Ascending And Descending Order Of Numbers:

Number comparison is a relational number skill where students work with numbers in relation to each other. It is the ability to determine more and fewer, greater than, less than and equal to, and put a group of numbers in order.

Ordering numbers is putting them into a sequence. This could be ‘ascending’, which means the numbers are getting larger. Alternatively, it could be ‘descending’, which is when the numbers get smaller. There are many ways of ordering numbers.

How do arrange numbers in ascending order and descending order?

Place value plays an important role in putting numbers in sequence. If students have a good understanding of place value, they can arrange any number in ascending or descending order.

Single-digit numbers:
When students are comparing and ordering single-digit numbers, it is very simple as they can easily associate numbers with their values. If students master single-digit ordering of numbers, they will be able to order larger numbers easily. So here is the progression to follow to teach ordering numbers.

It is a seven-step process and goes like this:
Step 1 – Start with putting numbers in order from 1 – e.g. 1,2,3,4…
Step 2 – Next is to try to order a few numbers that are not next to each other on a normal number line, e.g. 2,5,9,10
Step 3 – Order numbers in a sequence, but not starting from 1, e.g. 3,4,5,6,7
Step 4 – Order numbers in decreasing order, e.g. 5,4,3,2,1,0
Step 5 – Order random selection of numbers in decreasing order, e.g. 9,6,4,3
This progression will help them master ordering and sequencing.

Double-Digit and more:

  • Firstly compare the number of digits in each number
  • The number with lesser digits is the smallest number
  • The number with the largest digits is the largest number
  • If the number of digits is the same, then compare the left-most digits of the numbers
  • Compare the numbers in the same manner and arrange them all from smallest to Largest.

Teaching number ordering through stories:
The Office Attack
The Gadget Treasure

Teaching ordering through games:
a) Book cricket: Once students have had ample runs for their players, make them arrange the players as per their runs scored.
b) Volleyball/Football game: Make students note the score of each team. Let them decide who actually won the match and arrange the teams as per the score.

Teaching ordering through activities:
a) Line it up: Make students arrange themselves in the ascending order of their heights.

b) The magic chest: Make it into a fun story or a game. Have some kind of object with numbers on them. Also, have a magic chest or box that is closed. Get the numbers in order, and we can open the magic chest, and there will be something exciting inside!