Thursday 17 January 2019

Learning Decimals using Montessori's Decimal Board

The fifth graders  had an introduction to decimals. Using the decimal board they understood the place value of a tenth, hundredth, thousandth etc. Soon they were trying out all sorts of fractions and turning them into their decimal forms. A 29 hundredths would  be 2.9, 0.209, 0.029 were the various guesses. Wait that would be 2 tenths and 9 hundredths which is 0.29 they realized when they used the material.

Someone popped a question with a denominator other than multiples of 10. 

They worked with 1/2 - 0.5- that was easy. 1/4- 0.125, they kept halving the fraction to reach 1/64 - which gave a decimal in the millionths.

The next discovery was 1/3. They were delighted to see a never ending pattern 0.3333333...

2/3 gave a 0.6666666...

"What's this Aunty?? "

I was delighted. You'll have stumbled upon a special set of numbers- repeating decimals!

The next idea was to hunt for more such numbers. Let's try 1/7 was a suggestion, 1/9.. let's see where it goes

Now a bunch of girls is having fun dividing large decimal numbers  - "Fearsome Fractions" to see the long chain to decimals it produces.

I'm having fun each time a new Montessori Math material is introduced. It brings out so much potential.

- Rafia Riaz

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