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Teaching Decimals & Fractions with a Coloring-Grid

written by: AJFA • edited by: Donna Cosmato • updated: 1/6/2012

Help students understand decimal numbers and fractions by drawing and coloring in a grid. This is a great math activity for middle school.

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    Many students struggle with fractions and decimals. It is easier for them to understand the relation when it is represented visually. By coloring in a grid, students can more easily grasp the relation of decimals to fractions.

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    Needed Materials

    • 4 blank hundreds grids per student
    • crayons or colored pencils
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    Description of Activity:

    • On one hundreds grid, ask students to color one horizontal or vertical stripe. Write the decimal number and fraction which show how much of the total grid is covered by the stripe. (0.1, 1/10) Ask students to color another stripe on the grid. They will write a decimal number and fraction to express how much of the grid is covered now. (0.2, 2/10= 1/5) Students will now color one more stripe on the grid and write a fraction and decimal number to indicate how much of the grid is colored. (0.3, 3/10)
    • On a different grid, students will color their first and last initials. Make sure students use block letters and color entire blocks. Students will write decimal numbers and fractions to show what part of the entire grid is the student's first initial, last initial, the total amount uncolored, and the total amount colored.
    • On the third grid, students will color a symmetrical design. They will also write fractions and decimal numbers to express how much of the grid is and is not colored.
    • On the fourth grid, tell students to create a design that is 0.28 red, 0.14 blue, and 0.30 yellow. Ask students how much of the total is not colored. Have them write their answer in words (twenty-eight hundredths), a decimal number (0.28), and a fraction (28/100=7/25).
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    Assessment:

    Check to see if students provide the correct decimal numbers and fractions for the designs they create.

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    Extensions:

    • Color a pattern that might have been used by a Native American tribe. Write a decimal number and fraction to indicate how much of each color was used.
    • Make a picture of a local product on a grid. Write the appropriate decimal numbers and fractions to tell how much of the total grid is colored and not colored.