Give each child a clear plastic bottle filled to varying degrees with marbles. (Have the top securely closed so they don't become more involved with the marbles than with the concept.) Assuming there are six children in the class, let the bottles be filled approximately as follows: Bottles A and B filled 100 percent to the top with marbles; Bottles C and D filled 50 percent with marbles; Bottles E and F filled 15 percent with marbles.
Once each child has a bottle, the teacher asks, "Which two children have bottles with more marbles than anybody else?" When these two are successfully located, the teacher asks, "Which two children have bottles with fewer marbles than anybody?" Then, "Is there anybody whose bottle of marbles is the same as somebody else's?"
After the children have successfully identified the various bottles by comparing them with the other children's bottles so that they are correctly identifying the bottles as "more than...," "less than...," and "the same as...," the next step is to place the C and D bottles (halffull) in the center ofthe table and ask, "What must we do so that all the bottles have the same amount of marbles as these two bottles?" Then point to Bottles A and B (filled to the top with marbles) and put those bottles next to the E and F bottles which have the fewest marbles. Demonstrate and have the children indicate that one must take away marbles from the filled A and B bottles and add them to the E and F bottles until all the bottles are the same for everybody. When the class has responded correctly, allow two children to add marbles until everybody agrees that all are the same level as the half filled C and D bottles.
Repeat this procedure with pegs, blocks, candies, etc. until it is firmly established that the concepts apply to all objects. Ask parents to have their child perform the same operations with bottles at home. The task should be further generalized by spreading out different quantities of blocks or cars on the table and then having the children perform these same operations to make all the spread out quantities the same.
Was this article helpful?
When parents help their children learn to read, they help open the door to a new world. As a parent, you can begin an endless learning chain: You read to your children, they develop a love of stories and poems, they want to read on their own, they practice reading, and finally they read for their own information or pleasure. They become readers, and their world is forever expanded and enriched.