Typically, a math worksheet is filled with tedious computation problems. They cover the page with little to no room for writing out work and thinking, and can be so…boring. Well, today I want to share a set of adding decimals worksheets that are not your typical worksheet. Rather than a page filled with problems, each page has a single decimal addition problem, to be solved three different ways. Solving one problem using multiple methods and visuals is more beneficial for students than a page filled with problems. So I hope you’re excited to learn more about the strategies here and grab this FREE set for yourself!
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Adding Decimals with Multiple Methods:
As I shared in my article, How to Add Decimals, it’s important to let kids learn through visuals, hands on manipulatives and place value in our base ten system.
After a solid foundation is laid, kids can then use the standard, traditional algorithm, which requires lining up the numbers and adding with regrouping, just as they do with integers.
Although I recommend adding decimals with play money and base ten blocks, these worksheets focus on pictorial methods, so kids can show their thinking. You can certainly allow them to also use a hands on model of their choice as well, though!
Adding Decimals Worksheets:
This download (scroll to the end of this post) includes 10 different practice pages plus an answer key.
On each page, there is one decimal addition problem, plus space to solve the problem by:
- Coloring hundreds grids
- Using place value
- Following the steps of the traditional algorithm
Adding Decimals Using Hundreds Grids:
Each hundreds grid represents one whole, and students can use these to color in and represent each problem to find the new total.
I have included 3 blank grids on each page, but do not specify how students should use these or color them in. Allow them to represent the problem in the way that makes the most sense to them. This might mean they color each addend on different grids, or they might combine them onto one right away.
They might also use two different colored pencils to represent each part as they add them together for the total.
Adding Decimals Using Place Value:
Again, how your students break the decimal values apart and add them together may look different. Don’t require a specific ‘step-by-step’ for this…that defeats the purpose of allowing kids the space to make their own meaning and understanding.
Plus, giving them a ‘step-by-step’ is the same as using the traditional algorithm. Then, rather than building understanding and seeing how to decompose decimals, kids simply have another list of rules to follow.
If your kids are stuck here, encourage them to use number bonds or bar models to break each decimal apart and then see how they can easily add the parts together.
Adding Decimals Using the Traditional Method:
Lastly, kids solve the problem with the standard algorithm, by lining up the numbers and regrouping (when necessary).
If this is still new, or kids feel shaky with regrouping, encourage them to build it out with base ten blocks. The blocks provide a concrete model of how the different places get combined and regrouped.
The goal of these adding decimals worksheets is to help kids see and understand different methods, help them to strengthen their mental math skills and show them the connection between place value and the traditional algorithm.
So I hope this provides meaningful practice for your students, rather than the tedious, boring practice you would typically see on a math worksheet.
How to Use or Assign These Decimal Practice Pages:
You might be thinking, this is great, but now I have to print an entire packet for each student! That’s so much paper!
Well, I’m here to encourage you to not print all the pages for every single student. That’s not the point.
Instead, I’d encourage you to assign one or two problems at a time, whether this is used in class or as a homework assignment.
If you give students just one problem, they can use the back of their paper to extend their learning even further. For example, you might have them:
- Write a word problem to represent the given decimal addition problem
- Solve the same problem again, using yet another method (such as a number line)
- Create a different addition problem that has the same solution
Another idea is to assign two problems, and print them front and back. That is then just one piece of paper per student, but they’re working through two problems multiple ways.
Another idea is to put students in partners or small groups, and assign each group a different problem to work through.
When everyone is finished, they can then share their solutions with the class, and you can have a discussion about which method students prefer and why.
I hope this gives you lots of great ideas and provides some great math discussion in your classroom!
Want to grab this set of adding decimals practice pages? Just click the link below to grab it in my shop!
Find more decimal resources at the links below:
- Adding and subtracting decimals on a number line
- Adding & subtracting decimals partner challenge (using grids and number lines)
- Decimal operations mazes (low-prep practice)
- Converting fractions to decimals game
- Make a Buck: An simple & fun card game
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