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Fill In Decimal Number Charts. Could This be the Answer?

Ok!  So I won’t lie!  I have struggled with the next teacher.  Kids just fumble through decimals like there is a missing link. You try to have them do number lines, and they give you blank stares.  You give them card sorts.  They jumble all the cards up in the wrong order.  They tell you the wrong answers almost always.  There MUST be another way!!  Well, 1 year later, I have finally put the pieces together.

Why can’t kids compare decimals?  They are just numbers that follow a pattern with DOTS in them no less!

Have we ever stopped to look at the patterns that are formed when decimals are put in order.  Have we stopped to reason about why the zeros drop off the ends of the numbers and they have the same value?

In kindergarten, first, and second grade, we have it somewhat figured out.  For three years, students spend time counting and looking at patterns, and building numbers–for THREE YEARS.  THEN BOOM!  All of a sudden, they are supposed to draw their own conclusions about how to compare and round numbers that are abstract to them in 5th grade.  So students  CAN build decimals “reasoning about their size”, but where is the repetition that we give students in primary grades so that they can draw their own conclusions about the patterns.  There is no counting standard that I can find…but maybe I just missed the standard or maybe I am just going on a rant here.

Anyway, I think students struggle with decimals, because we don’t give kids anything to hang their learning on…they have no foundation!  I made some decimal number charts last year, but never really used them in depth.  This year I made some fill in charts thinking this would solve the problem of students’ glassy eyed look when learning about decimals–AND NO…I’m not even talking about the kids on meds!!  I really think that this is the problem…they need the foundation of counting before they can reason about decimals and move on to comparing, rounding, and ordering.

Because you are reading this, you obviously care about your students.  You most likely wouldn’t be on the computer during your down time looking for materials for your kids.  I am going to give you a few of the pages I made for FREE just because you care.

More charts are included than this single picture below.

I am also going to tell you about the pack of number charts I made that may help you even further.  There are number charts for each section of decimal numbers counting by hundredths and thousandths.  There is also a decimal number chart that counts by thousandths that is small enough to glue in students’ journals.  Not only that, there are small number charts the same size as a base ten block that will help students put the concrete together with the abstract counting numbers as they place blocks on top of the charts.  You can see a bit more below: