Video: Ordering Numbers up to 10

In this video, we will learn how to order numbers up to 10 using different strategies and use the comparison words “smallest,” “largest,” “greatest,” and “least.”

13:30

Video Transcript

Ordering Numbers up to 10

In this lesson, we’re going to learn how to order numbers up to 10 using a matching strategy. And we’re also going to learn how to use comparing words like smallest or largest, least or greatest.

Let’s start by thinking about three numbers. We would have the number four, the number nine, and also the number two. Let’s compare these three numbers together. Which is the smallest number and which is the greatest number? Well, to help us compare them together, we could model each number using counters. First, the number four, one, two, three, four. Now, the number nine. And let’s space our counters equally so that we can compare our line of counters with the line of four. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. Finally, let’s model what the number two looks like. One, two.

Now that we’ve modeled each number out of counters, we can compare them just by looking at them. We can see that the number two has the shortest line of counters. It has less counters than all the other numbers. So, we could use a comparing word like smallest here. The number two is the smallest of our three numbers. Another word that means the same thing is least. It is the least of our three numbers.

Now, which of our three numbers is the greatest? When we look for a number that’s the greatest, we’re looking for a number that’s more than all the other numbers. And if we compare our lines of counters, we can see that the number nine is the longest line. It must have the most counters in it. So, we could say number nine is the greatest of our three numbers. It’s the largest.

Now, let’s imagine we’ve been asked to put these three numbers in order from smallest to largest. One way of helping us do this would be to put our three rows of counters in order from shortest to longest. As we’ve said already, two is the smallest number, nine is the largest number, and the number four is in between them both. Can you see how we’ve put our lines of counters in order from the shortest all the way through to the longest? They’re in order now.

Another way that we can check that numbers are in order is by using a number track. Now, a useful thing about a number track is that as we read the numbers from left to right, they are in order from smallest to largest. So, let’s find the numbers nine, four, and two on our number track. Here’s the number nine, the number four, and the number two. So, in order from smallest to largest, the numbers are two, then four, then nine. We’ve used some different strategies there to help us order numbers up to 10.

Now, let’s put into practice what we’ve learned by answering some questions.

Compare these numbers. Nine, three, and eight. The smallest number is what? The greatest number is what? Order the numbers from smallest to greatest.

In this question, we’re being asked to compare three numbers together. They’re the numbers nine, three, and eight. We know that we need to compare the numbers together because we’re asked to find the smallest number. And then, we’re asked to find the greatest number. To help us find which number is the smallest, let’s model each of our three numbers. Perhaps, we could use cubes. Let’s start with the number nine. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, a tower of nine counters. Our second number is three. One, two, three. This tower isn’t as tall as the first one, isn’t it? Our third number that we need to compare is the number eight. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

Now, by modeling numbers like this, it’s going to help us to compare them. Our first sentence says the smallest number is what? Which of our three towers of cubes is the smallest? Well, we can see that our tower of three cubes is a lot smaller than number nine and eight. This means we can say the smallest number is three. Now, which of our three numbers is the greatest? The word greatest is another way of saying largest. Which of our three numbers is more than the other two? Well, again, if we look at our towers of cubes, we can see that our tower of nine cubes is the tallest. This must mean it contained most cubes. The greatest of our three numbers is the number nine.

Now that we’ve compared our numbers and we know what the smallest and the greatest numbers are, we can order them from smallest to greatest. We said the smallest number was the number three. The greatest number was the number nine. And this means that the number eight must be in the middle. We know this is true because if we put our towers of cubes in this order, we can see that they now go up in size from the shortest to the tallest. Out of the numbers nine, three, and eight, we found that the smallest number is three. The greatest number is nine. And in order from smallest to greatest, the numbers are three, eight, and nine.

Which is the greatest number from three, four, two, and one?

We’re given four numbers here and we’re asked which is the greatest number. Now, our four numbers are not in order at the moment. So, we can’t just look at the last one and say that that must be the greatest. Let’s use a matching strategy to find the greatest number. First of all, we could make each number out of counters. Three, four, two, and one. Now, out of these four numbers, we’re asked to find the greatest number. Remember, another way of saying greatest is the largest number, the number that’s more than all the others. So, we’re looking for the group of counters that contains more than all the others.

Let’s match up the counters one by one to see which group contains more than all the others. Each time we match a counter, we’ll count aloud. One. Look how we’ve got no more counters to match in this group. The number one must be the smallest number. Let’s carry on matching. Two. There’s no more to match in this group. So, the number two is the next smallest number. Three. Now, if we look at all of our groups, only one of them has any counters we haven’t matched. Our group of four counters has one counter left over.

We’ve used a matching strategy to find the largest number of counters. And we can use this to be able to tell what the greatest number from three, four, two, and one is. It’s the number four.

Which set of numbers is ordered from greatest to least? Five, six, seven, eight, nine. Five, seven, six, eight, nine. Or nine, eight, seven, six, five.

We’re given three sets of numbers here. And we’re asked which one of them is ordered from greatest to least. These last three words in the question are really important because as we read through our sets of numbers, we might have heard one set of numbers that sounded like it might be right. But before we start looking, we need to think about these last three words. What does it mean to order a set of numbers from greatest to least? We know that another way of saying the word greatest is largest, and another way of saying least is smallest.

We’re looking for a set of numbers that starts with the largest number and goes down and down and down until we get to the smallest number. You know when you walk down some stairs, we might say, “I’m descending the stairs.” Or going from greatest to least is descending order. We want our set of numbers to go down. Let’s use a number track to help us here. Now, we know that the numbers on the number track are written in order. If we read them from left to right, we start with the number one and we end with the number 10. They go up; they go from the least to the greatest.

But our question asked us to look for a set of numbers that’s in order from greatest to least. So, we need to read our number track in the opposite direction, from right to left, starting with the number 10 and ending with the number one. Now, which of our set of numbers is in this order? Let’s jump along our number track and see what we find. Our first set of numbers, five, six, seven, eight, nine. Well, these numbers are in order. We set them one after each other. But we’re travelling in the wrong direction here. We’re going from least to greatest. Our numbers are getting bigger each time. Five, six, seven, eight, nine. This is not descending order. This is ascending order. Our numbers are getting larger. But this set is not the correct answer.

Let’s try our second set. We’re starting with the number five again, seven, six. Well, let’s just stop there. These numbers are not in any kind of order. We’re traveling in all sorts of directions. The numbers five, seven, six, eight, nine are not in order at all. What about our final set of numbers starting with the number nine? Eight, seven. This looks like it could be the correct answer; we’re traveling in the right direction. Our numbers are getting smaller. Six, five. We can see that we started with the greatest of our numbers, which was nine. And we’ve ended with the least, which was the number five. Our numbers got smaller and smaller each time. Nine, eight, seven, six, five. It’s the same as counting backwards, isn’t it?

It would have been very easy to think that the right answer was five, six, seven, eight, nine because we used to say numbers that way. But we read the question really carefully. And we saw that we we’re being asked for a set of numbers that was ordered from greatest to least. And that set of numbers is nine, eight, seven, six, five.

So, what have we learned in this video? Well, firstly, we’ve learned how to order a set of numbers up to 10. We modeled the numbers, used matching strategies, and we also used number tracks to help. We described what we found using words like smallest or least and largest or greatest.

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