The activities in this lesson will help students identify relationships among whole numbers up to 100.
Invitation to Learn
- Number Crew: Dancing
More or Less, by Stuart J. Murphy; ISBN 0-06-053167-3
100 Days of Cool, by Stuart J. Murphy; ISBN 978-0-06-000123-0
Number Crew: Dancing Bear, www.uen.org/dms (emedia is available following login)
Background for Teachers
Before starting these activities, students need to be able to count to
100 and understand vocabulary terms such as greater than, less than,
equal to, more, and less. Previous exposure to a hundreds chart would
An important component in any good lesson is student
engagement. To encourage this, the cooperative learning strategy,
Think-Pair-Share, has been incorporated. Think-Pair-Share begins with
the teacher posing a question or task and each student thinking about
or working on it individually. Then the students turn to a partner and
share their thinking. Their answers then can be shared with the whole
group or a dyad can be formed to discuss further. Thoughtful and
intentional pairing will provide avenues for effective differentiation.
Intended Learning Outcomes
5. Understand and use basic concepts and skills.
Invitation to Learn
Begin by watching, Number Crew: Dancing Bear. During
viewing, have students Think-Pair-Share during the discussion
sections in the film about what room the number crew should visit.
- Before beginning, hide the animals, from Hiding Animals, behind
certain numbers on the hundreds chart. You will need to
decide before each round which animal you are going to help
guide them to find.
- Have students join you on the rug and explain that they are
going to help find the animals hiding on
- Call on a student to pick a number. Based on what animal you
want them to find, move the Bear Squeeze accordingly.
- Keep calling on students to pick a number, moving the bears
to help them narrow down what number the animal is hiding
- As the students get closer to narrowing down the number have
them Think-Pair-Share what the possible solutions are.
- Keep playing until the animal has been found.
- Repeat until all animals have been found.
- Read the story, More or Less, stopping throughout to have
students figure out the possible number solutions based from
the questions that Eddie asks. (You may want to list the
numbers on the whiteboard and mark them off to help students
- Give each student a cardstock copy of the Hundreds Board.
- Have them cut off the extra paper at the top, bottom, and right
side of the chart.
- Next, have students glue the Hundreds Board so that the number
10 and 11 match up and 20 and 21 and so on. It will form a
- Have students cut on the solid lines under each row of
numbers, starting at one.
- Put up the number line on the board and have students join you
on the rug.
- Explain to students that you are thinking of a number on the
number line, a mystery number, and their job is to find it by
asking questions similar to the ones Eddie asked in the book.
- Call on a student to ask a question about the number.
- Use the Bear Squeeze bears to show if the number is more or
less than the number the student asked about.
- As students get closer to the number, list on the board the
possible solutions left and cross off as you play.
- Continue playing until students have found the mystery
- Repeat the game as long as there is student interest.
- Pair up students to play Bear Squeeze in partners.
- In their math journals, have students record their mystery
number and have them track with tally marks how many
questions it takes for the number to be found. Then using
teddy bear counters and their paper number line have students
ask their partner questions until they have found the mystery
- Have students take turns and play each role at least twice.
- When finished playing, have students write in their journals
about what they have learned from playing Bear Squeeze.
- As a class, give clues for a specific number. (For example:
"More than 30; less than 40; more than 31; less than 37; the
digits add to five.) Give the class the first two clues and have
them write down all the possible numbers in their journal.
One by one, give the other clues. Have each student cross out
numbers that are no longer possible until they find the secret
- To simplify the Bear Squeeze game use a number line that only
goes from 0-20.
- Give half of the students a number and create a human number
line. On sentence strips, write things like greater than eight,
less than ten, and greater than two and less than six. Then have
the students in the number line step forward if they meet the
criteria on the sentence strip. Have the other half of the class
try and figure out what the sentence strip stated by analyzing
what numbers stepped forward.
- Send home the Mystery Number-Clue Sheet to have students
write their own clues for a mystery number to present to the
- Send home the Bear Squeeze bears and a paper number line and
have students play at home with family members.
- Informal observations can be made during the discussion of the
Dancing Bear video.
- Divide the class into groups of three or four students and have
them solve mystery numbers following clues that are given. An
example set of clues could be: More than 30; less than 40; more
than 32; less than 37; the digits add to 8. Give each group a
different set of clues and have them work together to solve the
- Observe while students play the Bear Squeeze in partners
and make note of individual student understanding or
- Evaluate their math journal entry, from the Bear Squeeze, to
check for understanding and use of vocabulary like more, less,
greater than, less than, equal to, etc. Refer to Bear Squeeze
Checklist to help evaluating journals.
Tomlinson, C. (September 2000). Reconcilable differences? Standards-based teaching and
differentiation. Educational Leadership. 58(1)6-11.
Differentiated instruction involves teachers planning instruction
based on student characteristics. This can be the student's readiness,
interest, and/or learning profile. Differentiation also involves
modifying the content, the process, or the product. By modifying
instruction in these ways, students will all be exposed to the
curriculum, but in ways that better meet their individual needs.
Lyman Jr., F. & McTighe, J. (April 1988). Cueing thinking in the classroom: The promise of
theory-embedded tools. Educational Leadership. 45(7)18-24.
Using the cooperative learning technique, Think-Pair-Share, allows
students the opportunity to have time to think in a less competitive
environment. It also lets the teacher cue student thinking through
appropriate questioning and can improve student achievement and