One of my professional goals this year is to help my teachers integrate more technology into their lessons. I got a good start recently with a couple of activities for my 5th grade teachers who are teaching decimal place value and the connection between decimals and fractions.
Last week, the lessons were to extend decimals from the hundredths place to the thousandths place and to compare decimals. Students used familiar concrete models of base-ten blocks and money to help develop a deeper understanding of decimals. Many of their activities were from my Fractions and Decimals unit. As a workstation activity, we developed a chart for students to use to compare two decimals, explain their thinking, and draw a picture of their model (either base-10 blocks or coins). I added QR codes for students to check their answers.
The focus this week was to connect decimals to fractions. Kiddos really need experience with concrete and pictorial models to understand this abstract concept. I created a little SMART board file to use in a whole group mini-lesson. The base-10 block pieces are infinite cloners, so students can drag them onto the place value mat. Notice from the picture that the teacher had the kiddos draw in the decimal point and write the word AND as a label for the decimal point. She drew popsicle sticks with the students’ names on them to call kiddos up to complete various parts of the task, which included building the model, writing the fraction, and writing the decimal. That gave her the freedom to move around the room to help kiddos and also kept the students on their toes, because they didn’t know who would be called on next.