I am fairly certain that this was how my
students felt at the beginning of class!
Rounding is not an easy concept to learn. It is confusing to know what to do with all of the digits. So, to begin, I gave them a copy of the Rounding Rules Rhyme to add to their journal.
We used these rules (and a few added notes) to help us understand the concept of rounding. I found that when they were rounding a larger, multi-digit number, some had difficulty with
- underlining the digit in the correct place
- understanding what to do with digits BEFORE the underlined digit
- remembering that the underlined digit was what was rounded not the "digit next door"
- changing the remaining digits to zeros.
It was a process! However, the more we practiced the better we got! I gave every student a card with an addition or subtraction number sentence. The card asked the student to round to a certain place (nearest ten, nearest hundred, nearest thousand, nearest ten thousand) then compute. Once the students had determined the answer to their card, they found the other students with the same problem and compared answers. If someone within their problem group had a different answer, the students worked together to find the problem. The kids liked being helped by their friends!
I think we will have to do something like this again tomorrow to help cement the new knowledge. Rounding is not an easy concept to learn, but once you understand the process it is much less intimidating!