Math Background

Compare and Order Whole Numbers to 100: Tips and Tricks

  • Have children make their own set of 100 objects. They might make a collection of bread tags, stamps, paper clips, and so on. If using paper clips, they could clip them together in 9 groups of 10 and 1 group of 10 single clips.
  • Bean sticks and beans can be used in the same way (9 bean sticks and 10 beans). In either case, provide bags that zip for children to store their collections in and label the bags with their names.
  • Have available individual sets of number cards or have children make their own sets. You may want to start with cards numbered 0 – 20 and add larger numbers as children become familiar with the first set. Choose a group of numbers each day and have children put the numbers in order.
  • Children should also make cards that show the greater than (>) and less than (<) symbols. When using these symbols, show children how the large opening of each symbol points to the larger or greater number and the small end of each symbol points to the smaller or lesser number. You might want to make a poster that shows the meaning of each symbol and keep it visible in the room.
  • Spend time each day counting. Provide lots of counting books for children to read. You may also want to read a counting book to the children each day.
  • Have children use stamps and stamp pads and stickers to make their own number books. Have them include greater than and less than symbols in their books.
  • Play lots of number games, such as putting cards numbered from 0 – 20 on a table randomly and have children put them in order. Once children can order these numbers, use greater numbers. Another idea is to put the number cards face-down on a table and have children choose two numbers and tell which number is greater than or less than the other number. You can also place a set of number cards face-up on a table. Have one child take a number and another child take a number that is greater than (or less than) the first child's number. Use these activities with larger numbers as you introduce them.
  • Use a number line to help children understand just before, just after, between, greater than, and less than.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 1