Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group, e.g., by using matching and counting strategies.1




Students at this age level are only expected to say if the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number in another group. Kindergartners only need to match, for instance, the blue beads to the red beads to see if there are more blue beads than red beads. Alternately, if the beads are glued to a piece of cardboard and cannot be moved, students can count the blue beads, count the red beads, and use their knowledge of the counting sequence to determine which set has more.

Understanding the Standard:

  • Students need to understand the concept of "more than" and "less than". For instance, students should be able to count objects in two different sets and distinguish which set has more or less.
  • Students should be encouraged to pair off items in two different sets without necessarily counting in order to compare the two sets. This might be encouraged by using two colors of similar manipulatives or by using scenarios in which pairing naturally arises. For example, here is a list of students and here is a list of colors of paint. Are there enough colors for each student to get a different one?
  • One idea is to pose a simple problem scenario: here are Alex's green toy cars, and here are Cindy's blue toy cars. Does Alex have more, less, or the same number as Cindy?

Questions to Focus Instruction:

  • Are students able to count two separate sets of objects and then correctly state which set has more?
  • Can students directly match the elements of two sets to see which set has more?
  • Can students add to one set or take away from another in order to create two equal sets of objects?
  • Are students able to distinguish if one set of objects is greater or less than another set?


Prior to: Students understand one-to-one correspondence and conservation of number.

At Grade Level:
Students understand the meaning of “greater than”, “less than”, and “equal to”.

Moving Beyond: Students will count a set of up to 20 objects and then compare it with another set of objects.

1 Include groups with up to ten objects.