Place Value and Comparing Numbers

In math, we have been working very hard on understanding place value. Hopefully you have heard your child talk about the tens place in a number and the ones place in a number! We did a fun activity where the class worked with base ten blocks and made the first initial of their name using tens and ones. Once completed, they had to think about how many tens they used, how many ones they used, and write an expanded notation equation (an equation that shows the true value of each place).

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Along with place value, we began talking about how we can compare numbers. Our class learned that when we are comparing numbers we always look at the tens place first! If we see a bigger number in the tens place, we have found the bigger number!! If the number in the tens place is the same, we must look to the ones place and determine which number is bigger. We learned that the equal sign we see so often really means “the same as” — quite a revelation, as we can now begin to see why we can have addends on BOTH sides of the equal sign (more to come on that later in the year!) Numbers are considered equal if they have the same number in the tens place and the ones place. Since the greater than and less than symbols reminded us of alligators, we thought it only appropriate to create a comparison showing alligators chomping the bigger numbers. Check out these examples:
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Over Fall Break, try giving your child two numbers and seeing if they can compare them. Can they draw the numbers with base ten blocks? Can they use the correct symbol? Just some ideas to keep their minds fresh over the break. Hope everyone enjoys a few days off!

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