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Introduction to Decimals Using Base 10 Blocks Materials Needed: *Base 10 Blocks- either homemade or bought commercially *page protector sheets with a blank sheet of copy paper (this is to be used as their "personal white board") *dry erase markers *paper towels for "erasers" This is the first of a unit that teaches decimals, fractions, and percents. The end result of the total unit, will be for students to be able to easily convert between the three different forms of numbers. I understand that not all grade levels must go that far. I will have each piece of the unit seperately, and then one large packet that includes all of the pieces in one place. I have taught from 6th grade to 9th grade and I've taught many different types of students, including English language learners. I have found that if students have a deep understanding of number sense, the rest comes much easier. This is my attempt at helping teachers to learn to build that number sense with their own students. Putting students in groups or having them perform this independently is purely up to you and the level at which your students are at. You could look at it different ways. In cooperative learning groups, students are able to work off one another, but they aren't all getting that "hands-on" approach as much as working independently. Working independently, they are getting the sole role of using the hands-on materials, but they aren't getting the help from other students. I think often, teachers understand their students and it would be better for you to make that call. The "personal white boards" are just an added something that students find entertaining and engages them. Most of the things in this activity are not necessarily things that you want to be turned in to be graded, but you want students to write down so that you can check for understanding by walking around the room. The best thing is to have the plastic commercially made base 10 blocks, but I understand budgets. That is why I made these templates. You can print them on colored paper, laminate them and then cut them out. I place mine in ziplock baggies to make it easier to keep. Base 10 Blocks Printables Cut these apart to make the small unit squares Introduction of Decimals Help students understand that this is called a flat and is worth one whole. This figure is called a rod and is worth one-tenth or 0.1. It is called one-tenth, because it is one out of ten that make up one whole. This is called one unit and is worth one-hundredth or 0.01. It is called onehundredth, because it is one out of one hundred that make up one whole. Students need to understand the decimal side of place value. Spend a little bit writing on your white board or chalk board about place value. hundreds tens ones tenths hundredths thousandths www.fortheloveofteachingmath.com After explaining the basics of base 10 blocks, ask students to model 1.23 with their blocks. Let the students try for a little while before offering any help. This is where the whole "discovery learning" takes place. Students love to try to figure things out, especially when they have hands-on manipulatives to work with. Walk around the room and make sure that the students are modeling the number correctly. Model the number yourself just to make sure everyone has the same thing. The model should have one flat, two rods, and three units. Have them do this with a couple of more numbers until you are sure everyone is understanding. Even if some of the students understand, they still like playing with the manipulatives and won't mind doing a couple of extras. Here are some examples you could use. Do these numbers one at a time and stop after each one to make sure everyone knows how to do it. 1. 2.47 2. 3.39 3. 1.4 4. 2.7 Now ask students to put the blocks aside for a second and to get out their "personal white boards." Have them model some numbers by drawing them on these white boards. Here are some examples to use. They can just draw generic pictures of the figures, we aren't in art and our focus is not on how pretty, but whether they understand the concept we are learning. To draw a flat, just a large square is sufficient. To draw a rod, a long, skinny rectangle is fine. To draw a unit, a small square is great. It is not necessary to put in all of the little squares in the flats or rods. 1. 2.77 2. 5.07 3. 7.5 4. 8.6 Now you can draw a couple of pictures of models, and have them write the numbers. By this time, your students should be comfortable with the concept of decimals. www.fortheloveofteachingmath.com Modeling Decimals Fill out the following picture with the proper place value names. Draw a model of the decimal number 3.89. Draw a model of the decimal number 4.06. Write the decimal number of the following model. Write the decimal number of the following model. Modeling Decimals Fill out the following picture with the proper place value names. hundreds tens ones tenths hundredths thousandths Draw a model of the decimal number 3.89. Draw a model of the decimal number 4.06. Write the decimal number of the following model. Write the decimal number of the following model. 3.35 2.52 For the Love of Teaching Math For more great activities like the one you just purchased, please visit my blog at www.fortheloveofteachingmath.com or visit my store at http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Andrea-Kerr www.fortheloveofteachingmath.com