Comparing 2 Two-Digit Numbers

Learning how to compare two numbers as greater or less than is a first grade, Common Core math skill: 1.NBT.3. Below we show two videos that demonstrate this standard. Then, we provide a breakdown of the specific steps in the videos to help you teach your class.

Prior Learnings

Your students should be familiar with counting from 1 to 100 using 1’s and 10’s, starting from any number. They should also be able to read, write, and represent objects using numbers between 0 and 20 (K.CC.1-3).

Future Learnings

Later on, understanding place values will enable your students to skip-count within 1000 (counting by 5’s, 10’s, and 100’s). They will also be able to read and write numbers by using “base ten numerals, number names, and expanded form” (2.NBT.1-3).

Common Core Standard: 1.NBT.3 - Compare 2 two-digit numbers based on meanings of the tens and ones digits

Students who understand this principle can:

  1. Determine which number is greater, equal to, or less than in a set of two-digit numbers.
  2. Explain why the number is greater, equal to, or less than using drawings, charts, models, etc.
  3. Use place-value understanding to compare 2 two-digit numbers.
  4. Record the comparison using the symbols >, <, and =. 

2 Videos to Help You Teach Common Core Standard: 1.NBT.3

Below we provide and breakdown two videos to help you teach your students this standard.

Video 1: Comparing Race Car Numbers

In the beginning of the video, the narrator zooms in on a race car and greets the students. He tells the students that they’re going to compare the numbers on the race cars competing in the race.

He reminds the students that they already know about place value and how to compare them using base-ten blocks. As the race begins, the narrator helps students compare numbers as greater than or less than.

He explains that students can look at the number in the tens spot first to help compare the numbers.

  1. 25 is the first number.
    It has 2 tens and 5 fives
  2. 31 comes by.
    a. 31 is greater than 25, and you can tell by looking at the numbers in the tens place.
    b. The narrator explains how to write the greater than sign (>): 31 > 25.
  3. Next, 25 and 27 are compared.
    a. The narrator compares the tens place; they’re the same, so he moves on to the ones place.
    b. 25 < 27
  4. Next, 54 and 45 are compared.
    a. 54 has 5 tens, and 45 has 4 tens, so 54 is greater.
    b. 54 > 45
  5. Then, 54, 45, and 25 are compared.
    a. 54 > 25
    b. 45 > 25
  6. Then, 58 and 63 are compared to 25.
    a. 58 > 25
    b. 63 > 25

The narrator reminds the students that it’s important to start comparing in the tens place. The video ends with all the cars zooming off, starting another race.

Video 2: Compare Numbers with our Crocodile Friend

The video begins by explaining that when comparing two numbers, we use the following signs to help us understand their relationship: >, <, and =.

After, the Crocodile comes on screen, and Boddle explains that he is always hungry. He only wants to eat big numbers.

First, he chooses between 2 and 6. Boddle asks the students if they know which number is larger. 6 is larger, and so he eats the 6. 

Boddle then points out that the Crocodile’s mouth is similar to the less than sign (<), meaning that 2 is less than 6– (2 < 6). 

Next, Boddle offers practice problems with larger numbers so your students can get a better grasp on how to compare two-digit numbers. Below those practice problems are shown.

  1. 32 __ 15
    a. 32 has 3 tens and 2 ones; 15 has 1 ten and 5 ones.
    b. Since 32 has more tens, it’s greater than 15.
    c. 32 > 15
  2. 28 __ 51
    a. 28 has 2 tens and 8 one; 51 has 5 tens and 1 one.
    b. Since 28 has less tens, it is less than 51.
    c. 28 < 51
  3. 48 __ 48
    a. Both numbers have 4 tens and 8 ones.
    b. The numbers are the same, so they’re equal to.
    c. 48 = 48
  4. 53 __ 59
    a. 53 has 5 tens and 3 ones; 59 has 5 tens and 9 ones.
    b. Both numbers have 5 tens, but since 53 has less ones, it’s less than 59.
    c. 53 < 59.
  5. 67 __ 2
    a. 67 has 6 tens while 2 has no tens.
    b. So 67 is greater than 2.
    c. 67 > 2

Boddle congratulates students on a job well done, inviting them to come back again.

Want more practice?

Give your students additional standards-aligned practice with Boddle Learning. Boddle includes questions related to Comparing and Measuring Lengths plus rewarding coins and games for your students to keep them engaged. Click here to sign up for Boddle Learning and create your first assignment today.

*Information on standards is gathered from The New Mexico Public Education Department's New Mexico Instructional Scope for Mathematics and the Common Core website.