Have any of you been schooling through the summer this year? We have…
We’re doing math and reading everyday. It’s less work than the regular school year, so we’re still getting a break; but we’re doing enough to keep my son from forgetting everything that he’s learned in the last year.
Rounding to the nearest 10 was one of the math topics we studied this summer and let me tell you…I was ready to pull ALL my hair out and give up after just a couple days into it. I started questioning whether rounding was really an essential life skill! Could we just skip rounding?!? Sigh… Okay, okay, so it’s essential. How is he going to move up in math if he doesn’t learn to round. Like it or not I had to keep plugging along.
I tried teaching him different rhymes. You know the ones…
1 through 4, stay on the floor
5 through 9, climb the vine
I tried teaching him visually and kinesthetically with blocks…why we round some numbers up and other numbers down.
Nothing was clicking with him. He would round 27 to 80, 32 to 20, and 36 to 90. I wanted to CRY!
The weird thing was, I understood what he was doing with his numbers and why. I just couldn’t figure out how to help him.
My son is somewhat dyslexic, reversing many of his letters and numbers, etc. I could see that he was reading his numbers wrong and getting the ones place and the tens place mixed up. The reason he rounded 36 to 90 was because he confuses his 6’s and 9’s. Then after reversing the tens and the ones place, he came up with 93 which actually would be rounded to 90! See how crazy we are?
After hours of unsuccessful one on one teaching, I needed help.
In the next few days, guess what I got in the mail!! A Didax Math catalog. I had never heard of Didax before but I found a really cool rounding number line in their catalog! I loved how they had all the tens highlighted and the numbers that you round up in one color and the numbers that you round down in another color. Brilliant! I went online to buy one and then noticed…I had to buy FIVE? Ugh!
So I made my own.
I was a little worried that the number line might hurt my son’s learning because he might end up having to use the number line every time he rounded any problem. I didn’t want to create a crutch to further inhibit him. Well, I had nothing to fear. I made my number line and my son used it for a few days. After about a week, he could round up or down to the nearest ten without using it at all. He was very proud of himself and I was proud of him too.
Download the Rounding to ten number line
Here is the number line that I made for my son! (Download for free here!) It’s really simple and very basic but it worked for us.
I put my number line together like this.
1) Print out the file on a COLOR printer.
2) If you are super lucky and own a laminator, you can laminate it!
I purchased this Scotch laminator last year. Best $25 dollars I ever spent. And now I’m a laminating freak. I see paper and think, “LAMINATE IT!” Yes, it’s really that fun. At least if you’re a weirdo like me. Anyway, if you do laminate your paper you can use an Expo marker to write and circle directly on your number line, making learning easier!
3) Cut the paper into strips, horizontally. I used a paper cutter. If you can cut a straight line though, go for the scissors!
That’s all there is to it!
Please share successful strategies that you’ve used to teach your children. And if you try the number line, let me know how it goes!