Putting numbers into order – isn’t this easy?
- Yes! Until the numbers start including a mixture of fractions, decimals and/or percentages
- There could also be numbers written as powers/indices and (square/cube) roots included too
- Then there is the use of mathematical inequality symbols too:
- ≠ not equal to
- < less than
- ≤ less than or equal to
- > greater than
- ≥ greater than or equal to
- To arrange numbers in order they all need to be written in the same format
- Usually, decimals are the easiest to compare
- Before continuing make sure you can convert:
- fractions to decimals
- percentages to decimals
- For more awkward cases you may need to use a calculator
How do I put decimals in order?
- The easiest way is to compare the numbers digit by digit
- Write the numbers one underneath the other, in neat, lined up columns
- Reveal each number one digit at a time, from the left
(ie highest place value first)
- Make a note of the order as you go
- STEP 1 Convert all values to decimals
- STEP 2 Write as a neat column with digits lined up
- STEP 3 Reveal one digit at a time and order them when possible
- STEP 4 Write decimals in order
- STEP 5 Write final answer using numbers in their original format
Questions may use the words ascending or descending to describe the order.
Ascending means “upwards” – so increasing in size, ie. start with the smallest, finish with the largest. Descending means “downwards” – so decreasing in size,
ie. start with the largest, finish with the smallest.
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