Challenging and Engaging Activity to Practice Fraction to Decimal Conversions
Could your math students use a little extra practice with converting fractions to decimals?
Do your middle school math students like to play math games? Mine sure do!
Over the past few years I've noticed that many of my math students aren't familiar with some of the games I played when I was a kid, like Yahtzee, for example. So, as we started working on converting fractions and decimals, I decided to create a game to make fraction to decimal conversion practice more fun AND give them some more game experience! I based this fractions to decimals activity on the idea of Yahtzee:-)
Here's How the Converting Fractions to Decimals Game works (Example #1):
1) Students roll four dice, and pair the dice up to create fractions that equal "target numbers," which are decimals or whole numbers.
For example, a student rolls 1, 2, 4, and 6. From these dice, the student may create any two of the following fractions, which convert to decimal (or whole) numbers:
½ = 0.5 4/1 = 4
¼ = 0.25 4/2 = 2
1/6 = 0.1666... 4/6 = 0.666...
2/1 = 2 6/1 = 6
2/4 = 0.5 6/2 = 3
2/6 = 0.333... 6/4 = 1.5
2) Once a player has chosen two target numbers, he or she finds their score by adding the dice that were used to get to each target number (decimal or whole number).
For example, if the player used 1 and 4 to get 0.25, he or she adds 1 + 4 for a sum of 5 to place in the score column. If the second target number used 2 and 6, to equal either 0.333...or 3, then sum of 8 would go in the appropriate column as the score.
Converting Fractions to Decimals Game Example #2
On the next roll, this student rolls 1, 1, 3, and 5. This student can:
In many cases, students' scores will be the same as each others', but some of the decimals can be found with different combinations of numbers.
For example, 1 and 3 = 0.333..., and so do 2 and 6, so students could have a score of either 4 or 8 for this target number.
Some students will notice this sum difference and go for the combination that will give them the higher score....bringing in the possibility of using some strategy, for those higher level thinkers.
The students have really enjoyed playing this fraction to decimal conversion game. They DO need a few examples at the start, to understand exactly how the game works, so if you decide to try the game, be prepared to go through a few turns together.
You can create a score sheet like this on your own, or go to TPT and use what I've created. Detailed instructions are included, and a complete answer key of highest and lowest possible scores for each target number are included as well. This is handy to quickly check student score cards as you check in on their games.
If you give this converting fractions to decimals activity (Decimal Dice Game) a try, please let me know how it goes!
For more fraction to decimal conversion practice,
Fraction to Decimal Footloose Task Cards
Fraction, Decimal, Percent Number Line
Fraction, Decimal, Percent Fold it Up
Fraction, Decimal, Percent Math wheel
To Read Next:
Time Management for Middle School Students
Time management....it can be a challenge for adults, so it's no wonder that students have difficulty!
When middle school students start to find greater demands on their time with (possibly) more classes and more activities, managing everything can get stressful!
And often, the extra activities or responsibilities end up being excuses for not finishing school work.
In my early years of teaching, I didn't always know what to say when my 5th grade students told me they didn't have time to do their homework (other than something like, "You must have had some time between 4:00 and 9:00...").
There were all kinds of reasons for not finishing work
At that time I had one child (she was 2 when I started teaching), so I didn't have the perspective of parents of school-age children - making sure I was getting my kids to their activities, getting all the house-related things done, and also making sure kids were completing their homework.
This made it a little difficult for me to relate to the students' situations, but I tried to help them think about how much time they did have to do their work.
Time for Time Management
Being involved in activities definitely reduces after-school time for schoolwork, but it doesn't mean schoolwork can't get done. Students can learn to manage their time, but they need to be shown how.
There are many of us who, as adults, may not manage our time very well. And if a parent is not great at managing time, how will he or she teach their children to manage theirs? Even when adults are good at managing time, they don't always think to teach their children how to do what they do.
