Decimal Place Value Resources & Teaching Ideas
By Mary Montero
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It’s the beginning of the school year, and that means it’s time to teach place value. Right!? It seems that this is the time of year that every single teacher, no matter the grade, is doing some sort of place value review. For the upper elementary grades, it’s time to start introducing decimal place value. Woo! It sure can be a doozy, and I can’t believe I’ve never blogged about it. I’ve blogged about Teaching Place Value, Adding & Subtracting Decimals, and Multiplying and Dividing Decimals, but never introducing decimals. A lot of what I do for decimal place value is VERY similar to regular place value, with a few tweaks, so you might see some similarities crop up here! 🙂
Decimal Place Value Anchor Charts and Interactive Notebook Pages
Here is our introducing decimal place value anchor chart… It’s nearly identical to our place value chart, which in some ways helps the kids see that it’s all very similar. The most important part for me is the “Remember” section. It’s imperative that kids remember that the further LEFT of the decimal, the LARGER the value. The further to the right of the decimal, the smaller the value of the digit
I have to admit that this way of writing numbers in expanded form is SUCH a hard concept for my kids to grasp each year. I was sweating bullets the first year I introduced it, but using money as a comparison (1/10 of a dollar) helped most of them. We do a lot of money comparisons throughout this unit!
As we usually do, we make an entry in our interactive notebook that is similar to the anchor chart. The flaps on the place value chart lift up to show a number, and again, the key below the chart is imperative! Under each triangle, we show the number written different ways and write notes about each type of writing.
Under the “Word Form” tab, I always make sure to have kids note that the “AND” goes where the decimal goes and the place of the last number to the right is the one that is written last.
Whoops! In my sample, it’s missing the tens place, but it’s there in the template 🙂
You can download my templates for free HERE. In my templates, I included a picture form for those of you who want to show your students how to represent decimals on hundreds charts. In the template, I also include a short “proof of learning” activity for the left side. It’s VERY basic, but it is a simple way for students to show their understanding.
Another practice element I use is my task cards. I like to switch up how I use them, so I used them in their notebooks this time. Each page of four cards covers the same topic, so I printed them four to a page so that they were small. Each table group gets a page and each student at the group takes one for each topic and completes it. Then they rotate around and check each other’s. That’s kind of a complicated explanation of how they divvy up the cards, so here’s a better picture. 🙂
I love using the task cards like this for homework, too. You can send home a page a night for a week, which gives them 16 quick practice problems. You can find the cards at my TpT Store HERE.
Free Review Activity
Another activity that I use for either homework, review, morning work, or assessment, is my FREE Decimal Place Value Review. It covers all the common place value concepts such as rounding, comparing, standard form, expanded form, etc. with decimals.
Decimal Place Value Math Project
This project is another great way to review decimal place value skills. The biggest sporting championship of the year has just wrapped up, and your students have stepped into the role of Scoring Official for the games. The scores are being tallied, the competitors are awaiting the results, the medals are being shined…but just as they get ready to announce the winners, students discover a plot twist! Someone has been fiddling with the results, some results are missing, and everything has simply gone awry. Students use their decimal place value skills to solve the mysteries and fix the scores so the correct winners stand atop the podiums and collect their winnings.
The very last thing we do with decimal place value is error analysis. It’s one of my favorite ways to assess student understanding because if they can find the errors in the problems, they get it! Not only is it a challenge for them to find the errors, but then they have to articulate what the error is, write the correct answer, and create another similar problem to show what they know. I have an error analysis set for almost all of my math units, and I’ll be honest, half the class cheers and the other half groans when I pull these out… but their groans are in good fun, because they just LOVE the challenge of finding the errors!
My Decimal Place Value Error Analysis packet is available in my TpT Store HERE. Not quite ready for Decimal Error Analysis? I have a regular place value version, too!
More Decimal Place Value Ideas
Are you still in search of more excellent ideas for solidifying decimal place value concepts? Check out these blog posts from others! Click on the name to read their full blog posts. They are fabulous.
I LOVE this money anchor chart from Mrs. Hall Fabulous in Fourth!
This Decimal Place Value poem from Classroom Magic is a great rhyme to help students!
I’m unsure of the original source of this one, but I LOVE it! This decimal anchor chart helps students see the importance of a decimal point!
Look at this awesome human number from Two Sisters Teach! I adore the idea of using a ball as the decimal point. On this page, they also have a link to place value battleship! How fun.
Fourth Grad May-niacs has a great example of how to use hundreds charts to represent decimal place value.
And here’s one more hands-on way to teach decimal place! Again, the source is unknown. If you know it, please share. 🙂
I’m so glad you are here. I’m a current gifted and talented teacher in a small town in Colorado, and I’ve been in education since 2009. My passion (other than my family and cookies) is for making teachers’ lives easier and classrooms more engaging.