He is standing there. His hand poised over the paper, but body leaned back to prevent shadows. At the same time, his curious mind can’t disengage from the paper he is leaning away from.
Mom, what is a decimal?
How can you tell if a decimal is greater than 1/2?
When are we going to do this?
I bend over and kiss this sweet, curious kiddo on the forehead, and reply, “You will find out ALLLLL about it next week.”
He groans, then shrugs his shoulders and races back to his toys.
Yep, next week we will begin working on decimals, and I’ve been hard at work to get materials ready that he can use and some that I can share with you too. And I can’t wait to share these decimal games with you.
Just as when you are teaching fractions, it is important that a child understands that a decimal is not a whole number. A decimal is less than one like a fraction but it also has some differences.
A fraction can be any equal parts of a whole, but a decimal is always a multiple of 10. As you move to the right of a decimal point you are decreasing 10 times with each step.
Since that is the case, decimals are best introduced on models that show 1o’s and 1oo’s…and this is what these introduction to decimal games do.
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I love these games because you can print and play.
- Simply print off the game boards on card stock.
- Laminate the 100’s grid or place it in a sheet protector
- When you are ready to play you will need decimal dice or one die with the number six changed to a zero (I just place a white piece of paper over it and tape it on) and game markers for the number line game. You will need decimal dice or two dice and a dry erase marker for the other game.
Time to Play Decimal Games
I highly recommend starting with the number line, as it starts with tenths. Both players start on zero, then player one rolls the die. They then say that number as it if was a number in the tenths place. For example, if they rolled a 3 they would say, “I have three-tenths.” They may then move up the number line three-tenths.
Player two then takes their turn, and does the same thing.
The catch comes when they can no longer move up and land exactly on 1. At this point, they must move backward. I would encourage them to verbalize what they are doing.
“I rolled 4 tenths, but since I’m on 8 tenths I can not move up 4 tenths without going over one. I now have to move back 4 tenths. 8 tenths minus 4 tenths equals 4 tenths.”
The game ends when a player can land exactly on one!
(I’ve added a blank number line where you can fill in the starting point and ending point. You can easily have the players start at .1 and end at .2 as a great way to introduce hundredths.
This game has the same rules, but now the children will focus on hundredths, and there is a lot more strategy involved in this game.
Each player will have their own grid and markers. Player one rolls both dice and creates the number they want to color in. For example, if they roll a 4 and 8 they can decide if they want to color in .48 or .84.
The same rules apply here. Players keep adding on until they can not add any more without going over 1. Then they have to subtract. Obviously, they would want to subtract .48 over .84 so there is some comparison going on here too.
This game ends when a player is able to color in one exactly.
What they are learning!
Even though the games are simple, there is a lot of learning going on.
- Being able to model a decimal on a number line and area model
- Adding and Subtracting Decimals
- Comparing decimals
I’m excited about exploring decimals with my little man next week, These games and Decimal of the Day will be a major part of our week…..and I hope this game helps you and your children with decimals too.
You’ve Got This
Here are a few other things we will be doing!
40 Decimal Task Cards from Teacher’s Pay Teachers
10 Cut and Paste Decimal Activities at my Teacher’s Pay Teacher Store
Decimal of the Day
10 Cut and Paste Activities
40 Task Cards
5 Dot Pages
4 Writing Responses
2 No-Prep Intro to Modeling Decimals Game