Do you struggle with teaching the various strategies for adding and subtracting decimals?
Using visual models in addition to just teaching the standard algorithm can be a bit tricky, but I’m going to show you a few quick tips to make this easier.
Check out my tutorial videos that will take you step-by-step through a sample problem for both adding and subtracting decimals using the standard algorithm and a visual model. Keep reading past the videos to see my process and find out how you can share this information with the parents in your class.
Materials Used in the Videos
- dry erase pocket* – get a class set
- Expo dry erase markers (thin)*
- blank adding and subtracting decimals sample page
*Amazon Affiliate Links
Do You Want the Template From the Video?
Are you getting ready to introduce this skill to your students?
Get the parents in your class prepared (especially if they will need to help their child at home during remote learning) by sending them a quick parent guide. This will provide them with links to the two tutorial videos so they can be in the loop. It’s a single-page PDF, so you can send it in an e-mail, newsletter, or post it on any site you use to send information to students and parents.
How I Teach Adding and Subtracting Decimals
When I introduce adding and subtracting decimals, I teach the visual model in conjunction with the standard algorithm. My students see what the decimal looks like when it’s represented in a hundredths grid as part of a whole.
- I begin with guided notes. They have step-by-step instructions and graphics on how to create a visual model as well as the standard algorithm.
- We go through an example problem together. I have a student demonstrate by annotating over the notes page on the Promethean Board while the others complete it in their composition book.
- Students then work independently creating visual models for adding and subtracting decimals. Then, they solve each of the problems using the standard algorithm. Finally, they compare their answers from both strategies to make sure they match.
- After they’ve started to show mastery over a few days, I have them work with a partner using our Task Tents™ review activity.
- I assess their understanding with a quiz.
I have a resource that gives you everything you need. You get an introduction, guided practice, independent practice, Task Tents™ for review, and an assessment.
Teaching remotely? *Digital Version*
This skill can be taught and assessed during remote learning. Find out how you can teach adding and subtracting digitally.
Looking for More?
Check out some of these resources that use various strategies, including visual models, to teach common math skills:
- adding and subtracting decimals (digital and printable options)
- multiplying decimals (digital and printable options)
- dividing decimals (digital and printable options)
- adding and subtracting fractions (printable option – digital coming soon)
- multiplying fractions (printable option – digital coming soon)
- dividing fractions (printable option – digital coming soon)
- order of operations with grouping symbols (digital and printable options)