Today was our first day back to school, and I had a decision
to make. We wrapped up our decimal unit
before break, and I wasn’t super pleased with the results of our summative
assessment. I was pretty
disappointed—all the formatives had looked pretty good, I had done lots of
small group and one on one work, and I really felt like the students were
really understanding some key things…that decimals help us show numbers between
whole numbers, that decimals and fractions both are ways to show these numbers,
and then the basics—the numbers in front of the decimal point are “wholes”, the
digit after the decimal point is how many “tenths”, and so on. We used base 10 blocks. We used money. I was feeling pretty good about things. After looking back at the assessment, I
decided we simply weren’t quite ready to wrap up this unit...especially when you look at what the Common Core requires for depth of math understanding!

So…I spent some time trying to come up with some “hands on”
ways to try to help the students review these ideas—focusing on sequencing
decimals because that seemed to be tricky for quite a few of them. NOTE:
Sequencing decimals is a much more complex task than simply using “<”
and “>” signs...it requires students to have a grasp of “benchmark” decimals
such as 0. 5 and 1.0 so that they can “sense” where decimals would go on a
number line.

Today I set up three rotations in my class—one to do some
computation practice (to wake those vacation brains up!), one with our
inclusion teacher, and one with me. I
just wanted to share these ideas with you because we had some GREAT discourse
about numbers! I wrote up 3 decimal
activities over break and today we did the first two…Here they are!

First, one of our “stations” involved putting some decimal
“cards” in sequence. Students were each
given a stack of 3-5 cards and were asked to put them in order from smallest to
largest. The teacher guided them through
a review of some of the place value concepts, built some of the numbers with
base 10 blocks to review what they “look like”, and then the group worked to
sequence the entire set of 35 decimal numbers!
They had great discussions about why certain numbers went in different
places and practiced using math language along the way. There was one “trick” in the set—two numbers
that were written differently but represented the same amount (0.1 and 0.10)
which was a great review for the kids!

The other station was VERY telling! I created some “benchmark cards” which said
“Close to 0”, “Close to ½” and so on.
Students then worked to place all the decimal cards I had made in
columns to match. We had very heated
discussions about HOW they determined which category the decimals belonged in!
This let us review our decimal place value (tenths are larger, hundredths are
smaller), review the idea of number lines and what the halfway point of two numbers
is, the “halfway of the halfway” point and so on! We linked this activity to money as well…how
much is ½ of a dollar? What is halfway
between 2 and 3 dollars? I asked
students to justify their ideas to me—to PROVE why they placed the decimals
where they did which led to discussions about adding and subtracting (0.81 is
0.31 away from 0.5 but only 0.19 away from 1.0) and was a great review!

So…you can

**replicate these activities on your own, or I did “neaten them up” and put them on my TpT store if you want 3 quick and easy activities without the prep work! All the materials needed for these 2 activities plus one more (using <, >, and =) are ready to print out if you want to save time! I also made quick “exit slips” (quizzes) to use to see how your students can do on their own! Hope you got some ideas for reviewing decimal concepts or to incorporate into your lessons this year!**__easily__
I love this activity! I teach 5th grade and can see my students using this with decimals and fractions. Thank you!!!

ReplyDeleteSo glad you liked it! It is definitely appropriate for grade 5...especially for kiddos who need place value work!

DeleteThanks for stopping by to check it out!

Hi Meg! I love your blog and am your newest follower. I wanted to let you know that I will be collaborating with you on the new blog, 'all thing upper elementary.' I am super excited! I grabbed your button to put on my own blog as well. I can't wait to get started!

ReplyDeleteJen

I am sooooo excited! Thank you so much for your kind words...I can't believe how much fun I am having! I am going to sit down in the next day or so and make sure I am following everyone...I already know I am following you! This is going to be great!

DeleteOMG I just realized you were in Wisconsin and then saw Combined Locks. I live in Hortonville and teach at Greenville Elementary and Middle!!

ReplyDeleteIt's good to know someone is close by:)

Jen