Hi All, I'm teaching rounding to 6 grade 3's on Monday and have an idea to use colors to explain the concept. I've made up numbers from bulletin board letters, in two colors. 1-4 in blue and 5-9 in green. Basically blue stands for "back down" and green stands for "go up" I've got these cut out of colored bristol board (4" in size) and will be hanging them on the black board with magnets and hooks. I will teach the lesson and then will ask the kids to come up to the board and solve the equations by changing the numbers to the new rounded number. Ie 50 43 This would be hung on the board 40 the student would change the 3 to a 0 and then walk back to their seat. The class would agree and we would do another one until all 6 have done the rounding. if it was: 80 78 70 the student would have to change both the 78 to 80, to get it right. Does anyone have any other way to make the lesson of rounding more engaging, instead of handing the kids a worksheet and say complete problems 1 through 18? Thanks, Mr. Skinner

Sounds like a good idea, but my school doesn't use "up" and "down", we use "stay the same" and "up". A lot of kids get confused if you say down, and want to go from 73 to 60, for example, instead of keeping the 7 in the tens place. To complete your lesson, could you use an Ellison machine and cut out a small set of numbers for each student to use at their desk? Have them be the teacher and come up with problems for each other? Use small whiteboards and you say the problem and everyone complete it and show their answer?

Rounding to the nearest 10. I have used this approach for the last 2 years to teach rounding to the nearest 10, 100, & 1000, and it seems to grab the students attention quickly. Since I have started using this my kids don't struggle with rounding nearly as much as they have in the past. I made a rounding mountain with a mountain climber sitting at the top. I explain that if the mountain climber can make it to the number 5 which is at the peak of the mountain he can raise his score. If he can't make it to the top he must go back and rest. I also explain that on each side of the mountain (the valleys) are the multiples. This visual really helps them. Then we say this little riddle: Find the place Look next door If it's 4 or less, let him rest If it's 5 or more, he can raise his score. Example: 78 - Round to the nearest 10. Find the place - We are rounding to the 10s place, the digit 7 is in the 10s place so we underline that digit. Look next door - the digit 8 is next door - that is the mountain climber so we circle it (this also helps them to remember to change that digit to a 0). If it's 4 or less, he must rest - I ask if the digit is 4 or less, the class says no, so we keep going. If it's 5 or more raise his score. So this mountain climber gets to raise the score to 80. I have a SMART interactive whiteboard that I use for this but you could use it with an overhead projector. I will gladly send it to you if you would like to see it. My explanation may not be descriptive enough.

i've heard of people using a rhyme with visual--this might help with your on-the-board examples. you could use a vine, place the number to be rounded in the middle, then the two round numbers (i.e. 70, 80) at the two ends. teach the kids: zero to four--hit the floor five to nine--climb the vine i feel like what i'm typing makes no sense. sorry if that's the case.

All of these approaches are great - as long as the kids know why they are rounding either way. Make sure to use a number line so they can see which of the two choices is appropriate. I've had so many kids able to tell me that 76 will round up (to the nearest ten), but they can't tell me that it is between 70 and 80. Then, later on, it becomes even more complicated when you are teaching them to round decimals.

Thanks for the notion, We've got a number line in the classroom, but I'll make a more detailed one for rounding. Mr. Skinner

that's why i think the vine visual might help--you could turn your number line into a vine for this exercise, and have the "round" numbers for kids to manipulate. so, when you put 76 up, before you even talk about that number itself, the class determines what number would be on the floor (70) and what number would be at the top (80) so they're starting to see that connection.