Teaching Decimals Essay

1400 Words Jul 28th, 2013 6 Pages
Rounding Mixed Decimals to the Nearest Tenth

A concept in mathematics that students need to learn in elementary school is to round mixed decimals to the nearest tenth. This essay describes how I would teach this concept to a group of fourth grade students.

To begin, I would identify the prerequisite skills that students need in order to master this concept. First the students need to understand place value of whole numbers and decimals; this is necessary because rounding can affect the amount in a specified value. Another prerequisite is that students need is to be able to round whole numbers; if students do not know when to round to ten or zero, they will not be able to accurately round decimals. Finally, a concept that relates
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One student has $5.40 and another has $5.50, the students will then need to figure out which student has enough money to purchase the ticket. After a few examples like this one, I would then present the problem that a basketball costs $9.96, after a tax of $0.10, approximately how much money will you need to purchase the ball (use rounding to the nearest tenth)? This problem requires students to apply not only their knowledge of rounding, but also addition. Students who cannot gain the answer of $10.10 may need some remediation in the application of rounding mixed decimals to the nearest tenth. (Case, 2009).

As a final fun and engaging activity, I would initiate an adapted game of “Bingo.” There are “Bingo” games made for rounding whole numbers, such as the “Rounding Bingo to the Nearest Hundred” (Ridder, 2012), but I have not found one for rounding decimals so this game must be created. The students’ cards would have numbers that are rounded to the tenth (e.g. 1.6) and the cards that the teacher calls out would be numbers that need to be rounded (e.g. 1.69). As the teacher calls the numbers, the students would round the number and write it down, and then place a marker on their card, if the number is on their card. By having the students also write down what their answer is, I would be able to assess the students’ understanding and check for any misconceptions that might arise.

Misconceptions can occur when students are learning to round

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