One of our new Maths topics this year has been decimals. The way I first explained decimals to my daughter was that is was like different handwriting styles for fractions. So just like if you can write the word hello in capital letters, in lower case letters or in cursive, it always means the same thing – hello, it is looks different. So a fraction and a decimal means the same thing but they just look different.
I liked using the Twinkl Circle puzzle pieces for this. We have had our fraction version for ages and found them really useful so I asked Twinkl if they would make a decimal version and they did. It is a great visual way of showing the kids that the fractions and the decimals are the same.
We started with tenths. How 3/10 equals 0.3 and we practiced that quite a bit mixing it up, adding in whole numbers as well so 4 and 5/10 = 4.5. But we stuck with tenths for a while. We added decimals together, rounded decimals and just talked about lots of different examples. Once she has confident with tenths we went on to hundredths and thousands quite quickly.
While she was practicing converting fractions into decimals we played around with some matching cards. The first was a straight forward matching the fraction to the decimal (did not include mixed fractions) – Converting fractions to decimals.
And the second was actually a place value set. I liked this set as she had to read the description and match it to the correct number – it is a great way of making sure they get the difference between tens and tenths. – rainbow place value matching card set (it is a big set so I just selected different cards from the set for her. This set includes hundredths and thousandths as well).
I do think making sure the kids are very confident with converting fractions into decimals is important. So we stuck to our Maths recipe of explaining, make sure the kids understand and can explain it back to me and then practice, practice and practice some more.
Your kids also might like this fraction, decimal, percentage wheel
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