Engage your students with effective distance learning resources. ACCESS RESOURCES>>

Comparing Numbers

Alignments to Content Standards: 1.NBT.B.3



  • A spinner with the numbers 0, 1, 2, ... 9
  • A spinner with the decades 00, 10, 20, ... 90
  • Math journal or teacher-made worksheet
  • Pencil


  1. Partner #1 spins the decade spinner and writes the number in the tens place.
  2. Partner #1 spins the 0-9 spinner and writes the number in the ones place to make a two-digit number.
  3. Partner #2 repeats steps 1 and 2 to make another two-digit number and writes it in their math journal or on the worksheet.
  4. Partners decided together whether the first number is greater than, less than, or equal to the second number.
  5. Partners write the corresponding symbol ($\lt$, $\gt$, =) between the two numbers.
  6. Partners repeat until the teacher ends the game.

IM Commentary

This task is a fun partner game in which students practice making two-digit numbers, decide which is greater, and write the appropriate comparison symbolically. The instructions suggest using a spinner, but if the teacher has specialty ten-sided dice with the digits and decades, that would also work.

If a teacher would like to adapt this to a game where someone wins, the teacher can add the rule that the student with the higher number wins each round. Students could keep score using tally marks to see who gets eight points first. After students have played once or twice, the teacher could change the game so that students play the "golf version" (trying for the lower number).

Before playing this game, students should be familiar with comparing numbers as well as the vocabulary (greater than, less than, equal to) and the corresponding symbols ($\lt$, $\gt$, =). Students may need to be reminded that 09 is 9 or 02 is 2. This tasks provides a good entry point to discuss what happens when there is a zero in tens place.


The outcome depends on where the spinner lands, but there should be a list of comparisons between two 2-digit numbers like this:

$47 \gt 32$

$03 \lt 20$

$94 \gt 41$

$52 = 52$

$21 \lt 88$