Greater than, less than!
It came to my attention this week that Me Too was having trouble putting the greater-than/less-than symbols in a math puzzle book that he was playing with. I was certain he understood the concept but there was obviously a disconnect somewhere. I threw together a few of these alligators that I saw on Pre-K and K Sharing and resolved to ferret out the problem.
Here is they all are nestled in their basket.
I didn't know exactly where the problem lay, so we started very simply. I kind of wish I had taken the time to make some little raw, rancid chicken counters (gator bait) but we all do what we can.
Kal-El sat in on the lesson too so I gave a lot of variations to keep it interesting.
I figured we had better go over "equal to" while we were at it. The boys thought this "2=2" was just so silly and couldn't imagine why anyone would use an equal sign in that way (just wait boys, just wait).
They thought this variation was a little more useful.
I used the number tiles from the multiplication board because they offered a good variety of quantities (if not an adequate degree of legibility). The boys enjoyed labeling chains of quantities like this. Yet, I STILL hadn't found the problem, until...
...I tried switching from alligators to ACTUAL greater-than/less-than symbols. We have a bunch of wooden ones in our symbols box. Me Too, who had made NO errors thus far, put EVERY symbol in backwards on the next chain I had him label. He did not understand, even after I re-explained it, the relationship between the symbol and the alligator.
We went back to labeling with alligators.
Then we carefully matched the wooden symbols to the alligators.
Finally, we removed the alligators and slid the wooden symbols into their place.
SUCCESS! After a few rounds in this manner Me Too was able to label chains of quantities without using the alligators at all. This afternoon he got out his math puzzle book and demonstrated his new mad skills. He said, "Mom, this makes even MORE sense today than yesterday."
I'm extra pleased because one of my earliest memories of school is failing miserably at this and being made to feel really st**** by a teacher for not being able to do this.