Teaching Kids About Math: Comparison Operators

Comparing numbers is an important part of building a student's number sense. Number sense is the ability for a student to recognize a number, its value, and its relationship with other numbers. It is this important last component that is built by comparing numbers. Before working on comparing numbers, it is important that students have an understanding of the numbers and their value they will be working with.

## What is number sense?

Using comparisons helps students have the ability to understand numbers, but it is not the same as numbers. When comparing numbers, a student first needs to understand that there are numbers and then a way to compare a number to another number. It is important that they understand that numbers do not have any meaning. Here are the basic rules for comparing numbers: » Compare numbers and add them to one another. If the two numbers are equal, they are said to be the same. » If the two numbers are different in value, then the two numbers are different. » The difference in value can be 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. » The difference in value can be one digit, one numeral, or any two numbers. » A comparison does not equal two numbers.

## Why do we need to compare numbers?

We want students to know what we are comparing them to, to have a "this is how you compare" foundation. This comparison knowledge goes beyond the "kindergarten" required skills. As an example, to compare a five to a six, you need to know that a five is greater than six. The first comparison operator is the difference. As a student of math, you already know that a difference of a number equals the number itself minus one. So if a six is greater than five, a six is greater by one. In math, a difference of two is greater than the number itself by two. A second comparison operator is a remainder. In math, a remainder is a quotient (0.5) divided by the remainder (1). So if a six is greater than five, a six is greater by one. If a five is greater than six, a five is greater by one.

## Number sense and comparing numbers

The number sense starts early. The first grade is the best time to teach this skill, before the memorization of numbers becomes the primary focus of our students. When a student can compare numbers, the next step is to teach students the difference between addition and multiplication. When a student can understand the different ways addition and multiplication can be used to construct a number, it is time to work on multiplication. Although it is important to keep the focus on the practice of comparing numbers, there are a few different ways to do so. The following math activities have been designed to help you get started.

## Strategies to teach students with comparing numbers

This section provides strategies to help students understand numbers and their relationships as well as a comprehensive list of what students need to know about comparing numbers before they start the multiplication process. Check that all of the parts of the comparison operation are clear We already discussed the order of operations for addition and subtraction. Students should also be able to carry out the simple rules for multiplying together, multiplying by a number, and dividing by another number. Read through the following activities. I believe they will teach the concept of numbers and their value with proper comparison.