Help your students practice comparing decimals with this set of task cards, reference sheets, and assessments – the perfect “print-and-go” resource for beginning decimal concepts. The 32 task cards provide a variety of mutliple-choice and short-answer questions to keep your students on their toes as they use tenths and hundredths grids to examine decimal relationships. Extend your students’ practice (or assess their level of mastery) with the four included assessment activities. With these resources, your students will grow stronger in their understanding of decimal relationships.
Save $$$ by purchasing this product as part of my Decimals on the Grid
bundle, which includes four sets of task cards, a game, a set of I Have...Who Has? cards, and more!
Common Core State Standards for Mathematics addressed:
Numbers and Operations – Fraction (NF)
Understand decimal notation for fractions, and compare decimal fractions.
• Compare two decimals to hundredths by reasoning about their size. Recognize that comparisons are valid only when the two decimals refer to the same whole. Record the results of comparisons with the symbols >, =, or <, and justify the conclusions, e.g., by using a visual model. (4.NF.7)
• 3 graphic reference sheets (grayscale and blank)
• 32 task cards
• 8 self-checking “answer cards”
• task card answer sheet and key
• 4 assessment activities and key/rubric
NOTE: This set is a follow-up to my On the Grid (Set A) and On the Grid (Set B) task card and printables sets. Those sets also addressed decimal concepts, but focused on simply identifying fraction/decimal names for the shaded portion of a tenths or hundredths grid and using grids to add tenths and hundredths. If you are looking for some materials to use as an introduction to decimals, On the Grid (Set A) or On the Grid (Set B) may be a useful starting point. Your kids might also enjoy the games and ”I Have…Who Has?” cards included in my Grid Match-Up set.
About the Cards
The 32 cards in this set present a variety of questions – multiple-choice with only one answer, multiple-choice with more than one answer, short answer with only one answer, and short answer with multiple possible answers – as well as decimals represented on tenths and hundredths grids. For most cards, students are asked to compare a given number of tenths with a given number of hundredths, rather than comparing tenths with tenths and hundredths with hundredths. [In my experience, students can rather easily compare decimals such as 0.3 and 0.6 that have the same number of places but struggle when the quantities use different places, such as 0.48 and 0.7.] The majority of the cards require students to compare two quantities, but a few cards ask students to order three decimals, creating inequalities such as 0.09 < 0.3 < 0.50. Most of the decimals used on the cards are less than 1 whole, but some of the cards present models of decimals that use 1, 2, or even 3 wholes. The variety of question types and numbers used will keep your kids thinking as they work through the cards!
Please check out the preview to see all of the materials up close!
Practicing the Concept
There are lots of ways in which you can implement the task cards. You can have the students work on them independently, working through the task cards on their own. The students can work on them in pairs or small groups, completing all the task cards in one session. You can use them in centers, having the students complete 6-8 task cards a day over the course of the week. You can even use them as a variation of “problem of the day”, giving each student 1 sheet of 4 cards to glue in their journals and solve, one sheet per day for eight days.
When your students work on these cards, you may opt to have some or all of your students use base ten blocks to build each of the decimals represented by the shaded portion of the gird, using a flat for a whole, rods for tenths and units for hundredths. Have your students lay out a flat to be a constant representation of a whole, and then use the rods and units to build the shaded portion of the grid on the card. This use of a concrete representation, when paired with the visual model and numeric representations on the cards, can really help students build a strong foundation in decimal relationships as well as give them a better understanding of how decimals compare. If a card presents the decimals 0.53 and 0.6 and your students build those numbers with rods and units, they can physically compare the decimal. By combining concrete, pictorial, and numeric representations of the decimals, your students’ understanding of decimal relationships will be that much stronger, laying the foundation for the more complex work with decimals they will do in fifth grade.
Included in this set are eight “answer cards” that can serve as a resource if you use a self-paced structure for implementing the task cards. Often, I would have kids work in pairs on cards while I circulated to spot check and give feedback to pairs of students. Naturally, I would get backed up and not be able to reach as many kids until after they had already made many mistakes. I designed these answer cards so that the students could check themselves: catching errors, figuring out for themselves what they did wrong, and (hopefully) avoiding the same mistake on later cards.
Reinforcing the Concept
The printables include three graphic reference sheets that address decimal concepts. The first two reference sheets are half-page and full-page size, respectively, and are provided in two forms: one with grid models pre-shaded to match the numbers used as examples, and the other with blank grid models. Both versions address the same concepts and vocabulary (including equation, inequality, and quantity), but the version with blank grids allows for a degree of interactivity. Rather than simply gluing in the reference and reading it over, the students are actively involved in creating the resources, shading in the grids to match the numbers used as examples.
The third sheet is different than the first two in that I designed it not as a standard reference with rules and procedures, but as an interactive tool, providing a springboard for a class discussion and some journal writing about comparing decimals. This reference focuses on the concept that “comparisons are valid only when the two decimals refer to the same whole “ (4.NF.7). Have your students glue this sheet in their journal, project it using your computer or document camera, then work through the examples and questions. Have your students use the think-pair-share strategy to discuss their thinking prompted by the questions, and then respond in their math notebooks or math journals. This scaffolded approach to communication – student-to-student, followed by student-to-class, followed by student writing – is a great way to build students’ thinking about mathematical concepts, to involve all students in the communication process, and to provide a rich bank of ideas so that when it comes time to write, all students will have something substantive to write about.
Assessing Student Understanding
The four provided assessment activities can be used to evaluate student understanding of comparing decimals. The first two assessment activities are both two pages in length and have problems like those on the task cards, making them an ideal follow-up to the cards. The second two assessment activities are open-ended presenting models of decimals and asking students to write as many different equations and inequalities as they can using the decimals. These activities are provided in two forms: a half-page version that includes sets of lines on which students can write their answers, as well as on a one-third page strip that can be stapled to notebook paper, allowing for students to have more room to show their thinking than the four lines on the half-page version. The pairs of worksheets are formatted similarly, and have similar types of questions, though the numbers on each are different. You can use these activity pages in a variety of ways. You could give one or two as a pre-test (perhaps combining activity a and activity c), then teach your lesson and allow students to practice with the task cards, and then give the second assessment(s) as an independent post-test. You could also have the students work on the task cards, then complete one of the worksheet as guided practice with yourself, a partner, or a small group, and then give the second worksheet as an independent assessment. The worksheets could also be given as homework, center assignments, or any other purpose that fits your teaching style or classroom routines.
For more practice with decimal and fraction concepts, please check out the other related resources I have available –
Decomposing Fractions - activity card & printables bundle
Flipping for Fractions activity card set
Dog-Gone Decimals - rounding decimals task cards & printables (set a)
Dog-Gone Decimals – decimal estimation task cards & printables (set b)
I hope your students enjoy these resources and are able to build their proficiency with decimals. – Dennis McDonald