If Mathematics is the language of the universe then numbers are its alphabets. Humans and numbers share a long history pre-dating some unknown times before the Babylonian culture.
We have achieved unprecedented growth through the complex use of numbers.
Children have the natural ability to understand quantities. With that said, is it easy for small kids to order them in numbers?
Maybe they would arrange natural numbers to some extent, but what about fractions?
Children cannot order fractions from least to greatest unless you teach them the proper way.
Is it difficult for students to understand fractions and order them?
Students are taught about smaller and greater quantities from 4th grade but still, most of them cannot understand the concept behind quantities and fractions after reaching the adult age.
The main reason behind it is the rote memorization and old methods of ordering numbers and fractions. Understanding which number is greater and which is smaller builds their foundation for higher studies in astronomy, physics, and engineering.
A WSJ article tells that half of the 8th graders can’t order more than three fractions in ascending order. This shows the basic problems in teaching students the meaning of numbers.
Interesting insights in ordering numbers
Research on Amazon indigenous people suggests that we do not have an innate ability to sort numbers. In this experiment on Amazonians, anthropologists asked a group of adults to order batteries from least to greatest.
They arranged up to three batteries but did mistakes with the increasing numbers. It showed that differentiating between smaller and greater numbers is not simple and natural. Only civilized people can make the best use of Maths.
What are the advantages of teaching how to order numbers?
Understanding the order of numbers has a plethora of benefits for students.
- Learning how to order fractions can help students perform well in their futuristic goals. Dr. Bob Seigler says, “If you don’t understand fractions, it’s literally impossible for you to understand algebra, geometry, physics, statistics, chemistry,”
- They would learn to make difference between smaller and greater quantities which helps greatly in daily chores.
- It greatly increases their critical and analytical skills which are important in problem-solving.
Thus, it is pertinent for a student to understand these concepts.
How to order least to greatest fractions, mixed, and decimal numbers?
You can arrange numbers in ascending order through manual mathematical techniques. Old methods include using pie graphs to help them understand smaller to greater numbers and fractions.
A pie graph includes different pictures of full and incomplete circles showing respective numbers. In Maths particularly these two methods are employed to arrange numbers in increasing order.
Common denominator method
In this method, you first convert all numbers into their respective fractions. Then make their denominator the same. You can do it by finding a common number that after multiplying gives the same result.
Find multiples of each number and get the common multiple. Then multiply it with all fractions. You will get common denominators.
You can understand it better through this example:
3/6, 5/3, 1/3
Now, we know that 6×3= 18 so,
Multiply 3 with the first number and 6 with the other two.
9/18, 30/18, 6/18
When the denominator becomes the same you can order the numbers from smaller to greater based on the numerators.
The answer becomes:
6/18, 9/18, 30/18
Decimal conversion method
It is the easiest method to arrange numbers whether they are percentages or mixed fractions. First, convert the numbers into decimals and then arrange them according to their preceding magnitude.
3/6, 5/3, 1/3
Converting fractions into decimals becomes:
0.5, 2.5, 0.33
Now arrange these numbers in ascending order.
0.33, 0.5, 2.5
You can also order numbers using a least to greatest calculator, as it is an easy approach to find the real order in no time.
How a calculator can help students find the correct order?
Time is an important commodity for students. They should make it as productive as they can to achieve their goals.
Most students take pains in solving common problems like arranging numbers in ascending order. A calculator can save their time in doing this task.
Students do mistakes even after great practice in doing maths. Sometimes they get a lot of homework. They know how to arrange fractions but can’t waste their time thinking and doing it manually.
They should use an online tool to arrange numbers with precise results.
Arranging numbers in the correct least to greatest order is sometimes a painful task for students. Kids often fear solving maths problems like ordering fractions and numbers.
There is appreciable research on poor mathematical knowledge of school-going students. The reason behind low maths understanding stems from old methods of teaching.