Knowing something and knowing how to teach it, are two different things. Like so many things in life, most people don’t remember learning how to recognize that one number is greater than another number. However, we didn’t know this until we were taught. As adults it seems as something we know intrinsically. How can we teach greater than and less than means when you don’t recall how you learned it?
If you want to increase the potential in your kid and help them in school, knowing how to teach some of these topics can help them out, especially if they don’t have the best teacher. You can also do this by using a learning enhancement program like MindFinity – click here to learn more.
For teaching greater than, less than, we have some tips:
The Chocolate Approach
Split a chocolate bar into two unequal pieces and see which piece your child chooses. They know intrinsically that one piece is greater than the other, even if they don’t understand this is what they are doing. Cut out greater than, less than, and equal signs, and pull out your favorite sectioned chocolate bar. Break it into pieces and use this hands-on approach to teach greater than and less than.
Move the squares around have your child put the right sign in the correct place.
The bonus? You both get a sweet treat!
The Alligator Method
Many teachers use the Alligator Method analogy to teach greater than and less than. They will draw an Alligator mouth on the greater than and less than signs (just adding teeth). Use the same philosophy as before: just like you, the alligator is going to want to eat more. This means that the mouth should always be open towards the bigger number.
You can start with food so that your kid understands the concept, but you do want to move to numbers fairly quickly. It can be a little more difficult to teach “equal” here, but you can just explain that the alligator is looking forward because he doesn’t know which one he wants to eat first, and he thinks you might be the food.
Be Sure They Know The Names
One thing you want to be careful about when using the alligator approach is that your child still needs to know the names of the symbols. While it may help them understand this abstract concept now, they also have to grasp the idea that < and > are symbols for something else. One easy way to do this is to have them say the answers to their problems out loud. When they read the symbols out loud, they are cementing that idea in their brains.
Another great way to do it is to have them write out “<ess” on a piece of paper. The “less than” sign looks a little bit like an “L.”
Use MindFinity To Help Them Love Learning
Children who can spot patterns and quickly make connections, use analogies to help them understand greater than, less than, and can apply thinking algorithms, learn faster. Those who build these specialized skills will likely enjoy school more than their peers. This is because when you teach through play, you are taking away a ton of the pressure that they feel. By taking just a few minutes every day to play MindFinity games with your child, you can make school easier for your child, and learning, faster. Not only that, but you will help them to use their imagination to become more adaptable to change, which can help them succeed long into the future!
MindFinity will have you dancing, drawing, singing, and more with your children all while learning these skills and building Inventive IQ. MindFinity is a great tool for younger children and their families to have fun learning together for just a few minutes every day. For more information, reach out to our team today to get started.
If you want your child to have fun in school and take advantage of all the opportunities they are given, MindFinity is a great place to start.