Rounding the World - reasoning about rounding task cards & printables (set b)

Grade Levels
3rd, 4th, 5th
Resource Types
Common Core Standards
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9.11 MB   |   20 pages


This globe-trotting set of task cards will help your kids extend and challenge their understanding of rounding whole numbers while teaching them facts about the world’s rivers, mountains, oceans, and more! The 32 task cards, 2 journal inserts, and 3 assessment activities in this set are the perfect tools for helping your students practice rounding whole numbers through the ten thousands place.


Common Core State Standards for Mathematics addressed:
Numbers and Operations in Base Ten (4.NBT)
Generalize place value understanding for multi-digit whole numbers.
• Use place value understanding to round multi-digit numbers to any place. (4.NBT.3)

• 2 graphic reference sheets
• 32 task cards
• answer sheet and key
• three one-page assessment activities (scoring guides included)

This set is a follow-up to Set A of my Rounding the World task cards and printables. Set A is a beginner set, presenting students with four- and five-digit numbers to round, some to the highest place and some to a different place, as well as labeled number lines to help the students identify which round number the given number is closer to. If you are looking for beginner-level resources, you can find set A here.

About the Cards

The 32 cards each present the students with a geographic fact that involves a multi-digit number – the height of a waterfall, the length of a river, the elevation of a volcano, etc. and require students to:

1) identify the location of a particular length or elevation on a number line; or,
2) identify a length or height that rounds to a given round number (e.g., select a number that rounds to 3,700); or,
3) identify different lengths or elevations that round to the same round number (e.g., 53,285 and 52,718 both round to 53,000); or,
4) identify different numbers that a particular length or elevation can round to (e.g., 2,847 rounds to 3,000 and to 2,800 and 2,850).

I organized the cards based on the question types – cards 1-8 feature question type #1, cards 9-16 feature question type #2, cards 17-24 feature question type #3, and cards 25-32 feature question type #4.

For a close-up look at the wording on the cards, please check out the preview.

Using the Cards

I organized the cards to allow for scaffolded practice. Cards 1-8 feature question type #1, cards 9-16 feature question type #2, cards 17-24 feature question type #3, and cards 25-32 feature question type #4. You can use this structure to meet the diverse needs within your class. Decide which set of eight cards you want your students to work with and then differentiate based on your students’ levels of proficiency with the target concept. You may:

• have your students work through all eight at a time while you circulate and provide guided support;
• work through the first two cards together and then have students use the other six as paired or independent practice.;
• have your more able students complete the cards on their own while you provide guidance to a small group; or,
• have students work in pairs to complete the first two and then complete the other six on their own.

You could also use some of the cards as a formative assessment to determine which type(s) of questions your students most need to practice. You could have all students solve cards 1, 9, 17, and 25 on their own – answering one of each type of question –, and then group students based on the card(s) with which the students struggled. Perhaps some of your students would work on cards 10-16 and 18-24, while others only needed to work on cards 26-32.

Beyond the suggestion above, 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.

Reinforcing & Assessing the Concept

The printables consist of a graphic reference sheet, a foldable reference sheet, and three different assessment activities. The graphic reference sheet presents a situation involving rounding, as well as the reasoning of three different children about the rounding problem presented. There is a series of open-ended questions, as well as number lines, to help students think through the ideas presented by the hypothetical students. I designed this reference sheet to be the jumping off point for a classroom discussion about rounding to different places. You can have your students glue the reference sheet in their journals, read the top half of the reference sheet, and then discuss (first in pairs or table groups, and then with the whole class) their thoughts about the reasoning presented, and then repeat with the bottom half of the reference sheet. You might even have your students discuss, write, and then share; I have often found that giving students time to write before and/or after they talk with partners can help them process their thinking and allow for a richer whole group discussion.

The foldable reference sheet – available in two versions – illustrates how a five digit number can be rounded to the nearest 10, 100, 1,000, and 10,000, with vertical number lines used to show the placement of the given number between its nearest round number “neighbors”. Photos are provided to show how to copy the two pages so that the front and back are lined up, as well as how the reference sheet should look once it is cut and folded. One version simply requires the students to cut, fold, and glue the reference sheet in their journals. The other is more interactive – the front of the flaps have questions, but the inside is blank. The students cut out eight resource cards, match up the corresponding answer cards and number lines, and then glue them under the flap with the matching question.

The three provided activity sheets can be used to evaluate student understanding of rounding. The first two sheets 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 as a pre-test, then teach your lesson and allow students to practice with the task cards, and then give the second worksheet as an independent post-test. You could also have the students work on the task cards, then complete one of the activity sheets as guided practice with yourself, a partner, or a small group, and then give the second activity sheet as an independent assessment. The paired sheets could also be given as homework, center assignments, or any other purpose that fits your teaching style or classroom routines.
The third activity sheet is designed to assess rounding as well as how your students are able to critique the reasoning of others and communicate their own thinking in writing.

All activity sheets include scoring guides for clear, easy grading!


Looking for more practice with number relationships? Check out:

It's All Relative – multiplication and division number relationships game

Snow Bonds: x and ÷ with multiples of 10 task cards & printables (set b)

Rounding the World - rounding whole numbers task cards & printables (set a)

Placing the Value - task cards + printables set

Super Powers of Ten - task cards + printables (set a)


I hope your students enjoy these resources and are able to build their understanding of rounding. – Dennis McDonald
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Rounding the World - reasoning about rounding task cards &
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Rounding the World - reasoning about rounding task cards &
Rounding the World - reasoning about rounding task cards &
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