Young children need many hands-on experiences comparing and ordering objects by size to build an understanding of this area of mathematical thinking.
Start by gathering three boxes that are about the same shape but obviously different sizes. (Blocks, cans of food, toy trucks or dolls also work well)
Mathematical Knowledge & Skills.
Comparison and ordering Skills.
Place the medium size box on a table or in front of you. Hold up a second box and ask children to tell you if it is bigger or smaller than the box on the table.
Place the box next to the medium sized box on the table.
Now show the children your third box and ask them if it is smaller or larger than the fi rst box.
Place this box on the other side of the fi rst box so that they are in order from smallest to largest.
Reinforce with children that these boxes are now in order – smallest to largest. Use the vocabulary words Small-Medium-Large.
Provide additional hands on practice for children to place sets of three objects in size order before repeating this demonstration with four boxes etc.
Look for other opportunities for short, spontaneous mini-math lessons within children's routines and according to their interests. Providing ways for children to connect math concepts to real world situations will make math thinking interesting and fun, as well as increase understanding.