# Math Exercise: Comparisons

Select two boxes or cans of food that weigh 8 ounces and 16 ounces, respectively. Have students hold each as you tell them (or they read) the weights of the containers. Give students a box or can with the weight covered and have them compare the weight of the new package to the weight of the 8- and 16-ounce samples. Th ey can then estimate whether the new item’s weight is closer to 8 or 16 ounces. As students become more successful, they may want to predict a more specifi c weight. Ask them to tell you why they think the new can weighs 10 ounces, for example, and encourage them to respond with, “It is a little heavier than the 8-ounce can” or “It is much lighter than the 16-ounce can, but not as light as the 8-ounce can.”

With this estimation-promoting activity (which can easily become an independent activity), students also build number sense by experiencing the relationships between numbers and real measurements and by developing concepts of *more than* and *less than*.

To further develop these concepts, or for challenge work at the center, you can ask students how much they think an item costs. Th e goal is not for them to know prices, but to develop the concept that larger objects don’t necessarily weigh or cost more. If a student predicts that a $3 box of cereal costs $1 and you say “more,” he or she may say $2. You say “more” again, and the student will continue giving answers as you direct with “more” or “less” until the correct dollar amount is guessed. Continue this activity with a small can of a costly item, such as artichoke hearts.

## Notes:

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**Learning to Love Math**

**Books, Brochures, and Chapters>**

**Book:**Willis, Judy (2010)

*, Learning to Love Math*, ASCD, Alexandria, VA, Retrieved on 2016-09-02

**Folksonomies:**education games math