## Thursday, September 1, 2016

### Converting Fractions to Decimals with a Meter Stick Number Line

One of the key math concepts in fourth grade is placing fractions and decimals on a number line. It helps to have a strong visual model the students can manipulate.  I realized that I already had a class set of number lines I could use for the activity: meter sticks.

Meter sticks are a way of representing tenths, hundredths and thousandths.  One meter stick is the whole.  Each decimeter is a tenth, each centimeter is a hundredth, and each millimeter is a thousandth.
(You can purchase 12 meter sticks by clicking the affiliate link below.)

I started with modeling half.  Students could visually see that I had marked half way across the stick.  Fourth graders know that 50 is half of 100 so the clothespin marked the 50 cm point.

Next, I marked the tenths.  On one side of the clothespins I have tenths in fraction form.  On the other side I marked the equivalent decimal.

I made additional clothespins with fifths, fourths, and eighths.  On the other side of each I marked the equivalent fractions.  I am using this tool as an independent station for some students and an intervention for others.