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An important skill is to be able to place positive and negative “integer” whole numbers into ascending and descending order.

Comparing Integers

A Number Line is very useful for working with directed number Integers.

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On a number line, NUMBERS TO THE RIGHT ARE BIGGER.

NUMBERS TO THE LEFT ARE LESS THAN ones to the right.

For example: 6 is bigger than 3, but -6 is smaller than 3.

We say that 6 is greater than 3, and we write this as 6 > 3

However, -6 is less than 3, and we write this as -6 < 3

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Using Inequality Signs

> means greater than, or bigger than

< means less than, or smaller than. ( less than points to the left )

For the “inequality signs” < and >

THE POINTY ARROW ALWAYS POINTS TO THE SMALLER NUMBER.

Eg. 2 < 4, 8 > 5, -4 < -1, -2 > -6

The Fish Rule

Some people also like to think of the arrow sign as looking like the mouth of a fish.

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They then use the following rule:

“The hungry Fish always wants to eat the bigger amount”.

So the open “<” mouth of the fish always goes towards the bigger item.

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Placing Inequality Signs Rules

When putting a < or > sign in between two integers:

If the first number is more to the right, put a > sign.

If the first number is more to the left, put a < sign.

This will ensure that the arrow always points to the smaller number.

Remember to use a number line, ( especially for negative numbers ), and that :

NUMBERS TO THE RIGHT ARE BIGGER.

NUMBERS TO THE LEFT ARE SMALLER.

THE POINTY ARROW ALWAYS POINTS TO THE SMALLER NUMBER.

Represent Order and Compare Integers

The following is a video about comparing Integers, eg. Greater Than and Less Than, and placing Integers into ascending order.

It has no soundtrack, but has good slides.

The one limitation is that we cannot go full screen.

Click on the image below to go to the web page containing this video.

Using a Number Line to Order Integers

The following video from “School Tube” gives two examples of plotting Integers onto a Number Line.

We can then write the Integers out from left to right, which gives us their order from lowest to highest.

Click anywhere on the video below to launch the video full screen in a new window.

Here is another video about ordering and comparing integers using signs.

Ordering Integers Worksheet

The clickable link below is to a PDF document which gives you practice questions to do, as well as an answer sheet.

Click here for Ordering Integers Worksheet

Ordering Integers Game

In the following game, use the mouse to place the three red integer numbers in order, onto the carriages and the train engine.

The biggest number always goes onto the steam engine.

It is very important to place the numbers exactly in the middle of the carriages and engine like this:

If your answer is correct, the train should move to the right and off the screen.

Click anywhere on the image below to launch the game in a new window.

Note that you will probably have to page down the screen a bit to get to the actual game.

Ordering Integers Online Test

The clickable link below will take you to a web page from “Maths Goodies” that has a lesson you can read, followed by a short online test.

Click here to do Integers Online Quiz

Related Items

Introduction to Integers

Adding Integers Using Number Lines

Adding Integers Using Zero Pairs

Subtracting Integers

Multiplying Integers

Dividing Integers

Integers Order of Operations

Directed Number Integers Games

Integers in the Real World

Integers in Drag Racing

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Passy

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