Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Alligator Game - Greater or Less Than

To compare decimals, fractions & percent would be great for any skill that requires comparing of numbers...

I used a blue file folder, added a picture of an alligator, and white circle stickers as a path. On the path spaces I wrote the signs for greater than, less than, and equals.

WHY AN ALLIGATOR? Our math book should a cute little bird with its open mouth. The greater than or less than sign was the birds mouth.

The open end of the greater than or less than sign is always towards the larger number. However, the year I made this I had a large percent of boys in my class and when I mentioned an alligator's open mouth, I got their the alligator on our gameboard!

To play, a player will draw a card, decide the relationship of the first number to the second and move to the next space with the appropriate symbol.

The cards have things like: .4 ___ .04, .71 _____.8, etc...for
decimal practice.

Another set of cards I made had: 3/4 ____ 3/12, 4/6
___2/3, etc. for fractions.

This board could be used for so many other math skills as well. For example:

1 week ______ 8 days

17 ounces _____ 1 pound

3.75 ____ 3 3/4

1.5 ____ 150%

IV ______ X

5 + 4 ______ 3 + 6

59 - 17 _____ 47 - 5

Or even for other classes:

Population of Texas _____Population of Wisconsin

Length of robin ______ length of gold finch

Revolutionary War ______ Civil War (The children had the open end to the later date.) This is a great way to help them get events in order without having to necessarily remember exact dates. So they would read their card as "Revolutionary War was earlier or before (rather than later than or after) the Civil War.

ANSWER KEY: To make it so children could play without a parent/teacher, provide an answer key. However, I preferred to just write the correct answer on the reverse of the question card. The question cards were in the pile, face up. After a child gave the response, the card could be turned over to verify the answer. This saves from lost answer keys, and is a much easier way of checking. 

There is a cute little song on YouTube that can be used when introducing Greater Than/Less Than. Check out the Number Eating Alligator Song.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Mary Paterson,

    I have been reading your blog for a while now. And every time you post something new I am thrilled about it.
    I develop material to teach English as a second language.
    I would like to know if we could chat over email?

    My email is:

    Best regards,
    Priscila Martins