Whole numbers are simply the numbers, 0,1,2,3,4,5,6…. (and so on). Whole numbers are used for counting, adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.
So why do young children need to understand whole numbers? It can make it easier for children to understand the properties if integers. Integers and whole numbers are NOT the same, but all whole numbers are integers. The difference is that integers include negative numbers, while all whole numbers are non-negative. Zero is neither positive nor negative.
When the teacher asks students to round their math answers, the students will need to figure out simple math in their heads. For example, the price of the pencil box is $1.95 and a marker cost $0.99 and the child needs to figure out the total amount to make payments. He will need to round up or down to the nearest whole number to determine the estimated total. Thus, the price of the pencil box can be rounded up to $2.00 and the marker to $1.00 to make the total of $3.00.
Teachers do take note:
Please use the correct terms when teaching.
More than NOT bigger than
Less than NOT smaller than (use fewer than)