English Class fourth graders returned to school after the Easter holidays to a day of exploration and studies of decimals. The entire day was devoted to the subject. Using unit cubes and place value mats pupils worked in pairs to refresh their memories of place value and to do some exploration with parts of units. With their teacher’s guidance they took note of the fact that in some parts of the world (Europe) a decimal comma is used to denote a decimal mark and in other parts of the world a decimal dot is used. (This map shows how people of the world mark decimals.) They also learned that, when reading a number with a decimal in it, the decimal is read as “and”.
Fourth graders also explored the relationship between fractions and decimals. Worksheets were passed out to check that what had been learned during the morning could be applied in practice when solving problems in mathematics. The fastest of the pupils were able to complete as many as 8 pages of tasks!
Pupils were rewarded for their efforts by being allowed to choose the medium with which to explore mathematics in the last lesson. Some chose math games, some pupils chose to practice coding on iPads, some chose tangram puzzles as well as other puzzles. One pupil even asked for permission to do more work in his math book.