**Comparing Numbers for 3rd Graders: A Fun Guide!**

Welcome to our math adventure! Today, we’re going to learn how to **compare numbers**. This is an important skill that will help you in math and in the real world, like when you’re trying to figure out who has more candy or how much taller you are compared to your friends. Let’s get started!

#### What Does It Mean to Compare Numbers?

When we **compare numbers**, we look at two (or more) numbers and decide which one is **greater** (bigger), which one is **less** (smaller), or if the two numbers are **equal** (the same).

There are three main symbols we use when comparing numbers:

**>**means**greater than**.**<**means**less than**.**=**means**equal to**.

#### Example 1: Comparing Two Numbers

Let’s say you have the numbers **45** and **67**.

First, look at the digits in the **tens place**:

- 45 has
**4**in the tens place. - 67 has
**6**in the tens place.

Since 6 is greater than 4, **67 is greater than 45**. So we can write:

**45 < 67**

#### Example 2: Same Tens Place, Different Ones Place

Now, let’s compare **52** and **58**. Both numbers have a **5** in the tens place, so we look at the **ones place**:

- 52 has
**2**in the ones place. - 58 has
**8**in the ones place.

Since 8 is greater than 2, **58 is greater than 52**. So we can write:

**52 < 58**

#### What About Bigger Numbers?

When comparing numbers with **three digits**, we follow the same steps. Let’s compare **321** and **315**.

- Start with the hundreds place: both have
**3**. - Move to the tens place: both have
**2**. - Now check the ones place:
**1**in 321, and**5**in 315.

Since 1 is less than 5, **315 is greater than 321**. So we write:

**321 < 315**

Oops! Did you notice something tricky? Even though 315 comes after 321 when you count, it’s actually smaller because of the ones place. **Pay close attention** to every digit when comparing numbers!

#### Comparing Numbers with Different Digits

What if the numbers don’t have the same number of digits? For example, let’s compare **95** and **302**.

If one number has more digits, it is always the greater number. So here, **302 is greater than 95**.

We can write:

**302 > 95**

#### Practice Makes Perfect!

Now it’s your turn to try! Compare these numbers:

- 78 and 56
- 123 and 129
- 65 and 165

Remember to look carefully at each digit, starting with the largest place value (hundreds, tens, or ones). Have fun practicing, and soon you’ll be a pro at comparing numbers!

#### Bonus: A Fun Trick!

Here’s a tip to remember which way the symbols go. The **small side** of the symbol always points to the smaller number, and the **open side** points to the bigger number. Think of it like an alligator’s mouth—the alligator always wants to eat the bigger number!