Understanding place value is essential for developing a solid foundation of mathematical understanding. The Base 10 blocks are a great manipulative for visualizing and understanding place value for whole numbers and for decimal numbers.
When introducing Decimals I always start with decimal fractions and how they can be represented with the base 10 blocks. If the flat represents one (whole) then what can the rod represent? What about the unit. Once the students understand that the relation of each block to the whole, (which can be different every time) decides its value then they will be able to use them to represent and understand decimal numbers correctly.
Make sure that your students understand that decimal numbers are just numbers the come between whole numbers (integers) just like fractions and express part of the whole. Using number lines is very important as it allows students to compare decimal numbers. Grids of 10, 100 and 1000 also allow the students to visualize the decimal numbers and understand equivalence. Money is a great way to practice decimals as well.
Tips when teaching decimals
- Use base ten blocks and grids to represents the decimal fractions and decimal numbers.
- Use money and discuss how the coins represent ones, tenths and hundredths. Explain that the decimal part refers to a fraction of a whole dollar as opposed to a whole number of nickels, dimes, or quarters.
- Discuss how the decimal point always separates the ones from the tenths and hundredths.
- Practice reading decimals.
- Provide visuals to show equivalent decimals.
- Discuss how placing zeros before the leftmost digit does not change the numberâ€™s value. (equivalence)
- Show strategies for comparing decimal numbers. (grids, number line)
We have created a collection of Decimals activity cards that help students practice place value and gain a concrete understanding of decimals.
The package includes
- 200 printable cards
- 100 google slides
- 10 different types of activities to introduce decimal numbers, to offer meaningful practice, and to challenge your students.
- Three printable and digital posters are also included in the package.
The cards can be used as visuals, for virtual and in-person instruction, group-work centers, individual practice, assessment, homework, and more.
Below are some samples of the printable and digital activity cards.
The premium version includes
- 200 printable cards
- 100 google slides
- 10 different types of activities to introduce decimal numbers, to offer meaningful practice, and to challenge your students.
- Three printable and digital posters are also included in the package.
The cards can be used as visuals for virtual and in-person instruction, group-work centers, individual practice, assessment, homework, and more. I have included all the slides (100) in one presentation for convenience, however, I suggest that you use the slides to create smaller activities based on level and teaching goals.