Year 2

FREE maths resources for all

Year 2 Menu

We can write numbers in order and position them on a number line.
We can use the ‘greater than’ and ‘less than’ signs.

Year 2 Unit 5

What we are learning:

  • Ordering numbers is about understanding place value – the value of each digit in a number, the greater than and less than signs tell us which number is bigger and which is smaller in a pair.
  • Your child needs lots of experience in putting numbers in order.
  • Encourage your child to explain their thinking when they order numbers – the strategies they use. Make sure you both use the correct mathematical vocabulary.
  • When positioning numbers on an empty number line you are looking for appropriate size gaps between the numbers which will show you that your child has an understanding of the numbers that are between each of the numbers in the set.

Activities you can do at home:

Write a set of numbers onto post-it notes 67, 92, 51, 62, 21, 15, 73, 29, 74. Order these from largest to smallest or from smallest to largest.
Which number is the largest? How do you know? Which number is the smallest? How do you know? Order the numbers from largest to smallest or from smallest to largest. Lay this out horizontally and vertically.

Ask your child to close their eyes and muddle up two of the numbers. Can you spot the mistake/muddle? Make it fun. You do this too –Ask your child to muddle up two of the numbers for you to identify and correct.

Ask your child to position the numbers as if they were on a number line (it is a good idea to do this on the floor) leaving the relative size of gap between the numbers – so the gap between the 15 and the 21 would be smaller (the size of 5 post it notes) than the gap between 73 and 92 (the size of 19 post it notes). Put a post-it note between two of the numbers and ask, What number might be here? Why do you think that? Put a postit note next to one of the numbers and ask, What number would be here?
Why do you think that?

Draw an empty number line and position the numbers on the line.

Draw a number line marked in tens and position the numbers on the line

Move on to using a set of mixed two-digit and three-digit numbers on
cards or post it notes

Take pairs of numbers and set them out side by side. Ask your child to draw the ‘greater than’ and ‘less than’ symbols onto a post it and then insert the correct one between the numbers. 

Good questions to ask:

Can you put these numbers in order from the smallest to the largest?
Which number is the smallest / largest?
Which number fits in this gap?

If your child:

Gets the signs for ‘greater than’ and ‘less than’ mixed up or is unsure which way round they go
Remind them that the open, or larger end of the sign always points towards the larger number, and the smaller end of the sign points towards the smaller number

Extension Activity

Please use this activity when you think your child understands the unit of work. It will deepen and extend your child’s understanding of this unit.


Extension activity (PDF)