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Decimal Matching, Comparing, and Ordering Activity

Could you use a quick decimal activity to help your upper elementary or middle school math students practice identifying decimals in standard and word forms?
How about some comparing and ordering of decimals? 

I’ve got a decimal activity that covers all of those for you:-)

When I created this one, we were just beginning our work with decimals (in 6th grade), and my students had done a little bit of work with writing decimal numbers in word form.

They had also worked on comparing decimals several times during the year, in our Daily Spiral Review Warm Ups .

Using the Decimal Matching Activity

Lesson Materials:

  • Set of decimal matching cards
  • Recording sheet
  • Writing utensil

Lesson Steps

1) The first step in the activity is to match each card with a decimal number in standard form to the card with the correct word form.

  • I allowed students to work alone or with one partner, and the matching didn’t really take that long. 
  • I didn’t have students start with the card upside down, but that is an option if you’d like the activity to take more time/add more challenge.
  • I did have similar numbers on the cards (like 9.68, 9.068, 9.0068 etc), so the students had to read carefully and take some time to compare those similar numbers.

After Matching the Standard Decimal Form and Word Form

2) Once students had their matches, I checked them before they moved on to ordering the numbers.

3) Using the standard form cards only, students ordered the numbers from least to greatest. 

  • I did not check these at this time, but instead, students wrote the correct order on their recording sheets so I could check later.
  • However, as I walked around and checked in with students, I found that some students needed to have a conversation with me about why 2.006 is not larger than 2.06…; the time spent on ordering decimals was a good opportunity for individual conversations like this.
  • It was also very handy for students to be able to manipulate the cards and move them into different orders as they changed their minds, rather than having to write, erase, and rewrite as they changed their minds.

4) After recording the order, students chose 5 of the numbers to write in expanded form. This was written on the recording sheet as well.

This decimal matching activity was relatively quick (10-15 min), and it gave me a good picture of how students were doing with these skills at this point in time.

This decimal matching activity is FREE and can be downloaded by clicking the button below. 

This activity is also part of a larger Decimal Operations Activities Bundle that can be found on TPT. 

For more about decimals, check out the Rounding Decimals post, which has a FREE math wheel download. 

OR check out the post about why I don’t teach decimal operation rules.

Resources to Practice with Decimals


Welcome to Cognitive Cardio Math! I’m Ellie, a wife, mom, grandma, and dog ‘mom,’ and I’ve spent just about my whole life in school! With nearly 30 years in education, I’ve taught:

  • All subject areas in 4th and 5th grades
  • Math, ELA, and science in 6th grade (middle school)

I’ve been creating resources for teachers since 2012 and have worked in the elearning industry for about five years as well!

If you’re looking for ideas and resources to help you teach math (and a little ELA), I can help you out!



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