Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Spinning with Base 10 Decimals - Section 2: Concept Development


This lesson had me on my toes all day and has left me with a bit of a sore throat.  Whenever a whole class works with plastic base ten blocks, there is an added level of noise in the classroom that I have to stay on top of.  I had to make sure I had signals and cues for students to use in order to keep the blocks quiet during the direct instruction component of this lesson. 

That being said, this is an excellent way for students to build conceptual understanding of what decimals are and begin to make sense of how decimals are used.  I had many students admit that they had seen decimals in the past and after today's activity, those same students also admitted that they now have a much better understanding about what a decimal is.  The use of concrete manipulatives to aid in decimal understanding is critical and crucial for my students before we move on to higher level thinking skills involving decimals. This lesson allowed my students the time to do just that. 

While some students easily grasped the concept and wanted to abandon the model relatively quickly, others relied heavily on it.  I need to make sure that the students who abandoned the model, are not just seeing a number pattern in the way they recorded the tenths and hundredths, but that they truly do have a solid understanding about what decimals are.

You can hear more thoughts about this lesson in my reflection video below.


  Modeling and Spinning = Understanding
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Modeling and Spinning = Understanding
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Spinning with Base 10 Decimals

Unit 11: Fractions and Decimals
Lesson 2 of 5

Objective: SWBAT represent decimal fractions using the base ten model

Big Idea: In this lesson, students use base ten materials to model decimal fractions using the base-ten and place value system

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