By Brenda J. Church on May 15 2018 22:39:02

Children may find the easiest way to work this out is by using the column method, where all the numbers are placed in a column, one on top of the other. It is vital that they remember that the decimal points of each number must line up. Once they’ve worked out using pencil and paper, let them check on a calculator as using decimals accurately on a calculator is an important real life skill too.

Be careful when discussing tenths, hundredths, and thousandths with your children. Pronounce these terms with special emphasis on the “-ths” to help avoid their confusion with tens, hundreds, and thousands.

As well as a printed blank hundred square, another way to visualise decimals is to make a decimal stick. Get a cane or long stick, place with tape a number 1 to the right hand end, then a 0 to the left. Ask them now to place 0.5 in the middle, then together work out where all the other decimal points should go.

Never underestimate how much a visual representation of what can otherwise appear to be an abstract concept can help children learn.

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