Lesson 4
Compare and Order Decimals
Warmup: Estimation Exploration (10 minutes)
Narrative
The purpose of an Estimation Exploration is to practice the skill of estimating a reasonable answer based on experience and known information. In this case, the given decimal pushes students to think in terms of increments of tenths (0.1) and to relate the fractional measurement to nearby whole numbers.
Launch
 Groups of 2
 Display the image.
 “What is an estimate that’s too high?” “Too low?” “About right?”
 1 minute: quiet think time
Activity
 “Discuss your thinking with your partner.”
 1 minute: partner discussion
 Record responses.
Student Facing
The person in the image is 1.7 meters tall.
Estimate the wingspan of the eagle in meters.
Record an estimate that is:
too low  about right  too high 

\(\phantom{\hspace{2.5cm} \\ \hspace{2.5cm}}\)  \(\phantom{\hspace{2.5cm} \\ \hspace{2.5cm}}\)  \(\phantom{\hspace{2.5cm} \\ \hspace{2.5cm}}\) 
Student Response
For access, consult one of our IM Certified Partners.
Activity Synthesis
 “Why might 1.8 meters be too low of an estimate?”
 “Where might a height of 1 meter be on the image of the person? On the image of the eagle?”
 Consider asking:
 “Is anyone’s estimate less than 2? Is anyone’s estimate greater than 3?”
 “Based on this discussion does anyone want to revise their estimate?”
Activity 1: All in Order (15 minutes)
Narrative
This activity prompts students to apply what they know about tenths and hundredths and decimal notation to arrange two sets of numbers in order, first from least to greatest, and then the other way around.
A number line is given here, but students are likely to start seeing its limits as a tool for comparing and ordering decimals. It takes time to plot each value on the number line, the scale of the number line accommodates only a small range of numbers (numbers like 1.25 and 12.05 would go beyond the line), and there are other ways to discern how two decimals compare—by reasoning about the name of the decimals in tenths and hundredths, and by relating to benchmarks such as whole numbers and 5 tenths (0.5, 1.5, 2.5, and so on).
Launch
 Groups of 2
 Display the six decimals in the first problem.
 “How do we name these decimals in terms of tenths and hundredths? Let’s read each one aloud.”
 Display the six decimals in the second problem.
 “Take turns reading each decimal with your partner. Name them in terms of tenths and hundredths.”
 1 minute: partner work time
Activity
 “Take a few quiet minutes to complete the activity. Then, share your responses with your partner.”
 5 minutes: independent work time
 2–3 minutes: partner work time
 Monitor for students who order the decimals by:
 plotting the decimals on the number line
 using and comparing the word names of the decimals
 relating each decimal to benchmarks such as 0, 0.5, and 1
 Ask them to share their strategies during the synthesis, in the order as shown.
Student Facing

Order the numbers from least to greatest. Use the number line if it is helpful.
1.08
0.08
0.80
0.9
0.45
0.54

Order the numbers from greatest to least. Use the number line if it is helpful.
1.25
0.95
0.4
0.09
12.05
0.25
Student Response
For access, consult one of our IM Certified Partners.
Advancing Student Thinking
Activity Synthesis
 Select previously identified students to share their responses and reasoning.
 “After seeing these strategies, which one(s) do you prefer to use for ordering decimals? Why?”
Activity 2: 400Meter Dash in a Flash (20 minutes)
Narrative
In this activity, students compare and order decimals in the context of running times. Unlike in preceding activities, in which most decimals they encountered were less than one or were in the low ones, here the numbers all have twodigit whole numbers, prompting students to be more attentive to the place value of the digits. The context of track and field may be unfamiliar, so time is built into the launch for orienting students and for supporting them in making sense of the problem.
When students look carefully at the meaning of each digit in the numbers and interpret them in terms of the running context they are reasoning abstractly and quantitatively and observing place value structure (MP2, MP7).
This activity uses MLR6 Three Reads. Advances: reading, listening, representing
Supports accessibility for: Conceptual Processing, VisualSpatial Processing
Launch
 Groups of 2
 Display a picture of a standard 400meter running track.
 “How long do you think it would take you to run a lap, about 400 meters? Think about it for a moment, and then share your estimate with your partner.”
 1 minute: partner discussion
 Explain that in track and field, runners compete to run different distances: 100 meters, 200, 400, 800, and more. The United States, Jamaica, and the Bahamas have produced some of the fastest track runners in the world.
 Display only the opening paragraph, the eight running times, and the table, without revealing the questions.
 “We are going to read this problem 3 times.”
 1st Read: “The table shows eight of the top runners in the Women’s 400Meter event. Their best running times, listed here, put the runners in the world’s top 25 in this event.”
 “What is this story about?”
 1 minute: partner discussion
 Listen for and clarify any questions about the context.
 2nd Read: Read the opening paragraph a second time.
 “Name the quantities. What can we count or measure in this situation?” (times in seconds, years)
 30 seconds: quiet think time
 Share and record all quantities.
 Reveal the questions.
 3rd Read: Read the entire problem aloud, including the questions.
 “How might we go about matching the times to the right runners?” (Arrange the times in order, from shortest to longest.)
Activity
 “Work with your partner to complete the activity.”
 6–8 minutes: partner work time
Student Facing
The table shows eight of the top runners in the Women’s 400Meter event. Their best running times, listed here, put the runners in the world’s top 25 for this event.
48.37
49.3
48.7
49.26
49.07
49.28
48.83
49.05
The names in the table are arranged by the runners’ best time. The fastest runner is at the top.
runner  best time (seconds)  year achieved 

Shaunea MillerUibo (Bahamas)  2019  
Sanya Richards (U.S.A.)  2006  
Valerie BriscoHooks (U.S.A.)  1984  
Chandra Cheesborough (U.S.A.)  1984  
Tonique WilliamsDarling (Bahamas)  2004  
Allyson Felix (U.S.A.)  2015  
Pauline Davis (Bahamas)  1996  
Lorraine Fenton (Jamaica)  2002 

Put the times in order, from least to greatest, to match the times with the runners.

How many seconds did it take Sanya Richards to run 400 meters?

What is Allyson Felix’s best time?
Student Response
For access, consult one of our IM Certified Partners.
Activity Synthesis
 Display the table from the activity.
 Invite students to share their ordered list and discuss how they went about arranging the numbers.
 Highlight explanations that are based on placevalue reasoning or on understanding of tenths and hundredths.
Lesson Synthesis
Lesson Synthesis
“Today we compared decimals and put them in order by their size.”
Display these decimals with missing digits:
\( \boxed{0} \ . \boxed{\phantom{0}} \)
\(\boxed{0} \ . \ \boxed{1} \ \boxed{\phantom{0}}\)
\(\boxed{1} \ \boxed{\phantom{0}} \ . \ \boxed{\phantom{0}} \ \boxed{\phantom{0}}\)
\(\boxed{2} \ . \ \boxed{\phantom{0}}\)
\(\boxed{\phantom{0}} \ . \ \boxed{2}\)
“Are there numbers that we can compare, even though they are all missing digits?” (Yes, we know 1__.__ __ is greater than all the others and 2. __ is greater than 0.__ and 0.1__.)
“Are there numbers that we can’t compare?” (0.__, 0.1__, and __.2)
“What makes it possible for us to compare some decimals but not others?” (Sample responses:
 We know that a number with tens is greater than numbers with only ones.
 We can compare numbers that are greater than 1 and those less than 1.
 We can’t compare numbers when the digit in the place with the largest value is not known.)
Cooldown: From Least to Greatest (5 minutes)
CoolDown
For access, consult one of our IM Certified Partners.