Order of Decimals
Date: 05/18/99 at 17:45:34 From: Catherine Eilidh Williams Subject: How do you put decimals in order? How in the world do you put decimals in order? For example, 5.9, 6.10, 2.52. I think it is very confusing.
Date: 05/19/99 at 08:26:51 From: Doctor Rick Subject: Re: How do you put decimals in order? Hi, Catherine. In the example you gave, it's not so bad because you can ignore the decimal parts. Can you put 5, 6, and 2 in order? Once you've done this, put the decimals back on, and you're done. That's always the first step in putting decimal numbers in order: put the whole-number parts in order. But it's not always the last step. If two or more numbers have the same whole-number part, you have to look at the tenths digit. Rearrange the numbers so the tenths digits are in order. You may still not be done. If two or more numbers have the same whole- number part AND the same tenth digit, you need to look at the hundredths digits and put THEM in order. If you have more digits, this process can keep going and going and going ... Remember: if a number doesn't have a hundredths digit, such as 5.9 for example, you can add a 0 in the hundredths place and this does not change the number. Use this 0 when you order the numbers. Here is an example. The first column is my list of numbers. 5.9 2.52 2.52 2.52 6.29 / 5.9 / 5.9 5.90 2.52 \ 5.93 \ 5.93 5.93 5.93 / 6.29 6.1 6.1 6.25 | 6.25 / 6.29 6.25 6.1 \ 6.1 \ 6.25 6.29 - - - The second column is what I have after I put the whole-number parts in order; I put brackets around the numbers that have the same whole- number part. The third column is what I have after putting the tenths digits in order - I only rearranged numbers that were bracketed in the second column. Numbers that have the same whole-number part AND tenths digit are still bracketed. The fourth column is what I have after putting the hundredths digits in order. Since there are no thousandths digits, I am done. Putting numbers in order is a lot like alphabetizing words but the whole-number part works differently from when you alphabetize. When you alphabetize, you always compare the first letter, then the second letter, and so on. When you order numbers numerically, you compare the thousands digits, the hundreds digit, etc. But when you get to the decimal part, ordering numbers works exactly the same as alphabetizing: you start at the decimal point and work to the right. I hope this helps! It can be confusing, I know. It helps to have a method and do it one step at a time, as I showed you. - Doctor Rick, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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