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Move over alligator, the shark has replaced you
29 Oct, 2013. 12 Comments. A Day In First Grade, Autumn, First Grade, First Grade Math, Kindergarten Math, Math, October. Posted By: Kristen Smith

Last week after assessing my students I noticed that a few of them could use a little bit of extra practice with the standard:  CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.B.3 Compare two two-digit numbers based on meanings of the tens and ones digits, recording the results of comparisons with the symbols >, =, and <.

I originally taught the concept using the “alligator math” lesson and most of my students got it after that lesson. However, with the problems increasing in difficulty, I wanted to review the concept before moving ahead too fast.

Inspiration hit where it normally does: at Target. I had been thinking about how to make this lesson really come to life when I saw the most perfect prop ever.

A shark towel! Oh my cuteness. Tell me this is not perfect?! 
I started the lesson with a quick review of the terms “more than,” “less than,” “the most” and “the least.” 
To do this, I had poured a different amount of goldfish into mini cups and passed them out to my students. 
Without counting, we discussed the data. My students pointed to who had the most. (He’s not excited at all. 😉 )
and then we pointed to who had the least. {She only had one!}
My students then counted out how many they had and we recorded our data on the board. 
After this, I introduced the shark. He needed a good introduction… so singing was in order. I busted out an oldie but a goodie and we all learned the song (and dance) to “Daddy Shark.” 
We talked about how sharks are always HUNGRY and how we were going to practice using the greater than and less then symbols with a shark today. 
{insert applause!}
I called up a student and gave them a number card.
and another student who held out another number card. 
and then our SHARK had to choose which number of fish he wanted to eat. (the greater number) 
My actors were more than happy to oblige with some great acting! 
My students LOVED this lesson.
After practicing a few easier numbers, we started using addition and subtraction sentences to really exercise our brains. I wish you could hear them saying, “well, 10-5 equals 5, and the other card’s sum is 3, so you are the larger number!”
They seriously “got” the lesson and I’m sure it built some great schema with those of my guys who were struggling! Later on in the week I will work with a few students in small groups to reinforce and practice this skill. 
My students who have really shown mastery in this skill are enjoying this math bin that works on the same topic: 
 
In the afternoon, we had some more math fun. This time we were working on our pumpkin investigations. In the past, I have held a “pumpkin day” with my students where we do all of our investigations on one day, but this year I decided to spread it out over the week. I created these mini books that print out on one page and then fold up into a book for each activity that we will complete. 
Today the task at hand was measurement. We have been working on standard and non-standard units of measurement and this was a great way to reinforce that skill. First we measured our pumpkins using unifix cubes and then we measured them with our rulers. 
My students worked together in teams to determine how tall their pumpkins were in both standard and non-standard units of measurement.
Then we got really crazy. Since we were working on non-standard units of measurement, I presented them with the challenge to find out how tall they were in pumpkins. Oh man did they EAT THIS UP! 
We made predictions, tested our predictions, and had a blast measuring each other! 
We didn’t have time to measure everyone today but by the time the week is over, everyone will know how tall they are in pumpkins.  
In case you’re wondering, I’m 22 mini pumpkins tall. They thought it was the funniest thing in the world to measure me. Sorry, I was being measured, I don’t have any pictures of that! 
If you would like these mini-books please click on the picture below to download it! 

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