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“The Greedy Grab” is a new idea for teaching greater and less than signs




5, 4, 3, 2  


Title – Greedy Grab
By – Crystal Davenport
Primary Subject – Math
Grade Level – 2-5

This is an idea for teaching kids greater than and less than signs. Many teachers use the Gator and Pacman to teach the sign and those are tried and true. I had a mixed bunch one year, part of them could write the sign, part of them still didn’t quite get it. I noticed they could all write the sign correctly when money was involved, so I told them to pretend it was all money, even if the dollar sign wasn’t there. (Of course they didn’t add the dollar sign, it was only in theory.) Then it came to me to use your hand as the manipulative. I told my students, when in doubt of how to write the sign, pretend they are going to grab the highest amount. It could be money, candy, tokens, anything, you just want to make sure you get the most. In order to grab it you must use your fingers and thumb (model this like a puppet and it looks like the greater/less than sign). This works great if you model with the light of overhead and a couple of problems on the board. Then the next time the kids are wondering which way to write the sign, they just have to remember to reach out and do a greedy grab. The greedy grab always wants the most.

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