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Saying Decimal Numbers
Posted:
Jun 20, 1995 1:31 PM


>Now to the math. Once you get out of grade school, answers become too >complex to have to first figure out the appropriate name for 32756.3245. >If a student reads off the answer as thirtytwo thousand, seven hundred >fifty six and three thousand two hundred forty five tenthousandths, then >both the student and I have wasted time. First the student wasted time >counting off place values to figure out what to say, and then I waste time >interpreting. 32756 point 3245 is much clearer.
It's not necessarily conceptually clearer. Only clearer in what was just said, and easier to remember what was said. While I agree that numbers are easier to say digit by digit (in cases such as the above), I believe we are responsible for teaching formalities before we allow students to slip into the informal "everyday" way of speaking.
And, I've seen many students have difficulty remembering how to convert 0.45 to fractional representation UNTIL they learned how to say the number as "fortyfive hundredths". And those who COULD make the conversion were doing it based on a rule of counting digits after the decimal point.
Norm Krumpe



