math centers for comparing numbers will provide lots of hands-on practice for primary students ,when you are teaching them to compare numbers.