Decimal Detectives! Enrichment Materials for Critical Thinking

Christy Howe
Grade Levels
4th - 6th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • Zip (58 pages)
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  1. Place Value Enrichment BUNDLE!This is a bundled set of 2 individual listings. Purchase the bundle and save over 20%!!! Place Value Detectives & Decimal Detectives are a series of higher-order thinking puzzles designed to challenge and engage your high flyers and fast finishers. Your students
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Decimal Detectives includes 16 higher order thinking puzzles designed to challenge and engage your high flyers and fast finishers. Your students will utilize critical thinking and problem solving skills while building a deep and solid understanding of decimals. Each of the 16 activities offers an interesting, non-routine way to explore essential math concepts and skills.

Each Decimal Detective riddle provides a series of 5-6 mathematical clues. Students use the clues to determine the value of the mystery decimal. While the focus of each activity is decimals, the 16 riddles include a variety of upper elementary math skills, concepts, and vocabulary to promote integrated learning and challenge. For example, riddle #11 reads:

• 2/3 of the digits are less than 5.
• The digit in the ten’s place = the number of sets of parallel sides in a trapezoid.
• The number is > 0.5 x 103, but < 0.06 x 104.
• The digit in the hundredth’s place is ¼ the value of the digit in the tenth’s place.
• The product of the digits in the ten���s and one’s place = 0.
• The digit in the thousandth’s place = 8 x 3 – 7 x 3.

The focus is on decimals, yet students also need to apply multiplication with base ten numerals, fractions, geometry, academic math vocabulary, and the order of operations in order to solve this riddle.

The 16 activities are provided in three different formats:
• No-Prep Printables: There are four 8.5 x 11 pages with 4 riddles on each page.

• Task Cards: The sixteen cards are formatted 4 to a page. Cards can be laminated and used as task cards or cut apart and glued into math journals or interactive notebooks.

• Cooperative Learning Cards: There are 16 cooperative learning card sets. Each set is made up of one decimal Detective riddle. The clues are separated onto four different cards. Each member of the group is given one card, or one piece of the puzzle. Students then work together to reach the solution.

The three different formats are included to help you adapt this resource to best meet the needs of your students and instruction. With so many activity options, use the table of contents to print only what you need.

Decimal Detectives are great for:
• Math Centers and Stations
• Anchor Activities
• Cooperative Learning
• Independent Enrichment
• Bell Ringers/Morning Work

All of the activities are directly aligned with the Common Core State Standards shown below:
• 5.OA.1 – Use parentheses, brackets, or braces in numerical expressions and evaluate expressions with these symbols.
• 5.NBT.2 – Multiply and divide numbers by powers of ten.
• 5.NBT.3 – Read, write, and compare decimals to the thousandth’s place.
• 5.NBT.3a – Read and write decimals using base ten numerals and expanded form.
• 5.NBT.3b – Compare two decimals using >, <, and = symbols.
• 5.NBT.7 – Add, subtract, multiply, and divide decimals.
• 5.NF.4 – Multiply unit fractions by whole numbers and multiply whole numbers by fractions.
• 5.NF.7 - Divide unit fractions by whole numbers and whole numbers by fractions.


You can also purchase Decimal Detectives at MORE than a 20% DISCOUNT HERE as part of a Place Value Enrichment BUNDLE!


Please contact me if you have any questions! I want you to be 1,000% happy with your purchase!

© Christy Howe 2016. This product is intended for personal use in one classroom only. For use in multiple classrooms, please purchase additional licenses.

If you and your students enjoy these activities, you may also like the following differentiated enrichment activities:THINK! Math Enrichment Activities for Active Engagement and Critical Thinking.
Brain Food! No Prep Printables for Critical and Creative Thinking.
Fractions! Multiplying and Dividing: 40 Differentiated, Engaging Task Cards.
Total Pages
58 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Apply and extend previous understandings of division to divide unit fractions by whole numbers and whole numbers by unit fractions.
Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication to multiply a fraction or whole number by a fraction.
Use parentheses, brackets, or braces in numerical expressions, and evaluate expressions with these symbols.
Add, subtract, multiply, and divide decimals to hundredths, using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction; relate the strategy to a written method and explain the reasoning used.
Compare two decimals to thousandths based on meanings of the digits in each place, using >, =, and < symbols to record the results of comparisons.


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