### Finding the Smallest 5-Digit Number

When we compare numbers, especially large ones like 5-digit numbers, finding the smallest number means looking at the digits from left to right, starting with the biggest place value. This helps us figure out which number is smaller based on how the digits compare to each other.

Let’s imagine we have three numbers: **14,226**, **14,227**, and **14,228**. At first glance, these numbers might look almost identical because they all start with **14,2**. So, we need to dig a little deeper to find out which one is the smallest.

#### Step 1: Start With the Largest Place Value

The first step is to look at the largest place value, which in these numbers is the ten-thousands place. In **14,226**, **14,227**, and **14,228**, the ten-thousands digit is **1** in all three. That’s the same, so no difference there.

Next, we check the thousands place, which is **4** in all three. Still the same! We keep going to the hundreds place, and it’s **2** for each number.

#### Step 2: Focus on the Smaller Place Values

Now that we’ve checked the bigger places, it’s time to look at the last two digits. Here’s where we can see the difference:

**14,226**ends with**26**.**14,227**ends with**27**.**14,228**ends with**28**.

Since **26** is smaller than **27** and **28**, we know that **14,226** is the smallest number of the three.

#### The Method in Action

This process of comparing digits, starting from the largest place value and moving to the smallest, is how we find the smallest number. If the first few digits are the same, we keep moving to the next place value until we spot a difference.

By following these steps, you can confidently find the smallest number in any group, no matter how many digits there are!