Numbers and Operations in Base Ten (3): Compare two two-digit numbers based on meanings of the tens and ones digits, recording the results of comparisons with the symbols >, =, and <.

Quarter 1
Quarter 2
Compare two two-digit numbers based on meanings of the tens and ones digits, recording the results of comparisons with the symbols >, =, and <.

a. Compare two two-digit numbers based on meanings of the tens and ones digits.
Compare two two-digit numbers based on meanings of the tens and ones digits, recording the results of comparisons with the symbols >, =, and <.

b. Record the results of comparisons with the symbols >, =, and <.
** Continue in quarters 3 and 4 through routines and classroom discussion.

Enduring Understanding

Understanding place value leads to number sense and efficient strategies for computation.

Essential Questions

How does a digit's position affect its value

Vocabulary (online dictionary, HCPSS Vocabulary Cards)

Place Value, Digit, Greater Than, Less Than, Equal to (symbols >, <, and =)

About the Math

This is a great time to reinforce ten frames. Students can fill in ten frames to represent two different amounts, compare the number of filled in ten frames as they compare values.
Large Blank Ten Frame, Ten Frames for Student Use, and Hundred Charts (large, blank, student copies) are useful tools for developing student understanding of this concept. First grade place value concepts are foundational for all future work with numbers. They will be further developed in future grades as students expand the number system to larger whole numbers and decimal fractions, make estimations, and compute.

Illustrative Mathematics Example

Rich Tasks for Multiple Means of Engagement, Expression, and Representation (UDL)

1. Have students work with representations of numbers using base ten blocks, ten frames, or drawings such as sticks and dots. Have students make or draw different numbers and explain if they are greater/less than other numbers. Students can also use technology applications such as Base Ten Blocks Virtual Manipulatives to make their representations.
2. Place value dice can be used for generating numbers to compare or use during comparison investigations. --------->

3. Have students play “Roll and Compare” with a partner. Students roll two different colored die. Assign one colored dice for the tens and the other colored dice for the ones. Each student in the pair rolls and records their number. They compare their two numbers. Whoever has the greatest number earns one point. Or whichever student has the least number earns a point.

4. Another version of the game “Roll and Compare” can be played with using a number line to 70. Students find their rolled number and compare them using the number line. Students can record by writing a comparison sentence (e.g.: 54 > 32)

5. Cut up a hundreds chart so that each number is separate from one another. Place the numbers in a bag. Students can play with a partner or in small groups. Have students draw a number from the bag and compare it to their partner’s or to the other people in their group. If they have the greatest/least number they earn a point. The person with the most points at the end of the time period wins. Extension idea is to put the students into groups of four or six. Have each student in the group draw a number from the bag and then line up from least to greatest. Each group can check the other groups for accuracy.

6. Give students a t-chart worksheet that has Less than 50 on the left side and Greater than 50. Give each student small programmed squares of numbers (e.g.: 35) and also with different names for numbers (e.g.: 50 + 12). Have them sort the programmed squares on the t-chart.

Rich Problems:
Ask students to write three numbers that are greater than a given number. Have students share their numbers with a partner. Bring the class together to examine and discuss answers that have been charted.

Pose the problem below to students. Have them find solutions to the problem. Bring the class together to share strategies and solutions.
PROBLEM: Jimmy is looking at a hundreds chart. He makes these two statements: 1) There are more numbers that are less than 40 than there are numbers greater than 60 and
2) There are more numbers greater than 20 than numbers that are less than 80. Which statements do you agree with? Why?

Journal Prompt:
Using 0-9 digit cards, turn over 4 cards. Make two different two-digit numbers with the cards. Write the numbers and use the symbols <, >, or _ to compare them. Repeat.

Print Resources:

Brain Compatible Activities for Mathematics K-1
(14-16, 19-22)
Math Intervention: Building Number Power K-2
Developing Mathematics with Unifix Cubes
Number Sense 1-2
Hands on Standards.png
Hands on Standards
(20-21, 42-43)

Web Resources:

hcps 092810 630.jpg
hcps 092810 666.jpg
hcps 092810 723.jpg
Games and Centers
Student Resources
Video Segments
Ten Frame Compare
Comparing Two Digit Numbers

Online Games
Count on Us
Compare Numbers

Game idea
Greater Than/Less Than Card Game

Teacher Shared Game
(Erin Reisberg, Centennial Lane)

Lesson Seeds

So Sweet
Comparing Handfuls
Greater Less Than or Equal To
Highest Number on a Newspaper Page

Lesson Plans
What is Equal?

Illustrative Mathematics Example
Comparing Numbers
Digit Cards

Number Routine
(greater than/less than)
Number talks.greater less than.pptx
Guess my number.png
Guess My Number
Video Clip of teacher demonstration. Adapt to include higher numbers and vocabulary greater than and less than.
Discovering Math: Number Theory-Whole Number Relationships

Comparing Numbers

Connection to Children's Literature

Click on the books to see additional activities.
Just Enough Carrots.png
Just Enough Carrots
By: Stuart J. Murphy


Contact John SanGiovanni at

Use and Sharing of HCPSS Website and Resources:Creative_Commons.png
Howard County Public Schools Office of Elementary Mathematics Curricular Projects has licensed this product under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.