August 3, 2017
by Byron Delcomb

Lesson plan

Comparing Fractions: Tell Them How You Know!

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Students will be able to read, write, and compare decimals to thousandths with a partner.

(5 minutes)
  • Have your students turn and tell a neighbor three things that are more fun to do with a partner. Circulate the room to listen in on student shares.
  • Allow students to share an idea they either heard or had themselves.
  • Tell your class that like all the great ideas that were shared, comparing fractions is also more fun when you read, say, and compare them with a partner!
(10 minutes)
  • Hand out the Read, Compare, Tell: Decimal Comparisons worksheet and lead your students through the introductory example.
(10 minutes)
  • Have a pair of students perform the first example exercise on the Read, Compare, Tell: Decimal Comparisons worksheet and answer any clarifying questions.
(15 minutes)
  • Assign the remaining exercises to your students.


  • Pair students in trios for added peer support.
  • Before releasing students to complete their exercises, practice identifying the proper digits to look at when comparing decimals to the thousandths place.
  • A sentence frame you can use would be: “I begin to compare decimals to the thousandths place by first looking at the // digit. If necessary, I move to the // digit.” Do this until there are two different digits to compare.


  • For extra challenge have students compare numbers to the thousands that extend to the thousandths place.
  • Taking photographs of real-time solutions and uploading them into online documents for classroom discussion is a great resource for teachable moments.
(5 minutes)
  • Show your students a pair of numbers to compare like: 6.782 and 6.779.
  • Have students explain the comparison.
  • Then ask students to explain which digits could be switched in 6.779, to make it greater than 6.782.
(10 minutes)
  • Review answers and explanations with your students.
  • Discuss: What’s more important when comparing two numbers, the size of the digit or the place value?

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