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Q&A #7392

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: How do I teach rounding to fourth graders who just don't seem to get it?

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From: Jim

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2002111920:44:44
Subject: Re: Which way is correct?

I'm a big believer in making it real. I can't think of very many cases where I would REALLY have to add the two numbers together and then round the answer. On the contrary - real life often suggests that I round the numbers I have to work with in order to get an estimated answer. (Note the important difference between the term "round" and the term "estimate.") Now - as to your specific question of what to teach. I like to have students solve problems in ways that make sense to them and then explain to me and to each other what they've done and why they've done it. You'd be surprised how sophisticated is the thinking of the children we teach, when we give them an opportunity to do their own thinking. I would ask the students what THEY would do in the situation you've described. There can be a lot of right answers to this one. JS

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