Believe me when I say that teaching decimals to 4th Graders can sometimes be a challenge! It is hard for Fourth Grade math students to grasp place value, much less decimals and their place value. While it may be typical for students to struggle with decimals and place value, it doesn’t have to be the norm!
Learning about decimals and their place value is an extremely important skill, especially when students transition to learning about fractions and percentages along with basic numbers and money sense.
Start with Review Then Build on the Foundation
First, I begin by reviewing with students that a decimal is less than one or less than the WHOLE thing. Then I slowly build an understanding of using place value. It is important that the students visually see that tenths and hundredths are just a small part of the whole thing.
When teaching students how to read and write decimals, creating a visual chart like this can be helpful. Remind students that the decimal is said as the word “and” when reading a whole number with decimals.
After understanding place values, then we move to ordering them on a number line. Eventually as a class, we practice comparing them to see which is greater or less than.
I tell my students that the operations of addition and subtraction are like First Grade students. First Graders walk down the hall in a straight line. They are reminded to be quiet and are rule followers (as opposed to Fifth Graders who are rule breakers and walk down the hallway loudly in a big group chattering away) Adding and subtracting follow rules. When adding and subtracting decimals, the rule to follow is decimal points must be lined up, then add or subtract like normal.
My last step involves our friends multiplying and dividing who are the rule breakers. Lining up the decimals isn’t necessary! Just multiply and divide and go. Worry about the decimal at the end!
Grab these 2 helpful freebies to help get your students started today. Students will practice adding and reviewing decimals. This is a great way to determine where your students are at and their understanding of place value.
Number Rock has some great videos that will have your students up on their feet, moving to the beat, all while they learn about decimals and their places. Check them out! Decimal Place Value, and Rounding Decimals are sure to be hit in your classroom!
Once students have a stronger understanding of this important skill it’s time to move to Comparing and Ordering them. And as always, you can count on Tricia for engaging resources.
Helping your 4th Graders read, write, order, compare and add decimals can be tricky, but it’s an important skill they need to master with confidence!
If you’ve ever noticed your students struggling with the DECIMALS, this packet is perfect practice. You can use it as morning work, homework, in small group enrichment centers, or even as partner work. Just print and go!
Fourth Grade Teachers are loving this resource for tackling decimals! One teacher said, “Awesome resources. Goes to tenths and hundredths. I was thrilled with it. Not to hard, not to easy, just right for most students. Gives you a fairly complete decimals unit!”
Using this resource in math centers, small groups, as homework, and even as asynchronous work is perfect. Your 4th and 5th graders will be so engaged with 14 different activities. And to make your life easier, I’ve also included two parent communication forms along with an anchor chart. Who could want more?
Your Students may turn into math lovers after all. Happy Teaching! You can always “count on me” for engaging, differentiated math resources to help every student shine!