Q&A #495

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Rounding numbers to the nearest ten

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From: Mary A.

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2000073118:25:13
Subject: Re: Re: Rounding numbers

Dear Mary, I donít think it is possible to teach estimation for division or for any other purpose without a knowledge of place value. Division can be taught by rote with little thinking or estimating, but it is certainly not meaningful. So I would think that getting her to understand the number system is the most important thing you can do. Using number lines and hundreds charts might be a way to get her to see the patterns. And then teaching of "landmarks" from one to 100 is important--every number is viewed in terms of where it is in relation to the landmark. For example, 50 is an important landmark. Every time the student deals with a number, she has to locate it on a number line or a hundreds chart and look to see if it is more than 50 or less than 50. And then after 1 to 100 is somewhat familiar, you could move on to 1 to 1000. Is a number more or less than 500. What two hundreds is it between? And then within that hundred is it more or less than 50. Although all of that may seem very elementary especially when you are considering the grade and teaching decimals and division, it is very important. She canít learn the advanced stuff with any kind of meaning until she understands how the number system works and can find her way around in it using landmarks she knows. And she canít learn rounding unless she knows those landmarks! I wish I had an easier way for you to accomplish all you want to in the month that you have, but I truly think there is no easy way in this case!! Good luck. -Mary A., for the Teacher2Teacher service

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