Teaching rounding decimals

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by SnowDaisy822, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. SnowDaisy822

    SnowDaisy822 Companion

    Jul 17, 2006
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    Sep 21, 2007

    My last two years I have had the hardest time teaching rounding decimals. They just don't seem to get it! Does anyone have any good techniques that help? I have a rhyme that I thought would help, but it didn't. It's:

    Look at the number,
    Then look next door,
    If it's 5 or more add one more,
    If it's 4 or below just ignore.

    The kids loved it, but they still don't get it! Help!
  3. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

    Jun 27, 2003
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    Sep 21, 2007

    I still teach rounding with the technique that my master teacher taught with during student teaching. I bring a helium balloon to class and write a series of numbers on the board (ex 80, 81, 82, and so on to 89). Then I talk about rounding to tens place and we discuss that you use the number just before the one you are rounding to (ones in this case). I hold the balloon string (get one with a long string!) in one hand and start with 80. I ask what number is in ones place. They answer 0 and I hold up zero fingers on the balloon string and ask if the balloon stayed or went up. This goes on until I hit 5. When I hold up five fingers, of course the balloon goes up. That tends to get the idea of "magic 5" across to them. Later I follow it up with number lines and explaining why we go up with 5 or stay below, but the balloon is the one that tends to stick with them.
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Jan 2, 2007
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    Sep 21, 2007

    What a great idea Christy!! SnowDaisy, I have heard that rhyme so many times, but it does work. Have you tried reciting it with the kiddos a couple of times before practicing rounding?
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Aug 2, 2002
    Likes Received:

    Sep 21, 2007

    Make sure that they realize why the 5 or greater in the place 'next door' makes them round up. Using a hundreds chart for whole numbers is helpful. 56 - is it closer to 60 or to 50?

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