Q&A #114

Decimals - thousandths of an inch

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From: Gail (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: May 24, 1998 at 20:40:19
Subject: Re: Decimals - thousandths of an inch

Dear Ken, How old are your workers? The following activity might be a little juvenile, but you could adapt it. I use models with my fourth graders. We color in ten by ten grids to show different decimal amounts, and discover that .5 and .50 are really the same amount, and that they are even the same as one half. We also use money to model decimals, and I ask them to cut a paper model of a penny into ten pieces to show thousandths. We compare the value of a dollar, a dime, a penny, and that piece of a penny, and relate what we know to a more abstract form of the decimals: 1 0.1 0.01 and 0.001 . It becomes much easier for them to see the relative values if they have a frame of reference.

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