In Module 2, students observed, analyzed, and categorized geometric shapes by focusing on their attributes; they now launch into the process of recognizing and comparing these attributes. In Module 3, comparisons of length, weight, and volume lead into comparisons of number: longer than, shorter than, as long as; heavier than, lighter than, as heavy as; more than, less than, the same as. For example, “Eight is more than 5. Five is less than 8. Five is equal to 5.” In Topic A, students begin by identifying the attribute of length by determining that a book and a ribbon can be compared in different ways: as longer than, heavier than, or taking up more space. This occurs within the natural context of the lesson, which then proceeds to comparing length and height when endpoints are aligned and not aligned. Jan is shorter than Pat when they are standing next to each other with one of their endpoints automatically aligned. But, what if Jan is standing on a step ladder? Now, the endpoints are not aligned, and students, faced with this complexity, understand that Jan is still shorter than Pat though her head may by higher because she is standing on a step ladder. In Lesson 2, students compare the length of their strings to the length of various objects within the classroom. “My string is longer than the marker.” “My string is shorter than my friend’s shoe.” They know to line up the endpoints or the comparison is not valid. In Lesson 3, students make a series of comparisons: the pencil is longer than the marker; the eraser is shorter than the marker. They directly compare only two objects, but in doing so, potentially see more relationships. Then, they engage in drawing a magical world where, for example, a flower is taller than a house.
Kindergarten Mathematics Module 3, Topic A
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