Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Comparing Big Juicy Decimals


If you ask me, 2015 is the perfect year to learn about comparing decimals to the thousandths using <  >  and = symbols. Am I right?

You can compare many things in life, such as cats and mice...

You can also compare numbers.

Before we go any further, let's time travel back to third (or maybe second) grade.

In your younger years you might have learned about alligators who liked to eat numbers. 

BIG numbers.


The alligator's big mouth and sharp teeth always opened to the bigger number,
as do the and >  symbols.

Even though we are big fifth graders, we can continue to use this visual to remember the correct way to write the greater than and less than symbols. I still do and I'm an old lady.


Now let's talk about comparing crazy-big numbers with multiple digits and decimals! This is actually really fun. You always start with the digit that has the greatest value (the one on the far left). Compare the numbers with the same place values. If they are the same, move to the right until you find numbers that are different.

The numbers above start out the same 452. However, when you get to the tenths column, you notice that the numbers are different . Well, which number is greater (or larger) 7 or 2


452.781  >  452.209

(452.781  is greater than  452.209)

Done! Move on!

Check out these examples below. The highlighted digits are the ones we compared to find out which was greater. Notice how they have the same place value? That means they can be compared.

Here are a few helpful resources for this concept...

(movie & info)


(lesson & game)

(interactive decimal sort)


Check your k-mail for a printable version of the notebook page for this week. You can use the Grip and Rip trick to quickly add it to your spiral. Here is a look at my notebook page. Please make sure your spiral is up to date before next Tuesday's class!

Click on any picture on this blog to enlarge it.


See you later, alligators.


Anonymous January 8, 2015 at 2:30 PM

Those alligators must be hungry! They like 5's unless there are 6's. Oh ya, that joke Why was 6 afraid of 7? Because 789! There is a sequel to that: The alligator aye the 7 after that! Lame joke! I know! CORNY!

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