Ordering Numbers to 10

As well as being able to compare numbers, it is important that children can put numbers into order and recognise that one number (or number symbol) might be greater than or less than another. This builds on the previous sections but with a slightly different emphasis: on the number rather than the object. By the end of this section, children should be able to arrange numbes from the greatest to the smallest, and from the smallest to the greatest.

Ordering Numbers Practice

  • More than, less than vocabulary. Introduce two numbers and ask children which is more than the other, and which is less than the other. Use Number Cards and other aids. You can reference a number line or one of our numbered Ten Towers for help when starting out.
  • Greatest and smallest challenge. Try to use the word "greatest" rather than "biggest" so that children aren't confused by size rather than number. Give the children three Number Cards and ask them to arrange them starting with the smallest, then starting with the greatest. Again, reference a number line or numbered Ten Tower to start. Build up until they are ordering cards from 1 to 10 (or 0 to 10) and from 10 to 1 (or 10 to 0) easily.
  • Magnetic numbers. Leave out 3 or 4 numbers on the fridge or whiteboard and ask children to arrange them in order - greatest or smallest first.
  • Build towers. For those who need extra help, provide a number of snap cubes or Duplo / Lego bricks and suggest that they build a tower to match each number. Arrange the towers in height order first, then the number cards.
  • Get physical. If you have a group of children, give them each a number card and ask them to hold it against their chest so that it can't be seen. Shout "go" and let the kids turn their cards over and try to arrange themselves in order starting with the smallest or starting with the greatest. Play this first with groups of 3 children then build up. Make it more fun by asking the child with the greatest number to call out "I'm the greatest!" while reaching up as tall as possible, and the smallest child to call out "I'm the smallest" while making themself as small as possible!
  • Snap Challenge. At random times of day call out "Snap Challenge: 4, 9, 6 - arrange with the greatest first!" This really is quite a challenge for this age group, as they will have to remember and manipulate 3 numbers in their head. Encourage them to Snap Challenge you too.
  • Paper Challenge. This is fun as you can do this anytime you have a spare moment. Simply write down 2, 3, 4 or more numbers on a scrap of paper and ask your child to rearrange them and circle the smallest and greatest. We have similar worksheets in our Resources section below.
  • Worksheets. You find our collection below.

Useful Resources

More Ordering Numbers Resources

Count the Petals Folding Or Matching Cards

Count the Petals Folding or Matching Cards

Count the petals! Our pretty flowers with from 4 petals to 20 petals challenge the kids to count. Use this set as double-sided flashcards by folding, or cut them all apart for some matching activities. Start with just a few cards with lower numbers and then work up.

Counting Cubes Large Ten Colours

Counting Cubes Large Ten Colours

This is a ten page file with ten different colours of large counting cubes - perfect for when you need something for cutting and sticking into maths notebooks. They might also be useful when you want to do a "hands-on" activity but don't have any maths manipulatives to hand.

Counting Cubes Ten of Each Colour

Counting Cubes Ten of Each Colour

This set of printable counting cubes includes 10 of each colour, including a "top" cube. We've spaced them so that you can cut them out as quickly as possible.

Counting Cubes Towers of Ten

Counting Cubes Towers of Ten

When you need a manipulative but don't have any to hand, these "paper" versions might be useful - and they are also great for cutting and pasting onto home-made posters and displays.

Counting Cubes Towers of Ten All Colours

Counting Cubes Towers of Ten All Colours

This 2-page printable contains 10 ready-stacked towers of our counting cubes for you to cut out and use with other same-size printables in the collection, in 10 different colours.

Ordering Numbers 1 to 10 Worksheets

Ordering Numbers 1 to 10 Worksheets

This set of 4 worksheets starts off very simple, asking children to pick the greater of 2 numbers and do some simple ordering. We then build up...

Next Steps ...

Number Bonds
Number Bonds up to 10

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