Sunday, May 11, 2014

Review Ordering and Operations with Decimals

We've been reviewing everything over the last few weeks.  We started testing writing in February, and it seems like we've been testing ever since.  That's made for a very long end of year...

I can't take credit for this idea, it comes from my teammate.  This is how it happened in my classroom though.   It's a super idea and my students were engaged and loved it.  To review decimal numbers, she made a tented cards with a decimal number on each; one for every student.  I strung a piece of yarn across the front of the room from a 3M command hook I have on the side of a shelf to the cart my document camera is on.  Here's how the lesson played out:

  1. I handed out a card to each student.  This worked really well as I could easily differentiate for each child as I passed them out.  I passed them out randomly to mix them up and as I did so, I could give more difficult numbers to students who better understand decimals and I gave the whole numbers to my students very below grade level in mathematics.  
  2. I called a table at a time to bring their cards to the front of the room and place the tent over the string in the general area they thought the card should go.  
  3. Only the table whose turn it was could adjust the tents.  That was very difficult for my high students who wanted to jump in and fix everything. 

  4. After every student had placed his/her card, I asked the students to examine the number line carefully and see if anything needed to be fixed.  We had 3 mistakes and they became very good discussion pieces to clarify misconceptions that a few students had.  
  5. Once our number line was in order, we did some decimal operations with the cards.  I would choose two cards and post them on the white board with magnets and write in an operation between the numbers.  Students then figured out the solution.  Students solved on their whiteboards (or desks as I let them write with Expo markers on their desks) or in their math notebooks.  I just wanted to see the work, wherever it was done.  I was surprised how engaged the students stayed with the challenge of just solving each problem.  I didn't have to incorporate any kind of competitive incentive at all.  After giving time for students to solve each problem, we did it together on the board.  Mostly I just quickly demonstrated the solution, but I had a few students show their solution as well.  We also had some good discussions during this time about where decimals should go moving decimals in division, etc. 
This was a great review of decimals with my students.  In incorporated so much, allowed us to discuss understanding and got the students moving.  

This idea of tented cards on a yarn string could certainly be adapted to many topics.  I'd love to hear what your ideas are on using this idea.  Please share in the comments section below this post.

Thanks to Meg of The Teacher Studio for hosting this linky!

Click the button above, or here, to see all the other great lessons that are linked up. 

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  1. Thanks so much for linking up! What a neat idea...I do so much with sequencing but have never used an actual "line" to put them on. Cool stuff!

  2. Great idea, Melissa! I love the idea of having to "defend" where the numbers go. A great idea for review. Next year I'd like to try this with decimals and fractions... Oh! Or maybe even add in percents! Now you've got me thinking... Thanks for sharing this!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

    1. Thanks Kim! I didn't do a great job this year of teaching how percents, fractions and decimals are all interchangeable. I think it'd be great to have all three mixed in the number line. Thanks!

  3. This looks great, Melissa! I'm sharing with my school team! Thanks for sharing!

    Mrs. Samuelson's Swamp Frogs

    1. I'm so glad it was a helpful idea to you and your team. I LOVE that I have a team to support me. This was actually an idea from a teammate, who has saved my bacon this week with sharing her ideas.

  4. I definitely want to use this next year!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Love the idea of the tent cards and yarn! Thanks for sharing!!!

    Hodges Herald

  6. I think I'm going to try this with ordering fractions next week! Thanks for sharing!


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