April 5, 2023 | Chloe Ko
In this decimal unit, students learned how to compare, add, subtract, round, write in expanded form, and solve word problems. Numbers between 0 and 1 can be “tricky” to understand at first, but as we built on the foundations of place values and fractions, students developed an understanding of the relationships between fractions and decimals, compared and ordered decimals, and finally, added and subtracted decimals.
One of the ways we practice the skills is through games. One of the games that introduced students to adding decimals was called “Fill Two”. The goal is to shade in two of the grids as completely as possible. First, they start by drawing four decimal cards. Then, they can pick up 2, 3 or 4 cards to get closest to 2. Students color in each decimal and write an addition equation. This game also reviews the skill of representing decimals on a grid. A few other examples of games the students played are ‘Subtraction Compare’, ‘Close to 1’, and ‘Smaller to Larger’.
To practice the skills in word problems, students used the FAST strategy. Unlike the name, the strategy teaches student to break down the problem to help them solve correctly. F stands for facts. Students need to read the problem and extract the information that’s given. A stands for action. Students then need to create a plan and determine which operation they will need to use to solve. Students create a model that connects to the story and write the equation. S stands for solve. Students solve using one strategy. T stands for think. Students finish by thinking “Is my answer reasonable?” Checking their work with a different strategy is also a part of this step.
These steps are applicable to any word problem, and students will be encouraged to use this approach for different types of word problems.
After spring break, we will wrap up this unit with a Create your Own Restaurant project. Students will create an original menu of their cafe or restaurant. Then, they will get a chance to “visit” their classmate’s shop and create a bill. I am excited to see what they come up with!