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Background: My dd is 9.5 yo, and we are 4 weeks into her 4th grade year. She has done SM US ed. 1B-4A and Miquon Orange-Green (over 1-3 grade). In general, she tolerates math (though she does fairly well most of the time when given explicit instructions). She rarely ever gets hung up on a topic.

Now: We have been doing SM 4B for 4 weeks and she is still having trouble with the decimals EVERY DAY :001_huh:. We school math, reading, and writing year round, so it's not like the summer fog needs to wear off. Most of her problem is in place value. She has trouble saying whether it is a tenth or a hundredth or a thousandth. She cannot compare numbers unless I help her with the base ten blocks so she can see it. I went to the library and picked up some books on decimals (like LOF), but they seem like they will be over her head. I am not opposed to getting something different (like MUS or RS E) and using only part of it so we can take a bunny trail and learn this in a different way. Would it be possible we need to move onto something else (like fractions) and let this stew in the back of her mind for a bit?

Has anyone been in a similar situation? Any suggestions?

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When we tried MUS Primer it did teach Place Value early on. They gave you a chart and it taught it as a street with houses. Ones House, Tens House, Hundreds House, etc. So for 21 youd put 2 tens in the tens house and 1 one in the ones house. So I would say "How many came over for tea?" (meaning tens (get it? twen TEA)) and shed say "20" and then say "1". 21

I do think it helped C even though MUS didnt work out. When she isnt sure on a number i still use that concept.

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Thank you for responding, Jpoy85.

My dd does fine with everything to the left of the decimal. Adding and subtracting money was never an issue with her either. Does MUS use something memorable to teach decimal place value?

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Does she understand these concepts as fractions? That is, is she clear on 1/10, 1/100, 1/1000, etc.? If yes, you might want to just have a written guide available as to which column is which for a while, with the headings of the columns written out with the fraction equivalent. If not, you might want to try work on fractions for awhile before returning to decimals. I think decimals are easier than fractions, but many math programs do fractions first--that includes MUS, LOF.

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Does she understand these concepts as fractions? That is, is she clear on 1/10, 1/100, 1/1000, etc.? If yes, you might want to just have a written guide available as to which column is which for a while, with the headings of the columns written out with the fraction equivalent. If not, you might want to try work on fractions for awhile before returning to decimals. I think decimals are easier than fractions, but many math programs do fractions first--that includes MUS, LOF.

We got out the base ten blocks and she understands that one tenth is 1/10 of 1 and one hundredth is 1/100 of one. Maybe she just needs more time getting comfortable with decimal notation?

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My RightStart abusus came with numbers that overlay each other. For example, 7000, is overlaid with 400, to become 7,400. Then 20 is placed on top, and the number becomes 7,420. Then 3 is laid on top and the number becomes 7,423. I'm not sure if that is clear :tongue_smilie:

I like this

video.

The free African Waldorf math covers place value with a story.

Have you used money?

Edited by Hunter
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Something that helps my dd remember decimal notation (at least the first two places) is money. Remind her that .1 is 10 cents (1/10 of a dollar) and .01 is one penny (1/100 of a dollar). Sometimes my kid loses sight of this when she's actually doing a bunch of decimal problems.

Have you thought about moving onto another topic in MM & coming back to this one in a month or two? Sometimes kids are just not ready for something & their brain needs time to "get it." (I'm fighting hormonal brain fog in my oldest right now. :willy_nilly:)

I'm not sure you need another program, but perhaps there is a game w/decimals that teaches place value you can play. :bigear:

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Or would it help to buy a bag of m&m's and have her just count out 1/100 of them, then 1/10, then 1/1, then 2/100... for a few days and then come back to it?

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We got out the base ten blocks and she understands that one tenth is 1/10 of 1 and one hundredth is 1/100 of one. Maybe she just needs more time getting comfortable with decimal notation?

That's what I'd think.

I don't know what SM does for this, but when I come to something like this, I just write out extra practice items for ds if needed. I only add another curriculum in such a situation if the writing of problems seems too much for me to do.

I'd probably put down a bunch of numbers like: 0.1, 0.11, 0.111, etc. and work with identifying what they mean. Also I'd talk about the difference between 0.1 and 0.100. They are mathematically considered equal, but when used in life the latter implies that there is a higher degree of known accuracy to the number.

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Thank you for responding, Jpoy85.

My dd does fine with everything to the left of the decimal. Adding and subtracting money was never an issue with her either. Does MUS use something memorable to teach decimal place value?

there is actually a chart that comes with MUS.

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Math mammoth has 3 place value units starting with 1 and 10 and working up. They are only about \$4 to download so you could try one as a review.

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The same publishers that did Miquon (KCP) have Key to Decimals. Maybe something like this would help?

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I always made "flashcards" for these situations. In this case I would have cut out scrap paper and used different colored markers and made several sets and let her sort them out. I would start groups of two numbers -- maybe label the back with the order so she can self check. If they get mixed up she can sort out her groups by the color you wrote in. When she can order groups of two increase to 3 etc. My kids always enjoyed sitting on the floor and laying out their cards. I would come and look when they called.

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The same publishers that did Miquon (KCP) have Key to Decimals. Maybe something like this would help?

I forgot about those! I used Key to Fractions last year :tongue_smilie:.

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Math mammoth has 3 place value units starting with 1 and 10 and working up. They are only about \$4 to download so you could try one as a review.

I saw MM has a blue series book on decimals. I am considering that!

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I would say she needs more time to get used to it. Also I would suggest using coins to represent parts of a whole. Something about \$\$ always got my 4th graders attention. :) it still does. She will stare at me blank but if I change the apples in the word problem to cash she can solve it in a flash.

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