In order to indicate if a number is greater than or less than another, we use the symbols > and <.
For example, 10 is greater than 3, so we write it 10 > 3.
If we want to write 2 is less than 6, we write 2 < 6.
These symbols look very similar and even though children can interpret them from an early age, it is still easy to confuse them.
In this post, we are going to show you a trick to help you from getting confused!
There once was a dinosaur,
whose name was Ronny.
He lived in a cave,
and only ate hamburgers, no matter how scrawny.
He was always hungry
and when choosing between two,
the greater number is what he wants to chew.
And with two groups,
he leaves the smaller amount.
When a group is equal,
he doesn’t know which to pick
and feels bad.
With this short story, I’m sure you will be able to remember which symbol you need to use when you want to compare quantities – when you should use > and when you should use <.
Greater than symbol >
With this symbol, we express that the number to the left is greater than the one to the right. For example, 10 is greater than 3, so we write it like this:
Less than symbol <
This symbol expresses that the number to the left is less than the one to the right. For example, 2 is less than 6, so we write:
Equal to symbol =
This symbol, which is much easier to recognize, is used when we want to express that two quantities are equal.
In the next Smartick update, which will happen in two weeks, we will be publishing a new interactive tutorial with the complete story about our friend the dinosaur.
Don’t forget to register with Smartick to watch the tutorial and practice with greater than and less than symbols!
And if you would like to learn more about symbols in mathematics you can review these previous posts from our blog:
- Discover the Origins of Division and Multiplication
- Mathematical Symbols to Represent Operations and Relations