Rounding whole numbers can be a challenge, actually, math can be a challenge for some students. For some students, it makes them clam up and feel defeated, but there are ways to lessen that fear. While math might not be everyone’s favorite subject, there are ways to make it memorable, educational, and fun. When we start to teach students to round numbers, it might seem like a terrible task, but if you follow the tips below, your students will be ready to round!
Tip #1 Spiral Back and Review
Whenever you start something new, or are working on something old, reviews are a great way to start. By going back and reviewing the skills they need to know, you are setting them up for more success right away. One way to do this is to talk about number placements and the different places we can round to. Starting with a spiral review will make your job much easier in the end.
Tip #2 Can you make it?
Sometimes, when you are learning a new skill, it’s fun to make it into a little game. Perhaps you can do this by telling your students you are going to some destination (this can be a state, country, or a place where you live) and you need 80-miles worth of gas to get there.
Then, have them look at the numbers you have available and decide which one would you get to 80 by rounding down. You can even combine the tried and true number line and make a small car icon to see if you can get to each destination.
Tip #3 Tried and True (Number Line!)
The classics are there for a reason. For example, every English teacher will pull out To Kill a Mockingbird, you should pull out the handy dandy number line. Seeing where the numbers are in comparison to the target numbers can help students know whether they need to round up or down.
In addition, you can help students identify the target numbers much easier. Another positive to using a number line is you can make a class one. The class number line can be “jumbo” size and you can have students come up and demonstrate how to use it!
Tip #4 Challenge Accepted!
Once your students start to get the hang of rounding numbers, a great way to solidify the knowledge is to allow them to challenge each other or just themselves with a game.
You can put this activity in centers or use it as a way to start the day. With this game, students are challenged in a variety of ways and the best part is you don’t have a lot of work to do to be ready for it! Easy prep is always a bonus!
Rounding numbers can be tricky for students, but by targeting different learning styles, challenging students to a game, and reviewing the skills needed to round numbers you can have students ready to round!