Saturday, 1 November 2014

Reading Numbers

I recently joined up with a group of math teacher bloggers to bring you a blog hop about squashing mathematical misconceptions. This hop's topic was about place value. You can read my earlier post here.

I believe that place value is so important it deserves more than one post, so I have a few to share with you over the coming weeks.

Today I would like to talk about place value and its importance when reading numbers.
Without a solid understanding of place value students will never be able to read/write numbers properly.

Even in grade 8, I still have students who struggle with reading numbers. Anything over 4 digits takes a little more thought...throw in a decimal and YIKES!

Introducing... THE NUMBER GENERATOR 2000!!

I know, I know, it looks super students are always in awe when I unveil it! ;)

However, all it is, is a large poster with the numbers 1-6 printed on it (you could do more, or switch up the numbers) and a magnet with a large black circle to represent a decimal.

I tape the poster up on my whiteboard, which is magnetic, and I can make any number I want by moving around the decimal. Amazing isn't it?

Now, I know what you are wondering...what does the NUMBER GENERATOR do??

Well, it has the ability to change into a variety of different numbers...just move the decimal. As the decimal moves, the place values change, creating a new number!

One thousand, two hundred thirty-four and fifty-six hundredths

One and twenty-three thousand, four hundred fifty-six hundred thousandths

Using the poster, we practice reading numbers as a whole class.
Each time I move the decimal the students need to re-evaluate the place values of the digits in order to determine how to say/read the number.
I also have an identical set of smaller posters that I use when I hold math interviews with individual students.

This number generator visual would also work great when working with powers of ten or scientific notation, as the students can actually see the decimal (magnet) move places.

Need some help getting your students to remember how to read decimals? Here's a great anchor chart from Fabulous Finch Facts.

If you were interested in using place value tents, like the ones I mentioned in my earlier post, I just posted a set covering millions to millionths in my store. You can check them out here.

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