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Adding and subtracting decimals: part 1

This session is designed to help learners to: visualise a number line when performing simple addition and subtraction calculations with decimals; verbalise decimals correctly; understand and correct the misconception that ‘a decimal is just two ordinary numbers separated by a dot’, that is, that the digits to the right of the decimal point have a similar place value (hundreds, tens, units) as those to the left of the decimal point. It is advisable to complete Session 15 – Adding decimals before attempting this session with your learners unless you are sure they have mastered the ideas in that session.

Copy of Sheet 2 – Number lines for display on board or overheard projector. For each pair or small group of learners you will need: Sheet 1– Checking work; calculator; range of different colour pens or pencils. optional: Sheet 2 – Number lines. For each learner you will need: mini-whiteboard, marker and cloth.

_____. They should first correct the answers and then try to explain the thinking behind the mistakes and write some advice for the learner. _____. Hold a whole group discussion about the errors that have arisen. (Subtracting 0. _____.8. _____. _____. _____.4 each time) 8. ask learners to continue the following two sequences on their mini-whiteboards. ask learners to check their answers using a calculator. Ask learners to sit in pairs or groups of three. Ask learners to adopt the role of a teacher and mark the completed piece of work. _____. 5. When they have completed the two sequences. INFO BOX: If some learners are struggling it may be helpful for them to use Sheet 2 – Number lines.1. .In order to recap learning on adding decimals (see Session 15). _____. _____. 5. _____. (Adding on 0. ______. 8. Each group will need Sheet 1 – Checking work and a calculator. _____.5. In this way. showing Sheet 2 – Number lines on the board or overhead projector. learners examine and discuss some common errors.3 each time) Some learners may find it difficult to transfer this information accurately and may benefit from having it on a prepared sheet.5.

) How is 3 different from 3. for example 8. Ask questions to probe understanding and revise what has been learned so far.3.30 = ’ on my calculator? (Because time is not decimal. It begins at half past seven pm and finishes at twenty five past eight pm.Coloured pens would be helpful for marking the work.25 as zero point twenty five? (Because then it sounds bigger than 0. listen to learners’ explanations. and not merely produce the correct answers. Encourage learners to explain the thinking behind Angela’s errors. Hold a whole group discussion about what has been learned.4? 4 (The decimal point is not the same as a fraction bar.1 = 10. treating 1.10. It is important that learners should write comments and advice.) I am trying to calculate how long a TV programme lasts. For example: Why is it a bad idea to read a decimal number like 0.25 – 0. in 2 Question 14. As you move around the room. for whole class discussion.9 + 2. drawing out misconceptions you have noticed and discussing them explicitly. for example 0. 1 combining fractions and decimals.) .4 as though it means one quarter.25 – 7. The types of mistakes made on Angela’s worksheet are extremely common: treating the decimal point as if it were merely a dot separating two whole numbers. 0. treating time as though it is a decimal number in Question 15. Why can’t I just press ‘8. Note obvious misconceptions that emerge.24.1 = 0.

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2) (Subtracting 0. Correct her mistakes.2. 0.14 Write the next three terms in each sequence.05) (Subtracting 0.8.1 = 0.6 .3) (Adding on 0. 0. 2. So. 0.18 8.45 × 365 = 2719.14 .25 or about 2 700 hours asleep.2 = 5. 1.12 . 14. How long do you spend travelling to college in one year? I spend a quarter of an hour each day travelling to and from college.11 0. 10. 8. 0.18 0. I sleep about 7 hours 45 minutes each day. 2.2.1) (Halving) Estimate answers to the following two problems: 15. 0.16 1.Sheet 1 – Checking work This worksheet was completed by Angela. 4.10 .30 . Name: Angela Complete the following calculations: 1.11 . 0.2) (Adding on 0. 5.6 + 0.6 . 1.9.2 = 6.9 + 2.1 = 0. 8. 1.4) (Adding on 0. 0.2 2.4 . 16. during one year. 0. 0. Write some comments to Angela. 0.1 4 (Adding on 0.8.3 0. 0.15 .28. I spend about 1.6 = 0.9 0. 0. 8.1 = 10. 0.9 + 0. without using a calculator. So. 0. 5. .9 – 0.8 8. 8.24 2.4.4 × 5 × 32 = 224 hours travelling.10 0. 8. 0. 12.12. I spend 7. 6. 2. 3.32 . 7.1 . I am at college 5 days per week for 32 weeks. How long do you spend sleeping in one year? On average.15 – 0. 0. 13.6.25 – 0.10 .1 2 . 11. 6.6.3. during a year.11 .34 1. 0. explaining what she is doing wrong.

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Sheet 2 – Number lines 10 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 0 1 2 .

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