Because parents/guardians might not talk about time management, I've spent many years teaching students (5th and 6th graders) how to find their available work time.
Student Time Management: Create a Week at a Glance
I make these planner-type pages and help students fill in a sample week, so they can see where their available time is.
When they fill in the practices, games, lessons, sibling practices, etc, they can then see what time is left in the day.
If homework is assigned Monday and the student has practice from 5 - 7:00:
One of the fun parts of using the calendar/planner is the color-coding! When I used this for my own planning as our family grew and our children had more commitments, I color-coded according to person (my son was green, oldest daughter orange, youngest purple, I was blue, and husband was red:-).
Student Time Management: No 'Wasted' Time
If students' chunks of time aren't big enough to complete their work, students need to find other ways to get it done.
One of the strategies I share with students is to take backpacks and homework supplies in the car with them.
I also suggest that students try to study while they're driving to an event.
Projects should go on the calendar too, so students can again work backwards to fit in the necessary time to complete them.
The great thing about a week at a glance like this is that students don't have to depend on someone buying them a planner or printing out pages for them. They can write out their own schedule on their own paper and design it any way they'd like. Then they can post in it their room, on the frig, or keep it in a school binder.
As I mentioned, in the early days, I didn't quite know how to respond to students who didn't have time to do their work.
But now, time management is something I teach every year, to help avoid those "I didn't have time because...." statements.
What time management strategies work best for your students (or children)?
To Read Next:
Favorite End of School Year Activity: Memory Wheels!
What are your favorite end-of-the-year activities? One of my favorites for the end of the school year is to have the students create "Memory Wheels."
Memory Wheels Steps
When we create our memory wheels, we take time to brainstorm a huge list of all the things we did during the school year - field trips, special lessons, special events, activities students may have been involved in, etc.
2) Choosing and Creating
Then students choose their top 6-8 memories and put those on their memory wheel. Students write "6th Grade" or "6th Grade Memories" in the center, and then write a heading and/or sentence or two in each section. They create illustrations to go with the sentences in each section. Then they add color!
Students use a template to help them create their wheels, and I have them use either oak tag or large white construction paper.
Display the Memory Wheels
I laminate the wheels and display them for the end of the year, so students can see and share their classmates' memories:-)
Then I save the wheels to put up at the beginning of the new school year!
Creating these wheels gives students a chance to reminisce about the school year, and the wheels give the incoming students a chance to see what the "old" students thought was fun about their 6th grade school year. AND, the 7th-graders who left their wheels behind like to come back to visit and pick their wheels up:-)
Other Wheel Template Uses
The wheel templates could also be used at the beginning of the year, as a "getting to know you" activity. The student's name would go in the center circle. The student would need to choose 8 things to share about him/herself, and then write a brief description of them and illustrate them. I haven't used the wheel in this way yet, but I like the idea:)
The wheel templates can be used for any type of project, at any time during the school year. In the past, I have used the wheels as a book report project: students choose main events from the book to feature in each section, they write a brief description of each event, and then illustrate each one. The title and author are written in the center circle.
Video About Memory Wheels
I did a quick Facebook Live to share this idea, if you'd like to check it out!
I've also created quite a few wheels in different content areas! Check them out here!
To Read Next:
How Students Can Check Their Own Math Answers
When my 6th grade math students finish their math assessments and want to hand them in, I always ask, "Did you check your work?"
Often the answer is "yes," but if it's not, I won't take the paper until the student does check their work. So, they go back to the assessment and 'check' for a couple minutes and are ready to hand the assessment in again.
How do they do this math checking?
Do you know what I'm going to say?
Here's what my math students often do (until I teach them math checking strategies) - they look at the math questions, basically make sure that all the questions were answered, and say they've checked their work.
Unless they are clearly taught otherwise, many students seem to believe that "checking your math work" means "checking to see if everything is done."
Hey there! I'm Ellie - here to share math fun, best practices, and engaging, challenging, easy-prep activities ideas!