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    Greater than, Less than symbols
    By Risa

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    I teach fourth grade. Most of my students seemed to have been taught that the 'fish' or the 'alligator' (the 'mouth' of the symbols) 'ate' the bigger number, but they didn't know how to read what the symbol meant.

    I decided to teach them visual image using the first letter of each phrase. To help them remember that '<' meant 'less than' I wrote the 'L' using the symbol (<) and in another color I completed the word
    To help them remember that '>' mean ' greater than', I told them to imagine the > as the stem of the 'g'. I always made the symbol look like a 'g', but I won't be able to draw that in, here. I'm hoping you will get the idea >reater than

    While younger students may not yet be ready for those terms and/or visuals, these seemed to help my students go the next step beyond knowing that the 'mouth' eats the greater amount.

    View the original thread this idea was posted on



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