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It’s All in the Bag

Patti Huberty and Ashley Mullins
Colbert Elementary School
Madison County Schools


Students will work in partner groups to compare two sets of colored blocks. Discussions should include terms more than, less than, and equal. Students will use counting strategies for sets that have been put together, removed, or are compared.

Illustrative Task
  • Explain to children that they will compare items between two students. Review the language they are to use when comparing (more, less and equal).
  • Tell the students, “You will be given a bag with items inside. Carefully look at how many items are in your bag and how many are in your partner’s bag. Talk to your partner about how the number of items in your bag compares to the number of items in your partners bag using the words more than, less than, and equal to. Also notice the colors of the blocks and talk about how they can be compared as well. Be ready to describe to everyone how you got your answer explaining how many more/less and or what is the same/equal about you have and how you know.”
  • Students will share observations with the class about their blocks. Teacher will encourage connections about similar observations with students.

GPS Addressed
MKN1. Students will connect numerals to the quantities they represent.
    e. Compare two or more sets of objects (1-10) and identify which set is equal to, more than, or less     than the other.
MKN2. Students will use representations to model addition and subtraction.
    a. Use counting strategies to find out how many items are in two sets when they are combined,     separated, or compared.

Video Information
Use these questions to guide your thinking about some of the important teacher ideas in the lesson featured in the video clip.
  1. What kinds of questions does the teacher ask to promote students’ problem solving?
  2. How is the teacher gauging students’ current understandings and building from those understandings?
  3. Consider the GPS standards listed with this video.
  4. What makes this lesson different from lessons you have taught on this topic?

Classroom Materials

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