Okay, I admit it: I’m not the most patient person in the world. Which is yet another reason why I love homeschooling so much. We don’t have to meet arbitrary deadlines for scholastic progress, so I can take as long as we need to cover one topic.
One of the things Tigger struggled with early on was rounding and estimating. When we originally covered it in grade one, she couldn’t let go of counting each number and just guess at the amount. But, when you think about it, that makes sense.
We spend weeks teaching them how to count and then after they learn that, we tell them, “Okay, now don’t count. Just guess how many you think there are.” In retrospect, that does seem kind of silly.
Thankfully, I found an easier way to help her learn rounding numbers!
Image: ganko / Dollar Photo Club
Learn Rounding Numbers the Easy Way
Instead of trying to discuss rounding over and over again, I just dropped it and decided to come back to it later. This time, she picked it up on the very first day. She learned rounding and I got yet another lesson in being patient.
Tigger really does well with step-by-step processes, so I used this anchor chart that I saw on Pinterest as our guide for the week. With each problem, we walked through the process and by the end of the lesson, she was doing it in her head.
1. Find the place to which you are rounding.
2. Locate the number to the right of that place and draw an arrow to it.
3. If the number is 5 or more, you round the underlined place up.
4. If the number is less than 5, you keep the number in the underlined place the same.
5. Change everything from the arrow to the right to a zero.
It does take a few tries and we spent our entire math lesson that morning going over the steps. But when Tigger got it, she retained it and (finally!) conquered rounding. 🙂
Now I’m not a professional educator, so I don’t use anchor charts all the time, but I have found them to be extremely helpful for teaching multi-step processes. If you’d like to look at some of my inspiration, follow my Anchor Chart Ideas board on Pinterest!
How did you help your kids learn rounding numbers? Share your tips in the comments!