Sunday, March 10, 2013

Ordering Decimals

My students and I have made the move from fractions to decimals. In previous years it has been a smooth transition and most students have been able to quickly understand and learn decimals in tenths and hundredths. This year has not been an easy transition. I have quite a few students who really struggle with math and so after a few days of doing all the activities I already had in my arsenal I decided to look on TPT for some help.
The first thing I found was Decimal Model Matching Cards. I copied them on card-stark and made enough sets for each of my table groups to have one. The students first worked together to mach the correct decimal with the picture. During this time I was able to circulate the room and help my kiddos that needed a little more guidance. Using these cards I was able to instantly see where they were going astray and visual show them the difference between 0.1 and 0.01. As the groups finished I had them put the decimals into order-least to greatest.
Students just beginning to spread decimal cards out to sort
While they were working I went back to my key kiddos that struggle and was able to use the picture models that went with each decimal card to show them how they can order them from least to greatest. As successful as it was, I decided we needed one more day sorting decimals. But to take it up a notch, I wanted them to sort decimals that also had whole numbers with them.
I found Comparing and Ordering Decimals 2 Games in 1 on TPT and copied the different sheets of cards on different colors. I paired my students up and gave them each one color to sort. The students had to again put them in order from least to greatest.
There was a lot of debate in this group about 10.02 and 10.2
The students then had me check their cards when they thought they had it. I would point out cards that seemed out of place and leave them to talk and sort, if they moved it they had to explain why they moved it where they did.
Once groups of different colors had ordered their cards correctly I had them join with another group. They then had to sort both sets of cards.
They figured out where to put 10.02 now.
After students successfully completed this sort they knew they understood it (and I did too!) It was a great hands-on way for them to practice ordering decimals, and it freed me up to work with the kids that needed a little more help.
What do you do to teach your students about decimals?


  1. I like these cards! I have a fun Comparing Decimals game on my TpT store that my kids love.

    I found you through Fifth in the Middle's state linky! I'm your newest follower.

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  2. Thanks for using those cards, Bethany! I am always so happy when I know other teachers find use for the things I have :) :) You made my day!!! New follower :)

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