The concept of less than one is huge in 5th grade. It shows up in fractions and decimals. I find it to be very important to give real word examples and manipulatives to solidify the concept of less than one.

Before we began talking about decimals, I wanted to make sure my students had the basic understanding that numbers can be written in standard, word and expanded forms. I introduced this with the Place Value PowerPoint .

Once they were comfortable with reading and writing whole numbers in their various forms, we moved into decimals.

We started out with hundred beads inspired by this Math Maniac post.

We practiced showing numbers like 0.64 and writing them as fractions and decimals.

Then, we practiced reading decimals using my Reading Decimals PowerPoint.

We moved on to expanding decimal forms. We would lay out cards and use a die to mark the decimal. The students wrote the numbers in standard and expanded form and read the decimal aloud to practice the word form.

That night I threw together some expanded cards and color coded them so it would be easy to keep organized. Then the students would take the expanded form and turn it into standard form.

By the end they were able to show the decimal and write it in the three forms.

It was a fun couple of weeks. The kids loved using manipulatives to learn. Who says math isn’t fun?

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