Thursday, March 10, 2016

How Do You Create Decimal Super Heroes?

Decimals can often be one skill that makes a lot of  kids cringe. Teaching it sometimes made me cringe too. It seems like they just "get" fractions, then I would need to throw decimals at them. I'm not gonna lie! When it was time to teach decimals, I heaved a heavy sigh.  So, the hunt was on to make it more understandable to all the kids, and more fun for me to teach. What I was looking for was "Pizazz" to give life to my lessons.

It starts with a "Hook".  

I think some of the lessons on-line are pretty darn awesome. They need to be well under ten minutes and to the point to use them as the "hook" for the lesson. What I've found, it a good hook makes all the difference. It wakes everyone up and makes them ready to learn. Check out the ones below:

This is a great one to start with as you teach changing a fraction to a decimal. VERY step-by-step.  It's also very good to remediate confusion.  It's only a little over 4 minutes long.  You do have to sign up for a free account, but it is worth it for all that is available. 

Reading decimals can get a little tricky. This video is clear, and easy to understand. It is almost seven minutes, but it's worth it. 

To include with your lesson on putting decimals on a number line, don't miss this one! It's fun, and to the point.


Songs are always a great hook, and a great way to end the lesson. This one is a really good one on decimal place value. I know the picture looks funky, but it really is a great video!


This song is terrific for helping kids learn how to decide which decimal is larger...and it's fun.

Some Interesting Lesson plans...We don't always have to reinvent the wheel!

One of my favorite lessons for when it is time to teach how to write a decimal from a fraction, is called "Decimals, Fractions, and Percentages" by Math is Fun. The pictures are very good, and it breaks everything down in easy-to-understand pieces.

Be sure to check out the lesson "Rockin' Fractions" if you teach 4th or 5th grade. It is a song plus lesson plan for teaching decimals. Includes worksheets and more.

When you want a great, easy and fun game to reinforce the concepts, try Decimal War! It can be adapted for any grade teaching decimals. It's a fun activity to either add at the end of a lesson, or even use for game-day. 

I found a few pre-made worksheets that might be helpful.

This site has amazing worksheets for all areas of decimals. Each download includes the grading key.
This site is a treasure!

This is only one worksheet, but it's a good one. 

This site has a lot of short little practice sheets. Nice and short. Great for a quick check. They start easy and get harder. Great for differentiation.

One last one that is pretty nice.

The next step is LOTS of fun practice. Worksheets have their place, but fun learning is learning that lasts!

Fruit splat is like Fruit Ninja and is sure to be a kid-favorite!
LOVE that it has five levels of difficulty. Good for 3rd through 5th grade!

This game site has great games for review, plus this game on converting fractions to decimals, don't miss this fun site!

Now for the great review game! This is a Jeopardy game on decimals, fractions and percents that the whole class can play in teams.

Kids will love this one! They can play on their own, but are playing against other online players. It's called "Puppy Race".

Don't miss this book for teaching fraction, decimals and percents! Get it at your local library, or ask your librarian to order it. 

I hope the lessons, ideas, worksheets and games are just what you need to round out your decimal lessons. After all, decimal Super Heroes don't just happen, sometimes it takes a little "Pizazz"!  If you have more ideas for other teachers, please add them below!

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