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Learning to compare numbers helps develop number sense. If we have two number we should be able to tell if they are equal or if one is lesser than or greater than the other.
See the fact file below for more information on the comparing numbers or alternatively, you can download our 28-page Comparing Numbers worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment. This worksheet is broken down by Beginner, intermediate and advanced meaning you can choose the complexity level for your student.
Key Facts & Information
- A ＞ B ——– A is greater than B.
- A ＜ B ——– A is less than B.
- A = B ——– A is equal to B.
- Learning to compare numbers helps develop number sense.
- Number line graphically helps us to visualize and compare numbers.
What is meant by comparing numbers?
- Once we have learnt counting, the next step is to learn how to compare numbers.
- If we have two numbers we should be able to tell if they are equal or if one is lesser than or greater than the other.
- This helps to develop number sense which is a very important.
- In mathematics special symbols are used to compare numbers. The following are the three basic symbols used:
- We use the first symbol if a number is greater than another number. For example:
2 ＞ 1
- Here 2 is greater than 1.
- We use the second symbol when two numbers are equal. For example:
2 = 2
- Here 2 is equal to 2.
- We use the third sign when a number is lesser than another number. For example:
1 ＜ 2
- Here 1 is less than 2.
How do we compare numbers?
- It is very important to remember these symbols.
- A quick trick to use these symbols correctly is to always remember that the open end or the larger end is always next to the larger number. Whereas the closed end points towards the smaller number.
- Pairs of numbers are given and we compare them to see the relationship between the numbers:
- Another way to compare numbers is by using a number line. The number line helps us identify graphically which number is greater and which is smaller. One can easily identify the numbers smaller and greater than a given number by using a number line.
- If James has 6 books and George has 9 books, who has Greater number of books?
- We will solve this using the number line. We will mark the number of books James has and the number of books George has on the number line.
- From the diagram above we can clearly see that George has more books as compared to James.
- Sarah scored 7 in a quiz, Robert scored 8 and Paul scored 5. Who scored the highest?
- We will mark their scores on the number line. As we see from the above number line, Robert scored the highest among the three students. Whereas Paul scored the lowest among three. From this data we can state the following:
- Sarah scored greater than Paul and lesser than Robert
- Paul scored lesser than Sarah and Robert
- Robert scored greater than Sarah and Paul
- Suppose we want to identify the numbers greater than 6 in the following set of numbers:
2, 8, 4, 11, 9, 1, 3, 14
- We will mark all numbers on the number line. Once marked, we will identify the numbers greater than 6. The numbers greater than 6 are 8, 9, 11 and 14. In other words we can also say that all the number on the right side of 6 on the number line are greater than 6. Similarly all the number on the left side of 6 on the number line are lesser than 6. So by using the number line we can visually identify and compare numbers.
- Four friends are saving money to buy a new toy to play with. Tobby has 10 coins, Emma has 12 coins, Kyle has 8 coins and Oliver has 11 coins. Who has the highest number of coins?
- It is clear from the number line that Emma has the highest number of coins among the four friends.
- Now we will do an example with larger numbers. We will identify all numbers greater than 32 in the given set of numbers:
22, 45, 23, 36, 30, 43, 13, 72, 28
- When we observe the numbers we see that 45, 36, 43 and 72 are greater than 32. With practice we can compare numbers no matter how big they are.
Importance of comparing numbers
- This skill is very important because it helps develop number sense.
- It will help solve word problems
Comparing Numbers Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about comparing numbers across 28 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Comparing Numbers worksheets that are perfect for teaching students how to compare numbers which helps develop number sense. If we have two number we should be able to tell if they are equal or if one is lesser than or greater than the other.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Worksheet 1 (Beginner)
- Worksheet 2 (Beginner)
- Worksheet 3 (Beginner)
- Worksheet 4 (Beginner
- Worksheet 5 (Intermediate)
- Worksheet 6 (Intermediate)
- Worksheet 7 (Intermediate)
- Worksheet 8 (Intermediate)
- Worksheet 9 (Advance)
- Worksheet 10 (Advance)
- Worksheet 11 (Advance)
- Worksheet 12 (Advance)
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Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.