Comparing Numbers While Tracking the Weather

Area: Numeracy
Skill: Comparing and Ordering
Key Targeted Strategies:
  • Encourage students to use matching to compare groups of objects
  • Prompt students to count and then verify that counting led to correct judgments
Foundational Strategies:
  • Asking children open-ended questions that elicit their solution-methods
  • Modeling and using math language

What to Look for in This Clip:

In this video, a teacher helps children compare numbers during a morning meeting activity focused on the weather.

The teacher has created a weather chart, which visually shows the number of sunny, cloudy, and rainy days in a side-by-side column format. When the teacher asks the students to read the new information on their weather chart, this visual helps one student, Gabriel, match up and compare the rows of cloudy and sunny days. This help Gabriel quickly see and conclude that both groups have the same amount.

The teacher then models another strategy to compare the amount of sunny and cloudy days when he leads the students in counting each row of cards and then verifying that the amounts are in fact the same.

In addition to the targeted strategies we see, the teacher also does a nice job setting up this activity with an open-ended prompt ("There is some new information on our chart, who can read the information on our chart?") This encourages Gabriel to explain his mathematical thinking in his own words. Asking questions like this and building off student answers and observations shows students that the teacher values their mathematical thoughts and ideas.

He also applauds the math language that Gabriel uses ("They're the same"), and repeats this word several times as they compare the two amounts.