What is Ascending Order in Math? - Definition & Example

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  • 0:04 What Is Ascending Order?
  • 1:17 Using Ascending Order
  • 2:32 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rayna Cummings

Rayna has taught Elementary Education for 12 years (in both 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades) and holds a M.Ed in Early Childhood Education from The Ohio State University

Have you ever counted numbers from smallest to largest? If so, you have counted in ascending order. In this lesson, you'll learn the definition of ascending order and practice ordering some numbers yourself. Now let's get going and start counting!

What Is Ascending Order?

Have you ever heard someone count from 1 to 10 or from 1 to 50? This type of counting is called ascending order, which involves arranging a group of numbers from the smallest to largest. One form of ascending order is sequential numeric ascending order, which is counting by ones, or adding 1 to each number.

Let's look at an example of using sequential numeric ascending order, starting at 1:

1 + 0 = 1

1 + 1 = 2

1 + 2 = 3

1 + 3 = 4

1 + 4 = 5

1 + 5 = 6

1 + 6 = 7

1 + 7 = 8

1 + 8 = 9

1 + 9 = 10

Stop for a minute and think about other times you may have heard someone count by ones, twos, or even fives. We call this skip counting, which is counting by multiples greater than one. For example, if you skip count by fives to 50, you are skip counting the numbers in ascending order. Here, you start with the smallest number, which is 5, and continue to count by fives until you reach 50: 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50. Any type of skip counting, whether by twos, threes, fours, sixes, tens, and so on, is an example of ascending order in mathematics.

Using Ascending Order

As you can imagine, ascending order can be used in mathematics in multiple ways, but there are three important rules to remember when using ascending order:

  1. Always start with the smallest number.
  2. Always make sure the numbers are in order from smallest to largest.
  3. Always end with the largest number.

Now, how about if we use these rules to put the numbers in the circles in ascending order?

Numbers in circles
Numbers in circles

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