Working out which numbers are Greater Than.

Working out which numbers are greater than or less than using a base 10 set and a scale

Over the weekend while the kids were weighing their toys again (they have done this a few times and enjoy figuring out which combination of toys is heavier), I had a sudden thought what if we weighed some craft sticks and used that as an example of greater than and less than numbers for my youngest.

weighing craft sticks to work out which number is greaterWeighing craft sticks in our Learning Resources scale

It started off really well and my youngest really enjoyed using the crocodiles from Twinkl (free) to help him write out the equations. But then he wanted to compare 10 and 12 – the difference in weight of the craft sticks was just not enough.  So we switched to using our Learning Resources Base 10 set instead and he quickly saw that 12 was greater than 10

greater than crocodile from Twinkl

He found the Base 10 set very easy to use and he started creating a wide range of numbers in his buckets.

Using our base 10 set with our scales

In fact the base 10 set worked so well that my youngest was soon comparing numbers in the hundreds – he never normally deals with numbers over 100.

weighing big numbers to work our which one is greater than

And he also did a lot of number comparison to zero.  It was a great visual representation as the bucket with zero was empty.  He checked a variety of numbers against zero and then he proudly announced to me – “mom all the numbers are going to be bigger than zero.”

Comparing numbers to zero

My oldest also got involved, she really enjoyed comparing the numbers in the hundreds and soon she was tempted to try our thousand block.  The thousand block just fits into one of the buckets (at a slight angle) and seeing it compared to the 100 board was great.  Both kids got really excited at the difference in the weight between 1000 and 100.  I think it really helped my son to understand that 1000 is much bigger than 100.

Comparing 1000 to 100 using base 10 set and scales from Learning reourcesAnd although the main idea of the activity was for my youngest to do a hands on activity around greater than and less than numbers he actually ended up doing lots of writing.  I started off by writing out the first few equations that we worked out but he quickly informed he could do it and he took over the writing

writing out numbers after weighing the base 10 set

writing out greater than and less than equations

He got so involved in the weighing that he did not realise how much writing he was doing or that he was writing “big” numbers.

The Learning Resources scale and the base 10 set were bought by us over a year ago and both have been well used.  You can find get the Learning Resources scale from ImagiDo and the Base 10 set from Amazon (affiliate link).

And as I am often asked about the pens and pencils that we use.  The pens in todays photos are the STABILO Trio Scribbi.  They have a lovely triangular shape, perfect for younger kids (and my 7-year-old also loves them too).

You might also enjoy our post – Maths using snap cubes and scales

About ofamily

Home educating family based in the UK. We try to make learning fun
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