Building relationships - more than, less than, equivalent in value to

This resource has been developed in partnership with the NSW Mathematics Strategy Professional Learning team, Curriculum Early Years and Primary Learners, and Literacy and Numeracy.

Using the resource

This resource is the third section of a six-part resource supporting number knowledge. Use this resource in conjunction with the other resources in this series in order to support a connected network of critical mathematical concepts, skills and understanding.

Supporting tasks

Full instructions on how to use each of these tasks, including materials, related tasks and learning intentions are included in the resource, available for download on this page.

Balancing numbers

When students are comparing two sides of a balance arm scale, they are physically exploring the relationship of equivalence.

Task 1: Balancing numbers

Students watch the ‘Balancing Numbers 1’ and consider a series of questions.

  • Variation: Teachers could modify this task to explore equivalence in quantity by using different coloured blocks

Arranging quantities

The different ways we arrange quantities on structures such as ten-frames can help students to notice different parts as well as noticing relationships to other wholes. Students need to be provided with multiple opportunities to explore and investigate different representations and arrangements of numbers, using a range of structures and tools.

Task 2: Number Busting (7 is...)

Students watch the ‘Number Busting (7is..) and ‘Number Busting with Lego’ videos and organise, describe and reflect on findings.

Task 3: Go fish relationships

Students watch the video ‘Go fish relationships’ to learn how to play

  • Variation: Play continues until there are no cards left. The player with the most pairs is the winner.


Frequent meaningful practice with different spatial patterns and structures, including standard and non-standard structures, helps build strong mental images and the capacity to visualise quantities. Strong mental images and visualisation supports students to use increasingly flexible problem-solving strategies. It is important to support students in developing rich and varied mathematical vocabularies, connecting words to meaningful experiences and a broad range of representations, and using dialogic practices like revoicing.

Task 4: Subitising 6 – one less than

Students watch the ‘Subitising 6 - one less than’ video and consider ‘how many’ they see without having to count

Task 5: Subitising – more, less, the same

Students watch the ‘Subitising - more, less, the same’ video and work out what quantities are more, less or the same.


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